Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Totally True Tuesday - What Am I?

I’m commonly found on the heads of most humans. I can be long, short, curly, straight and come in a variety of colours. And regardless of the style I always dead.

What am I?

Your hair!

Hairy Cells

To know more about hair we have to start at the beginning. As most living things, a hair starts out as a cell. The cells live inside small tube-like pits buried in your skin called, follicles (fol-il-cles). These are surrounded by nerves and are constantly being fed nourishing blood. As the cell matures, it divides and is slowly pushed up by younger cells beneath it. While all this pushing and shoving is taking place, a tough protein called keratin (ker-a-tin) joins in. This hardens the cells and when they finally emerge from the skin, it’s a hair. By this point, however, the hair shafts are so far away from the blood supply deep inside the follicle, it’s already dead. As gross as that may sound it’s actually a good thing. It means pain free hair cuts.

Shape Up, Follicles!

When your follicles become tired, and they do, your hair falls out. In fact, we lose between 40 and a 100 hairs a day. But don’t worry, you still have about 5 million hairs all over your entire body.
Did you know follicles are also in charge of what kind of hair you have? If your hair is curly, your follicles will be rectangular. Wavy hair sprouts from oval ones and round follicles give you straight hair.

Chimpanzees also have hair follicles and it’s the same amount as us humans.

Baby Beards

I know what your thinking…babies don’t have beards! But actually before they’re born they do. A soft, colorless hair called, lanugo (luh-noo-goh) grows on most of it’s body, starting on the face. Then about a month before the baby’s born, it all falls out.

More Hairy Facts

~ Everyone has tiny hairs in their nose. The itty-bitty hairs way back in your nose keep it from running all the time. They do this by sweeping the mucus back into your throat. The small hairs near the front of your nostrils keep things like dust and bugs from getting in.
~ On average your hair grows about 6 inches a year and grows faster in the summer.
~ The longest hair recorded belongs to a women in China. Her hair measures 5.627 meters long. That’s 18 feet, 5.54 inches. You could actually use her hair as a jump rope.


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