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Former featured article candidate Hair is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
March 29, 2005 Featured article candidate Not promoted

Hair grows thicker when shaved?[edit]

I've often wondered - is there any truth in the commonly stated belief that rate/quantity of hair growth depends in some way on hair length (i.e. shaving makes hair grow back thicker)? It would be nice to see some information on this in the article.

most information i've seen says that the hair only appears thicker because it's shorter at first, or else because one begins shaving right as the hair would have come in thicker anyway, it creates false causality. still, it'd be a difficult thing to prove, wouldn't it? one would probably need twins.

There's no truth to it. You also wouldn't need twins - it is reasonable to suppose that hair in the same area would have similar growth rates, so just try shaving a patch and comparing it to the unshaved "control". You'll find that when it grows back, it is indistinguishable from the originally unshaved patch.Graham 12:58, 9 February

Copyvio image[edit]

The image used here was a copyvio from - Texture 19:01, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

All hair has a cycle and falls out. Head hair has a longer one before falling out but it grows continously. Body hair grows but then stops growing after a period of time and eventually drops out sooner than head hair.

men hair lengh[edit]

the article says:

Before the First World War men generally had long hair and beards.

is there a ref on this? Xah Lee 13:38, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

Good call Xah, I’m going to have to raise the BS flag on this one; the masculinity of short hair in western culture stems from the Roman army not the Great War.

It's true though, I mean, it had never really taken off outside of cultures that had pedo-homosexual tendencies and wanted men to look like little boys. The romans did start it but it wasn't big in the West in general until lice broke out in WW1.


How long does it take hair to grow back if you pull it out? (OK, so it will probably vary from person to person and depending on what type of hair, so how long would it take, on average, for facial hair to grow back when pulled out?) thanks

Aquatic Ape Hypothesis revisited[edit]

I thought I'd changed this back in February but for some reason either I forgot, or something went wrong. As per my comments of 21 Feb 2006, I now propose to rewrite paras 3 through 5. Though some edits have been made to that section in the intervening period, I don't think they've contributed anything substantial nor solved the problem of clunky English. The new para 5 seems superfluous. It just expands on the Fisherian hypothesis, though with some useful references. It would be better just to add these to the links section. Consequently, I propose to keep the wording that I proposed earler. Your comments would be appreciated.

Proposed new text:

Several theories have been advanced to explain the apparent bareness of human body hair. All are faced with the same problem that there is no fossil record of human hair to back up the conjectures nor to determine exactly when the feature evolved.

Savanna theory suggests that nature selected humans for shorter and thinner body hair as part of a set of adaptations, including bipedal locomotion and an upright posture, for a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle on the African plains. There are several problems with this savanna theory, not least of which is that cursorial hunting is used by (other) animals that do not show any thinning of hair.

Another theory for the thin body hair on humans proposes that Fisherian runaway sexual selection played a role here (as well as in the selection of long head hair). Possibly this occurred in conjunction with neoteny, with the more juvenile appearing females being selected by males as more desirable; see types of hair and vellus hair.

The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis posits that sparsity of hair is an adaptation to an aquatic environment, but it has little support amongst scientists and very few aquatic mammals are, in fact, hairless.