All About Hair
Hair, a part of our body, has a lot of amazing facts to tell. Want to hear its tale? Read on.
What is hair made of?
Hair is made of keratin a kind of protein that also makes up our nails.
- Our body is covered all over in hair (all 5 million of them!) except the palms of our hands, the soles of our feet, the mucous membranes (which cover the insides of our body organs), and lips. Good thing only the hair on top of our head can grow long. Imagine if every hair on our body were as long as our head hair!
- Hair's most important function is for show, of course. We color it, perm it, trim, style it, adorn it with pins and ribbons-whatever it takes to make us look good. But hair in general is more than just an accessory. Take eyebrows and eyelashes for instance. They help filter dust so that our eyes can see better. Nose hair, besides to filter dust from the air we breathe, is also needed to warm the air before entering our body.
- Hair is physically dead; what we see as a strand of hair is actually a chain of dead keratin cells. Keratin is produced inside the hair follicles-mini sacs under the outer layer of our skin (epidermis). When new keratin cells are produced, the old ones are pushed out and through the skin, causing the hair to “grow” longer.
- Hair (or rather, the follicles) is the second fastest growing organ in human body after the bone marrow. The hair on our head can grow at a rate of 1.25 cm per month.
- Ever wonder why your hair can't get longer after reaching a certain length although you never cut it? It's because a single strand of hair usually grows up to a maximum of 70 to 90 cm stays on our head for two to seven years before it falls out.
- The natural color and type of our hair depend on our genes. The percentage of natural coloring (pigments) determines whether we have blond, red, brown, or black hair.
- The coloring also determines hew much hair we have on our head. Blond has the most hair: 120.000. Brown and black have about 100.000, while red has 80,000.
- As a person gets old, the pigments in his/her hair follicles die, resulting in white or grey hair.
- Why do some people have kinky hair, some others wavy, still others straight? Apparently this depends on the shape of the follicles, which is also ethnic-gene-related. People with round follicles have straight hair, while those with oval follicles have wavy hair. Africans, with almost flat follicles, have kinky hair.
- Sometimes the shape of follicles changes because of growth or illnesses. That's why sometimes people who had straight hair as a child have kinky hair as adults.