From Rapunzel to Jennifer Aniston: “Hair’s” the Real Story
Many of us have heard the saying: “True I am not my hair, but my hair helps me be me.” It is an interesting concept given that human hair is composed of dead skin cells and keratin. Its importance is even seen in Biblical works. Samson’s hair served as a symbol of his pact with God that bestowed upon him supernatural strength to combat his enemies and perform heroic acts. However, it was also his vulnerability. When Delilah schemed to have it cut off, Samson lost his strength and was captured by his enemies.
Although our strength does not emanate from our hair, or vice versa, there are a number of unknown facts about our crowning glory. So let’s untangle them.
Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know About Hair:
1. Wanted dead and alive. The hair root that exists under the skin is alive whereas the strands that we see, brush, cut, and color are not.
2. Snail’s pace or faster than a speeding bullet? On average, our hair grows 0.3-0.5 millimeters a day. It is the fastest growing tissue in our body, next to bone marrow. And at any given time, 90% of our hair is in an active growth phase. The other 10%…let’s just say they are just hibernating.
3. Contrary to popular belief, trimming your hair does not make it grow faster. However, if a hair is plucked from the root, another one will start growing.
4. Warm it up. Our scalp lacks the fatty tissue that serves to keep us warm. Consequently, hair provides insulation.
5. Use your time wisely; don’t waste it by counting the number of hair strands on your head. On average there are 100,000-150,000 strands.
6. Spiders can support 170 times their body weight. A single strand of hair can support up to 100 grams of weight. With up to 150,000 strands, your head of hair can carry a car! But please do not try this at home.
7. Use your money to warm your home. You can save on hair cutting expenses during the winter months. Hair grows at a slower pace in cold weather.
8. It’s revealing. The hair shaft can be used in an investigation to determine if someone is using illicit drugs. Additionally, our hair can provide information about what we eat, our lifestyle, general health, and ethnicity.
9. Redheads are rare. Only 4% of the world’s population is natural redheads.
10. Similar to rubber. When hair is wet, it can stretch by 30% without becoming damaged.
11. On average, we lose 50-100 strands of hair a day.
Fortunately, my strength is not derived from my hair. If it were, my monthly hair trimmings would be quite the issue (along with the fact that some of the worst decisions in my life have been my haircuts). However, for many of us, an emotional bond to our crowning glory exists, bringing about sleepless nights and a “thinning” wallet. Billions of dollars are spent cutting, coloring, styling, maintaining, and even buying hair. From what we have learned, our hair is a reflection of our genetics, diet, and even disease. Along that line of reasoning, it is who we are. Still not buying it? Just take a look at both Rapunzel and Jennifer Aniston. On second thought, I will concede that hair does have one superpower: it can make you lose your appetite if you find even a single strand of someone else’s in your food.
Notice: This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither Dr. Nina Radcliff or Kimberly Cecchini take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.
Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness.