By Chere Di Boscio
There’s a lot you probably know about your hair. For example, that hair grows about half an inch a month; that the outer layer is called the cuticle, and that it’s normal to shed 40-150 hairs a day. But there’s lots of stuff you may have not known, like the fact that all your hair follicles will have developed by the time you’re a 5 month-old fetus, or that natural blondes make up around 2% of the world’s population.
If you’re interested in hair, we’ve got 20 surprising facts about hair, from the spiritual to the scientific, that are sure to blow your mind!
1. Every follicle on your scalp has an oil gland attached. And as those with fine hair have more hairs on their scalp than people with coarse hair, finer hair types frequently find their scalps get greasy quite quickly. The cure? Shampoo with a product formulated for your hair texture’s unique needs.
2. Just like your face, your scalp benefits from daily use of a toner. It helps to stimulate the scalp and ward off flaking and oiliness throughout the day so you hair doesn’t look greasy quickly, apply a scalp toner to towel dried hair.
3. There is no such thing as ‘over conditioning’ your hair. Limp or dull hair results from using the wrong conditioner, or more often too much of it, as well as not rinsing properly. Learn more about hair conditioners here.
4. Shiny hair can be a sign of healthy hair. But the shine is only a reflection of light from the hair strands. Shiny hair has a smooth cuticle, the outer layer. All conditioners help to smooth and flatten the hair’s cuticle.
5. Dandruff is not dry scalp. Dandruff is usually oily, so don’t rub in oil to remove it, you’ll only get oilier flakes. Do not confuse common dandruff with other forms of scalp flaking. If anti-dandruff shampoos do not help, visit your doctor as you may have psoriasis or eczema.
6. Having a fringe or layered hair cut adds volume to your locks, but growing layers out can be tricky. Trim your hair every 8-12 weeks to keep the bottom edge of the hairstyle stable and to absorb the upper layers as they grow out. Depending on the difference in length between the uppermost and bottommost layers, this can take awhile.
7. Humans are one of the only animals whose hair grows longer as they get older. Baby animals are normally fluffier and hairier as babies.
8. Yogis believe that the hair is an antenna that gathers and channels the sun’s energy or prana to the frontal lobes, the part of the brain you use for meditation and visualisation. These antennas act as conduits to bring you greater quantities of subtle, cosmic energy. It takes approximately three years from the last time your hair was cut for new antennas to form at the tips of the hair.
9. Unlike their brunette and blonde counterparts, redheaded men and women tend to go blonder as they age, eventually turning pure white.
10. You can tell a lot about your health from a hair sample: traces of minerals, drugs, alcohol and heavy metals reside there, and analysing a lock of your hair can give doctors information that could help preserve your health.
11. Although they only comprise 1% of the British population, redheads account for 5% of CEOs.
12. Aging causes permanent hair thinning or hair loss in both men and women as the body gradually becomes unable to replace shed hairs.
13. Healthy hair can stretch up to a 3rd of its length and swell up to 20% of its diameter, making it even stronger than a copper wire of the same diameter! Dry, damaged hair however snaps much easier than this. To optimise your hair’s elasticity, use a weekly hair mask.
14. Research shows that lack of B Vitamins, especially Vitamin B12, can speed up the hair greying process. Help sustain your intake of Vitamin B by eating B12 rich foods, such as cod, milk, eggs yolks and salmon – or if you’re vegan, take a great supplement.
15. Human hair is used by groups of eco-friendly volunteers to clean up oil spills.
16. The most common colour of hair is black; the rarest is red.
17. The first hair products specially formulated for African-American hair were created by Madam CJ Walker. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she was also the first African-American woman to become a millionaire!
18. Each hair strand has its own muscle, nerve, and blood supply, but the only part of a hair that’s not dead cells is in the scalp.
19. The idea that hair continues to grow after death is a myth.
20. Hair and ethnicity can be determined by a hair’s cross-section. For example, Asian hair is round, European is oval, and Black hair is flat.
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