Hair, flow it, show it, long as God can grow it. Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen. So go the lyrics from a song from the hit 1968 musical Hair. You might be wondering why I’m telling you about a song that’s now 48 years old and a song you’ve never heard. Unless you’ve seen the Minions movie, because a terrible cover version was in that terrible film. The original, however, has appeared in two episodes of The Simpsons. It demonstrates rather well how crazy some are about hair. ‘My hair like Jesus wore it, hallelujah I adore it.’ I don’t think folk in Biblical times ‘wore’ their hair, did they? Might have brushed it occasionally. Put it this way, I don’t think they had salons. But hair is fascinating! Did you know, for example, that sex and even the anticipation of sex makes hair grow faster? Something to do with our hormones. Scientists did a study on sailors and found that their hair grew faster right before shore leave but slowed down on returning to the ship. Horny sailors, eh? Hardly surprising if the video for ‘In the Navy’ is accurate…
Body hair is known in the nerd world as androgenic hair and it covers most of the human body. The main job of our body hair seems to be keeping us warm and keeping dirt out of various places, but it also plays other roles in the worlds of sweat and perhaps sexual attraction. Some of it is also an evolutionary leftover. Why we have pubic hair remains something of a mystery. Some suggest it’s there to reduce friction, a natural barrier against rash and irritation. Others suggest it’s a blanket to protect our delicates. Others think it’s to do with sex, that certain chemicals caused by sweat in the pubic region give off some sort of subconscious odour that draws humans together in some weird archaic mating hubbub. Hasn’t worked for me, darlings.
Hair is immensely strong. The University of Leicester in England investigated the German story of Rapunzel, who, as you may remember, allowed several people to climb up a 70-foot tower holding on to nothing but her hair. Remarkably, this is true. Or it could be true. The average German man weighs about 182 pounds, meaning Rapunzel’s hair could take the weight of about 33 German men. I’m not sure how happy she’d be about it, though.
The average man will spend five months of his life shaving, and if he never shaved, it would grow 30 feet in his lifetime. The longest head hair ever belonged to one Tran Van Hay, who died in 2010 with hair 22 feet long. And it’s also a man with the longest ear hair on Earth. Unsurprisingly. The ear hair of Radhakant Baijpai is an incredible 9.8 inches long. The record for the longest head hair on a woman belongs to Xie Quiping, whose hair measures at 18 feet. Oh, and whilst I think on – Rapunzel’s hair – yeah, I didn’t mean it was that strong attached to her head. That would be a very, very bad idea…
As for my hair. Well, the hair on my arms and chest is small in number and very lightly coloured. My legs are the hairiest legs you’ll ever see. I have hairy toes, as well. And I have a lot of head hair. Right down to my shoulders. I love it. Well, you know what they say. Flow it, show it, long as God can grow it…
So I’d say I was reasonably hairy.
How hairy are you, readers?
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