If you think you know everything there is to know about your hair, think again. You may know how to style it but there’s a lot of weird stuff going on up there that we rarely give a second thought. Hair is one of the most individually unique, expressive parts of our bodies–but whether your hair is short, long, straight, wavy, or coily, these 25 fun hair facts apply to just about everybody.
1. Healthy hair can stretch up to a 3rd of its length and swell up to 20% of its diameter, making it even stronger than a copper wire of the same diameter!
2. It is the water, not oil, content of your hair that keeps it hydrated, as the molecules of the oils produced by your scalp are too large to penetrate the hair shaft itself, and simply sit on top of it.
3. Hair grows slightly faster in warm weather, because heat stimulates circulation and encourages hair growth.
4. All hair is dead, with the exception of the hair that’s still inside the epidermis of your scalp.
5. Hair contains information about everything that has ever been in your bloodstream, including drugs, and is one of the most commonly used types of forensic evidence.
6. The only thing about you that can’t be identified by your hair is your gender—men’s hair and women’s hair are identical in structure.
7. Black is the most common hair color. Red is the rarest and only exists in about 1 percent of the world’s population, with blonde hair found in 2 percent.
8. As soon as a hair is plucked from its follicle, a new one begins to grow.
9. Hair is 50 percent carbon, 21 percent oxygen, 17 percent nitrogen, 6 percent hydrogen, and 5 percent sulphur.
10. Hair can grow anywhere on the human body with the exception of the palms of hands, soles of feet, eyelids, lips, and mucous membranes.
11. Goosebumps from cold or fear are the result of hair follicles contracting, causing the hair and surrounding skin to bunch up.
12. The average number of hair strands varies by natural color, with blondes having the most and redheads having the fewest.
13. The scientific term for split ends is “trichoptilosis.”
14. Aside from bone marrow, hair is the fastest growing tissue in the body.
15. Balding only begins to become visible once you’ve lost over 50 percent of the hairs from your scalp.
16. At any given time, 90 percent of the hairs in your scalp are growing, while the other 10 percent are resting.
17. A single hair has a lifespan of about five years.
18. Hair acts as a layer of thermally insulating protection for our heads, which lack the insulation that fat provides for the rest of our bodies.
19. It is natural for you to shed up to 100 hairs a day, provided they grow back. Your whole head of hair is in fact replaced every four years or so! However, as your hair grows in unsynchronized cycles you don't notice this.
20. Each strand of hair can support up to 100 grams in weight. Multiply that by the average 100,000 to 150,000 strands on each head, and your entire head of hair could support the weight equivalent to two elephants.
21. The average number of hairs on the human scalp is 120,000, but natural blondes tend to have more, redheads less. This is because blonde hair is usually finer than densely pigmented hair, meaning there is room on the scalp for more of them!
22. Research shows that lack of B Vitamins, especially Vitamin B12, can speed up the hair greying process. Help sustain your intake of Vitamin B by eating B12 rich foods, such as cod, milk, eggs yolks and salmon.
23. Dandruff is not from a dry scalp. It in fact usually accompanies an oily scalp, so don’t rub in oil to improve it – you’ll only get oilier flakes. Dandruff is actually commonly caused by an overgrowth of a certain type of yeast called ‘malassezia furfur’, and the best products that combat it are those that target the growth of the yeast itself, such as Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo.
24. The Bob, or ‘Castle Bob’ was in fact made popular by the famous ballroom dancer, Irene Castle, who cut her hair short in 1915 for convenience sake. And the bobby pin was invented specifically to hold these new shorter styles in place!
25. Fan of the ‘beehive’ look? During the 1950s, the beehive or ‘B-52’ was nicknamed after the B-52 Stratofortress Bomber because of its resemblance to the plane’s bulbous nose.