Hair is a product of the epidermis, which once had protective and thermoregulatory functions. Nowadays, hair is a big topic. We take care of some of them and stubbornly want to get rid of others.
For a long time, human hair has mainly played an ornamental role. Fancy hairstyles, colors and healthy, shiny strands are absolutely necessary on the head. Hair on the rest of the body is rather unwanted and fought against with determination – mainly by the fair sex. What are the interesting facts about this inconspicuous epidermal product? Are there any facts about hair that may surprise you?
Hair Colour Does Matter!
Natural hair colours vary between blonde and brown. Light-haired people have fine hair, but they grow considerably more hair. Brunettes have less hair in quantity, but it is structurally thicker.
The most unique hair color is red. Redheads have only 4 per cent of the entire population. We are, of course, talking about naturally copper-haired people.
The Hair Follicle
The follicle is the place in the skin from which hair grows. It is a kind of tube, which is well innervated and has a blood supply at its base. Each of us has a genetically determined number of follicles and there is no method to increase their number. There are about 5 million hair follicles on the entire human body. From each of them we will grow 20-30 hairs during our lifetime. The number of follicles determines the density of our hair.
How fast does hair grow?
The speed at which hair grows depends on gender, health and origin. Research shows that hair grows fastest in people from Asia and slowest in people of African origin. Poles, like all Europeans, are in the middle. Interestingly, hair grows somewhat faster in summer. This is due to the UV radiation, which stimulates the hair roots to grow.
Hair grows faster in men than in women. However, growing hair is a slow process. It is estimated that hair in a healthy person grows at a rate of 0.35 mm per day. In one month, the length will increase by about 1 cm, so over the entire year the hair is likely to grow by about 12-15 cm.
A healthy person has about 100 thousand hairs on his head. During one day we can lose about 100 hairs. This is a completely normal phenomenon and is connected with the life cycle of a hair. The disorders connected with hair loss include e.g. trichotillomania. This rare disease (affecting only 1% of the population) consists in compulsive hair pulling.
Postpartum hair loss is also shrouded in myth. Hormones are responsible for the confusion. During pregnancy the concentration of estrogen in the body is high enough to block the catagen phase – hair loss. After childbirth, estrogen levels return to normal and hair starts falling out again. The woman then loses the ones that blocked and did not fall out earlier, as well as the current ones.
Hair has great power
Hair is the litmus test of our health. The body sends vitamins and nutrients first to the internal organs and then to the skin, hair and nails. The better condition our hair is in, the better condition our body is in.
The power of hair is reflected in numbers. A healthy strand is able to withstand a load of 160 to 250 gr. What’s more, healthy hair is very stretchy – without the risk of damage, you can lengthen it by up to 10%.
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