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What is the Purpose of Hair? : Hairdressing Articles
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What is the Purpose of Hair?

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What is the Purpose of Hair?

Postby Paolo » 07 Oct 2010 08:31 am

What is the purpose of our hair……good question!

The first answers you are going to hear will be about aesthetics and about hair looking good, but evolution is more fundamental than that and going back to our roots (pun intended), the hair on our head had two purposes in our Neanderthal ancestors.

The first was to protect the top of our head from the suns harmful rays. Effectively it creates a sunshield and prevents (painful) sunburn on the top of our delicate cranium.

Secondly, it provides insulation. The majority of body heat escapes through our head which is an important part of our temperature regulatory system. However our hair provides insulation when the body temperature begins to drop and we don’t want to lose any more heat.

Scientists have said that humans have become unique in terms of the relatively large size of their heads which have become necessary to accommodate their exceptionally large brains. Not only are our heads large but also the bone on our skulls is relatively thin compared with other mammals, making us naturally very susceptible to head injuries. The large human head has also made childbirth more difficult than with other species.

The brain also generates a great deal of heat which also has to be dispersed (this also helps explain the thin bones on our skulls). An (admittedly off the wall) theory is that, perhaps hair loss evolved as a means of more efficient dissipation of heat through the top of the head? This would also explain why hair is only usually lost on the top of the head because heat rises and hair around the edges of the head is normally retained.

Could it be that balding men have larger brains*?

Has anyone spotted a flaw in this argument yet? If this was completely true and proven, then why don’t women lose their hair as well?

This could be because (and this is just a hypothesis again), men’s brains are 10-12% large than women’s brains, and it could be that the extra 10-12% of heat generated makes it necessary for some men to lose their hair to help dissipate the heat and the smaller brains of women do not generate sufficient heat to make hair loss necessary?

As an aside, both eyebrows and eyelashes serve a practical purpose. Eyebrows capture the beads of sweat from our foreheads to prevent them dripping into our eyes. Eyelashes catch dirt particles to help prevent them from getting into your eye.

*Unfortunately though, it is a scientific fact that a large brain does not necessarily mean a large intellect, otherwise whales and elephants would be the cleverest animals on earth!
Paolo works with Pro Hair Biosystems Limited
The UK distributor for ProFusion shampoo and conditioner, formulated to prevent hair loss in adults.
http://www.prohairbiosystems.com
Paolo
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Re: What is the Purpose of Hair?

Postby chris the limey » 07 Oct 2010 03:05 pm

LOL.

The article was interesting and informative, but I'm so glad you followed it up with that end part.

I imagined this thread disintegrating into a stand-off between the women and the men over who has the biggest brain. LOL
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I try to get online to answer forum posts at least once per day. If I miss your post, let me know. :)
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Re: What is the Purpose of Hair?

Postby Dawningmoment » 13 Nov 2010 07:29 pm

Hey there. Just wanted to point out one thing I read regarding the body releasing heat. It was quite a long time ago so I can't cite it or claim its accuracy. But what I read anyway was that the body doesn't actually release more heat from the head than anywhere else. We have that perception because most of the time we walk around with our heads uncovered. What happens is the body disperses heat more readily through whatever parts are not covered; so if you were wearing a hat and mask and walked around without a shirt on then you are going to lose more heat from your torso as well as look silly ;).
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Re: What is the Purpose of Hair?

Postby Cathy Duncan » 13 Dec 2010 11:23 am

Dawningmoment wrote:Hey there. Just wanted to point out one thing I read regarding the body releasing heat. It was quite a long time ago so I can't cite it or claim its accuracy. But what I read anyway was that the body doesn't actually release more heat from the head than anywhere else. We have that perception because most of the time we walk around with our heads uncovered. What happens is the body disperses heat more readily through whatever parts are not covered; so if you were wearing a hat and mask and walked around without a shirt on then you are going to lose more heat from your torso as well as look silly ;).


Well, I do agree with your post and regarding the article, its pretty interesting as I m of the view that hair gives your face a look good or bad.
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