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28 February 2006

Your hair

Whether you've got an afro, long curly locks, or spikes that could take out an eye, the hair on your head holds many interesting facts.

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You hair is a remarkable tissue, which grows at the fastest rate in your body second only to bone-marrow. It is also made from the same stuff as your fingernails, and a single strand can live up to 7 years.

Hair grows on pretty much every part of your body, excluding the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet and fortunately, your lips.

The characteristics of your hair are determined at birth, but can change depending on the environment you grow up in, or on your childhood diet.

Whether your hair curls like a slinky or is as straight as the equator, it’s going to stay that way for life. No amount of chemicals or combing is going to change that, so the quicker you get to terms with it, the better.

A single strand of hair from your body can also reveal your entire genetic makeup. Fortunately for some, hair cannot reveal your gender.

Your style
An elaborate hairstyle can set you out in a crowd, but hair doesn’t just define our individual style. It is also a superb insulator of heat - and depending on the thickness of your locks – can act as excellent protection for your noggin.

Hundreds of products now exist aimed at helping you mould and shape your own individual hairstyle. While this is all good and well when getting ready for a night out on the town, constant daily use of hair products may harm your hair, as many products contain dodgy chemicals that could cause long term damage.

Whether your cousin resembles a gorilla or your nickname was ‘Archie’ at school, your hair will eventually thin out and go grey. This is because as you get older the pigment in your hair follicles begins to die, and the amount of melanin in your hair decreases, thus fading in colour. But you needn’t worry – if George Clooney can pull it off, so can you.

Did you know?

  • Male hair grows faster than female hair.
  • Your scalp will shed more than 100 hairs per day, but will produce about 35 meters of fibre per day.
  • Cutting your hair will have no affect on its growth patterns.
  • A single strand of hair is strong enough to support up to 100 grams of direct weight.
  • (Warren Vonk, Health24, February 2006)

     
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