The hair that covers the body and scalp is a fascinating and vital part of human anatomy. It plays a major role in temperature regulation and contributes significantly to our sense of touch. But even though it represents one of our most obviously identifiable physical features and literally covers the vast majority of our body surface, most don’t really know everything that our hair can do. At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we devote all of our time and energy to the study of hair so that we can better understand and treat the conditions leading to hair loss. Here are some intriguing facts from the world of hair research.
- Hair is composed mostly of keratin, the same protein that makes up animals’ horns, hooves, claws, feathers, and beaks.
- Aside from bone marrow, hair is the fastest growing tissue in the body; a single head produces an average total of ten miles of hair each year.
- Hair growth occurs at a slightly faster rate in warm weather, because heat stimulates the circulation that encourages hair to grow.
- Hair can grow anywhere on the human body with the exception of the palms of hands, soles of feet, eyelids, lips, and mucous membranes.
- Each strand of hair can support up to 100 grams in weight, which means that an average human head, with between 100,000 and 150,000 strands, could support the weight of two elephants.
- Healthy hair can be stretched up to an additional 30% of its length when it is wet. Hair lacking protein will fail to spring back to its original state.
- The human body has approximately 5 million hair follicles; on average, blondes have the highest number of hair strands with 146,000 and redheads the lowest with 86,000.
- In 1950, only about 7% of American women dyed their hair. Today, approximately 75% do so. In ancient Rome, women dyed their hair blonde with pigeon dung, and in renaissance Venice women used horse urine for the same purpose.
- Goosebumps from cold or fear are the result of hair follicles contracting, causing the surrounding skin to bunch up and the hair to stand on end.
- Approximately eighty percent of Americans wash their hair twice a day, a potentially damaging hair care practice which could contribute to over-drying and hair breakage.
If you have questions about your own hair loss, or are interested in any of the hair restoration treatments we offer at The Griffin Center, please contact Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis to schedule a consultation. Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.