Fifteen Facts About Human Hair

Ever wonder what a monk's hairstyle is called? How about the name for the fear of hair? This article contains plenty of fun facts about human hair – some of which might surprise you!

1. Ever notice how pre-20th Century military leaders like Andrew Jackson and Ulysses S. Grant had long, flowing locks and full beards? That's because the trend favorite short hair on uniformed men did not begin until the World War I, when trench warfare created a breeding ground for lice. Since then, military men have cropped their hair close to their scalps.

2. The myth that human hair and fingernails continue to grow after we die is just that – a myth. Decomposition only makes it appear that way.

3. Human hair likes company: Your head has anywhere from 90,000 to 150,000 hairs on it.

4. Human hair can not stand too much dandruff shampoo. Because of this, you should use such products only when you need them. Otherwise you risk damaging your hair and scalp, and even creating more dandruff.

5. If your hair feels oily, it's because of an excess of sebum , a fatty oil that's produced at the base of each human hair follicle.

6. Liberty spikes – the long, stiff, often multicolored spikes of hair popular within the punk subculture – can not be achieved with conventional hair products. Many enthusiasts use egg whites or even Elmer's glue to get the desired stiffness.

7. Just today, your scalp will shed about a hundred hairs.

8. For every human, hair is the fastest growing tissue on the body.

9. On the television show Arrested Development , Ed Begley Jr. depicted a character suffering from alopecia universalis – a complete lack of any human hair. Another such character is Judge Holden in the Cormac McCarthy novel Blood Meridian .

10. The world's longest documented human hair can be found atop the head of Xie Quiping of Guangxi Province in China. Her hair is just under eighteen and a half feet long.

11. Human hair is not the only kind of hair subject to baldness. Primates such as the chimpanzee and the stump-tailed macaque sometimes develop pattern baldness after adolescence.

12. If you have chaetophobia , you may want to take a trip to the barber. Chaetophobia is the fear of hair.

13. In the Sherlock Holmes story The Red-Headed League , Arthur Conan Doyle describes a bank robber's plot to distract a red-headed pawnshop clerk by offering him a high-paying job based solely on the color of his hair. The purpose? To keep him out of the pawnshop while the robber tunnels through its cellar to a bank vault next door.

14. The main component of human hair is keratin, which is also found in gazelle horns, reptile scales, tortoise shells, and – very probably – the defensive armor of dinosaurs like Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus .

15. The name for the shaved-scalp hairstyle popular with monks is a cohesive .