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25 Fun Facts About Hair

by Shilpi Tomar June 16, 2015

Facts about hair

Image by Madison Reed

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 fun hair facts apply to just about everybody.

25 Hair Facts

  1. Black is the most common hair color in the world. Red, which only exists in about 1 percent of the world’s population, is the rarest. Blonde hair comes in a close second, with only 2 percent of the population.
  2. Hair can grow just about anywhere on the body, except for the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, and on your lips and mucous membranes.
  3. Hair is more elastic than you think! It can expand by up to 30% of its original length when wet.
  4. Do you ever see a lot of hair in the drain after showering? That’s normal–we shed between 40 and 150 strands of hair a day.
  5. When did it become popular to color hair? In 1950, only about 7% of women colored their hair, but in 2015, it’s up to about 75%.
  6. Beauty can take time. The average time a woman spends to wash, dry and style her hair is 1 hour and 53 minutes a week. By the time she is 65, she will have spent 7 months of her life doing her hair.
  7. Cutting your hair does not affect its growth, but it does help to avoid split ends, which can work their way up the hair shaft and make the individual shafts thinner, giving your hair the appearance of not growing.
  8. Next to bone marrow, hair is the fastest growing tissue in the human body.
  9. Hair is mostly made up of keratin, which can also be found on the outer layer of our skin and nails.
  10. On average, hair grows .3 – .5 mm per day, 1.25 centimetres or 0.5 inches per month, and 15 centimetres or 6 inches per year.
  11. The outermost layer of hair is called the cuticle. It consists of overlapping scale-like segments, and it protects the inside layers of hair. The segments of the cuticle lay flat if the hair is healthy, and are usually open on dry or damaged hair.
  12. Trying to grow out your hair? It takes about 7 years to grow it to your waist, and 3 years to grow it to your shoulders!
  13. Hair can be useful in interesting ways. It can be used as a natural sponge, and it was used during the 2007 Cusco Busan oil spill in the San Francisco Bay to absorb oil from the water.
  14. In the Victorian Era, hair was used as jewelry! People had brooches, pendants and watch fobs made from the hair of lost loved ones as a stylish way of paying homage.
  15. A strand of hair is actually stronger than a copper wire with the same diameter.
  16. Hair is like a chemistry project–here is its composition: 50 percent carbon, 21 percent oxygen, 17 percent nitrogen, 6 percent hydrogen, and 5 percent sulphur.
  17. How much hair do we have on our scalps? More than you’d think. The average person has 100,000 - 150,000 strands of hair on her head (so don’t worry too much about the 40 - 150 you lost today).
  18. You can tell a lot about a person from her hair. It’s often used by forensic scientists to learn everything in a person’s bloodstream: medicine, drugs, alcohol, vitamins and minerals.
  19. Men might be from Mars, and women from Venus, but there is absolutely no difference between male and female hair in terms of growth cycle and structure.
  20. Now for some cultural statistics: 90% of Japanese people wash their hair twice a day, 80% of North Americans wash their hair twice a day, and only 25% of the European population washes their hair daily. Do you think we should wash our hair every day?
  21. Our hair is constantly growing, and has a lifespan of around 5 years. 90% of our hair is growing at any given time, while the other 10% is taking a break.
  22. The scientific name of grey hair is canities and a split end is known as trichoptilosis.
  23. In Ancient Rome, women used to dye their hair blonde with pigeon dung. Thank goodness for modern-day hair dyes!
  24. All of the hair follicles in the human body are formed by the time we are just five months old in the womb.
  25. When a hair falls out, it will usually re-grow. It can do this up to 20 times in a lifetime.

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