5 Unknown Facts about the Human Hair

Sruthi | 02 - 07 - 2020
more

The growth of human hair can be found in almost all the external parts of a human body such as hands, legs, face, and scalp except some areas like the palm, soles of the feet, and some genital areas. For a fact, a protein called keratin is responsible for hair growth in our body and we all know how important hair is considered to determine someone’s beauty.

In this article, you will get more hair information/hair info through these interesting facts about human hair.

There are two major types of hair: Vellus hair and terminal hair.

1. Humans Cannot Grow Hair on the Soles of the Feet.
  • A. True
  • B. False

1. Vellus hair is usually short, thin, and is not very noticeable due to its light color. Vellus hair can mostly be seen in children. The density of the hair differs from person to person but on average, each strand of vellus hair is around 1/13 inches long. During the gestation period, the lanugo hair is replaced with vellus hair after 36 to 40 weeks in a fetus. The vellus hair plays a major role in providing thermal insulation as well as cooling for the body. You can see vellus hair grow in abundance in people with Cushing’s syndrome, in which there will be an increase in the production of the cortisol hormone.

  • Androgenic hair is also known as the terminal hair/body hair usually develops in a human body after one hits puberty. The male hormone called androgen is responsible for the growth of androgenic hair. After puberty, the androgen hormone mostly turns all the vellus hair into terminal hair/androgenic hair in all the parts of your body. But the androgenic hair tends to grow thicker and darker in the face, armpits, and pubic areas. But women tend to have thinner and lighter androgenic hair.
  • Lanugo hair is very thin and soft and is usually found in the fetus or new-born babies. It is considered the first hair to be produced by the follicles. They can grow on the fetus for about 16 weeks during the gestation period and shed gradually before it’s born. But it can also be seen on the new-borns. Once the lanugo hair is shed it is then replaced by the vellus hair. The shed lanugo hair may sometimes be consumed by the fetus but it is completely normal and will come out of the body through the stool of the fetus called meconium. The purpose of the hair is to protect the delicate skin of the fetus. The lanugo hair can also be found in other animals such as elephants and seals.

2. Lanugo hair is very thin and soft and is usually found in the fetus or new-born babies. It is considered the first hair to be produced by the follicles. They can grow on the fetus for about 16 weeks during the gestation period and shed gradually before it’s born. But it can also be seen on the new-borns. Once the lanugo hair is shed it is then replaced by the vellus hair. The shed lanugo hair may sometimes be consumed by the fetus but it is completely normal and will come out of the body through the stool of the fetus called meconium. The purpose of the hair is to protect the delicate skin of the fetus. The lanugo hair can also be found in other animals such as elephants and seals.

3. There are many factors that determine the lifespan of hair but on average the life span of the human hair is 2 to 7 years and there are totally three different phases that each strand of your hair must go through and once the cycle is over it is again restarted. The three phases are the anagen phase, the Catagen phase, and the telogen phase. The anagen phase is called the growth phase in which the human hair on the average grows about 1cm per month but this might differ from person to person according to their sex and environmental factors. This stage can last up to 3 to 5 years, so if you want your hair to grow longer, they must stay in this phase for a longer time. Interestingly, about 85 to 90% of your hair is in the anagen phase at any time. Secondly, the Catagen phase is the transitional phase that allows your hair to renew and it lasts for about two weeks. Thirdly, the telogen phase which is basically the resting phase in which your hair follicles remain inactive for about 4 months.

4. Gray hair is one of the common characteristics of aging. Though the exact age when graying of hair begins is not accurate as it depends on various factors such as lifestyle habits and the condition of your hair, dermatologists discovered a rule called 50-50-50, which means at the age 50, 50% of people have about 50% of grey hair. The graying of hair is due to the build-up of hydrogen peroxide that naturally occurs as while we age the hair follicles tend to wear and tear more. This hydrogen peroxide blocks the production of melanin, the hormone responsible for the dark color of your hair. In general, compared to women, men tend to get gray hair faster. But, some daily habits such as smoking can speed up the process of graying.

5. On average, the longest your hair can grow is 12 to 42 inches, but Xie Quiuping who holds the Guinness world record of longest hair in the world on females has a length of 5.62m of hair as verified on May 2004. She claims that she has been growing her hair since 1973 when she was 13 years old. Surprisingly, her hair is almost long as an adult male giraffe if 5m is added.

Related Quiz Test Your Knowledge
more
Read Next