Human hair is very diverse, coming in myriad colors and textures. But did you know that hair also has a variety of functional purposes as well? For example, hair can:
- protect us from things in our environment, including UV radiation, dust, and debris
- help regulate our temperature, since our lower density of hair compared to other animals promotes evaporation of sweat, which can help us keep cool
- aid in the detection of sensations due to the fact that our hair follicles are surrounded with nerve endings
- play an important psychological role in how we perceive or identify ourselves
Have you ever wondered how many hairs there are on your head? The answer is between 80,000 and 120,000! Continue reading below to discover more fun facts about human hair.
The number of hairs that someone has on their head can vary by individual. However, the average person has about 100,000 hairs on their head at one time.
The number of hairs you have on your head can vary by hair color as well. Some estimates include:
|Hair Color||Number of Hairs|
Now that we know how many hairs are on your head, how many hairs do you have per square inch? This is referred to as hair density.
One older study calculated hair density in 50 participants. They found that on average there were between 800 to 1,290 hairs per square inch (124 to 200 hairs per square centimeter).
A hair follicle is a small pouch in your skin out of which your hairs grow. There are approximately 100,000 hair follicles on your head. As you can see, this matches up closely with the average number of hairs on your head.
Hair follicles cycle through different stages, including:
- Growth. Hair growth occurs within the hair follicle. Between 85 to 90 percentTrusted Source of hairs are in the growth stage during a given period.
- Transition. The hair has stopped growing in this phase, but is still in the hair follicle.
- Resting. During this time, hairs are shed from the follicle.
Sometimes this cycle can be disrupted. For example, less hair may be growing compared to the amount of hair that’s shed. This can lead to hair thinning or hair loss.
Looking for some more interesting information about hair? Below are some additional fascinating facts.
- On average, your hair grows about 6 inches in a year. That’s about 1/2 inch per month.
- Male hair grows faster than female hair.
- You lose anywhere between 50 to 100 hairs each day. Depending on your hair care routine, you may shed even more.
- Hair color is determined by genetics. Black or brown hair is most common. About 90 percent of people in the world have these hair colors.
- As you age, your hair is more likely to turn to gray or even white. In fact, after you turn 30 the likelihood of going gray increases about 10 to 20 percent with each decade.
- Hair is actually stronger than you think. For example, one hair alone can withstand a strain of 3.5 ounces — almost 1/4 pound.
- Water can affect some properties of your hair. For example, your hair can weigh 12 to 18 percent more when it’s wet. Wet hair can also stretch 30 percent longer without damage.
- Our entire body has a total of about 5 million hair follicles. You’re born with all of your hair follicles and don’t develop more as you age.
- There are very few parts of your body that don’t have any hair. These include the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, and the red part of your lips.
The bottom line
The hair on our bodies serves many functions. It helps to protect us from the elements, to regulate our body temperature, and to perceive sensations.
The amount of hair on a person’s head can vary by individual. The average human head has about 100,000 hairs with a similar number of hair follicles.