Locks, Tresses & Bristles

Today we’re going to talk about things you may not have known about your hair. Most of us have some hair, whether it’s bristles (a beard) or locks & tresses (hair on top of your head). Occasionally you’ll come across a fella whose whole head is completely clean-shaven, but how often does that happen? 

But even though most of us have some kind of hair on our heads, you might be surprised how little you actually know about those strands. For example, do you know how porous your hair is? Most men are divided into two categories: guys with low porosity hair and guys with high porosity hair. Well, nearly all men are actually in a third category: guys who don’t know what type of porosity their hair is or what that means. 

The thing to know about porosity is that it helps determine what kind of conditioner you should buy. To determine how porous you are, you can do a few at-home tests, like the spray-bottle test. Use a spray bottle to mist a portion of your hair and watch what happens. If the water beads up, your hair is low-porosity. If the water disappears into your hair, it’s high porosity. Once you know how porous your hair is, you can do a little internet research to see what type of hair care regimen is best for you.

Here’s another fact you may not know about your hair: If you have naturally red hair, you’re part of a group that makes up only one percent of the entire world. Most people have brown or black hair, while blondes only make up about three percent of the world’s population. So now you’re probably wondering what it is that decides what kind of hair you have. There’s a pigment in everybody’s hair called melanin, and that’s what determines your hair color. The type of melanin that gives people brown or black hair is called eumelanin; the other type of pigment is called pheomelanin. Eventually, the color-producing cells stop producing pigment, which makes your hair gray, silver, or white. This typically happens due to age.

Your natural hair color is also related to the average number of strands you have in your hands. Apparently, blondes have the most (strands, not fun), and redheads the fewest. Did you know that men’s and women’s hair, if you looked at them under a microscope, are identical in structure? Other things about hair are different between men and women, the most common being hair loss. Baldness occurs much more frequently in men than women, due to pattern baldness existing in the X chromosome. Also, the hair that we see when we look in the mirror is dead; hair is only alive when it’s still inside your skin. And what is hair made up of? It’s the same material that duck beaks, horse hooves, bull horns, tiger’s claws, and eagle’s feathers are made up of: a protein called keratin, which is a combination of sulfur, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon.

Is there a time of the year when your hair grows faster than other times or your shampoo bottle and conditioner bar shrink a little bit quicker? Hint: not during winter in the northern hemisphere. Apparently, hair grows a little faster during the summer, as long as you go outside every once in a while and don’t just sit in the air conditioning. Hair can grow everywhere on your body except for mucous membranes, lips, eyelids, the palms of your hands, and the souls of your feet.

Why does hair exist in the first place? It’s not just so you’ll look fabulous. Even though you may have heard the insult “fat head,” the truth is, you don’t have fat on the top of your head. The hair is there to insulate your scalp. Your hair is strong, too, and each hair typically has a lifespan of five years.

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