Perhaps you’re just curious to know how much hair actually weighs. Or you’re thinking quite radically about some out-of-the-box weight-loss measure and having done everything in the book; you think trimming your hair might help. But just how much does hair weigh?
Hair weighs between 2 to 5 ounces, even if you have very long and thick hair. With shorter hair, you’re unlikely to notice a change on the scale unless you use a very sensitive scale. Wet hair might weigh more on you, but the added weight is negligible and hard to estimate.
In this write-up, we’ll answer the questions of what makes up hair, how much does hair weigh, how to improve hair growth, and amazing facts about human hair. Read on.
What Makes Up Hair?
Hair anatomy isn’t as simple as you imagine. Hair seems like a bunch of lifeless mass all over you for mere aesthetic value. Right? Well, not really. When it comes to hair, there is more than what meets the eye, literally.
Although hair plays a major role in the appearance of men and women, giving it a useful social function in gender identification, there is more. It plays a part in transmitting sensory information, regulating body temperature, and offering protection to the body.
Hair is composed of keratin; a tough protein made up of dead cells that also makes up your nails and part of your skin. That means the hair you see isn’t a living structure.
A hair strand is made up of three layers:
- The medulla: the inner layer
- The cortex: the middle layer
- The cuticle: the outermost layer
The cortex makes up most of the hair shaft. The cortex and medulla contain the hair’s pigment and thereby determine its color.
Your hair shaft grows from a root that lies right under the hair follicle. Each strand of hair is anchored into the skin by the hair follicle.
The bulb, which is located at the root of the hair follicle, is made up of living cells that actively divide and also receive nourishment from a network of blood capillaries.
These blood capillaries convey hormones that are responsible for the rate of hair growth and the varying structure of hair as you grow older.
The cells of the bulb divide faster than any other cells in the body. They divide every 23 to 72 hours.
How Does Hair Grow?
Your hair grows in three main phases:
- Anagen (Growth Phase). Most of your hair is at this stage, continually growing at about an inch every three months. Your scalp hair continues in this growth phase for two to six years. That wide time variation accounts for why some people can grow longer hair than others. Over 85% of the hair on your head is at this stage.
- Catagen (Transitional phase). This is a transitional phase where hair growth declines and hair follicles contract. It can occur over some weeks. Only about 3% of your hair is at this stage.
- Telogen (Resting phase). Your hair growth ceases, and the shaft detaches from the hair follicle. The process starts all over again with an actively growing hair shaft pushing out hair that’s reached this stage. You ordinarily lose between 50 and 100 hairs each day through this process. About 8% of your hair lies at this stage.
Does Long Hair Affect Your Weight?
The answer isn’t quite a direct one, as there are several variables. We all have different hair lengths, hair volume, or even thickness.
The human scalp is estimated to have an average of 100,000 hair follicles. Brunettes are recorded as having more hair follicles and redheads having the fewest.
|Hair Color||Estimated Average Hair Follicles|
Various sources seem to indicate that, on average, a full head of long hair is estimated to weigh between one or two ounces (30-60 grams).
How Much Does a Hair Follicle Weigh?
Let us go by the estimated average of 100,000 hair strands on a full head of hair that weighs between one or two ounces. The weight of a single hair strand will weigh between 0.3-0.6 milligrams (1 ounce=28,349.5 milligrams).
But it should be noted that the weight of a hair strand will vary from person to person as hair thickness and length varies.
Does Your Hair Weigh More When It Is Wet?
It is true that your hair retains some water as you come out of the shower, and the amount of water it holds depends on the thickness and length of the hair.
Longer and thicker hair will weigh more when wet as it will retain more water than short and medium hair. However, it’s almost impossible to precisely tell how much weightier hair becomes when wet.
When your hair is long and thick, it would possibly increase your hair weight by a pound. There may be nothing significant to write home about on wet hair that is short, as the weight might only increase by a few ounces.
How Do You Improve Hair Growth?
The hair on your head grows at about 6 inches per year (15.24 cm). Science has discovered how hair grows and what needs to be done to improve hair quality but has not specifically found how the process of hair growth may be speeded up.
The speed of hair growth depends on your:
- Hair type and
- Overall health condition
Here’s how to make your hair grow stronger:
- Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet consisting of food with vitamins that foster hair growth. Foods rich in Omega-3 and 6 work a great deal.
- Applying essential oils. For example, pumpkin seed oil has been proven to increase hair count in men by up to 40%. Studies have shown that essential oils should not be applied directly to hair but diluted in a shampoo or in other carrier oils such as castor, sunflower or coconut oil, that prevent hair damage
- You can also take keratin supplements to boost hair strength
6 Interesting Facts About Your Hair That Might Surprise You
- The world record for the longest hair belongs to Xie Qiuping of China at 5.627 m (18 feet 5.54 in) as measured on May 8th, 2004. She had grown the hair for 31 years.
- The average human loses 100 hairs per day
- A developing fetus has formed all its hair follicles by week 22. At that stage, they have around 5 million hair follicles on the entire body, with a million being on the head out of which around a hundred thousand are found on the scalp.
- Humans do not generate new hair follicles in the course of life.
- There are only 3 places on your skin where your hair doesn’t grow; your palms, the soles of your feet, and your lips.
- A strand of hair is pretty strong and can support 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of weight. That means if all your 100,000 hair strands were supporting weights, that would add up to ten tons, or the weight of two mid-sized African elephants. Isn’t that amazing?
Does Cutting Your Hair Improve Weight Loss?
Since the weight of the hair is insignificant relative to your body weight, cutting hair is not a feasible weight-loss option.
- Consume a high-protein diet (egg is a good example)
- Eat whole foods
- Avoid processed foods
- Reduce sugar intake
- Exercise regularly; jogging, running, hiking, or biking
- Drink lots of water; take water a half an hour before meals
- Fast intermittently
- Use a low-carb diet
- Eat slowly chewing your food more
- Cooking with coconut oil in place of other fats
- Take probiotics
- Get good sleep
Hair doesn’t weigh much relative to your body weight. The most it can weigh is a few ounces except where you have extremely long and thick hair that might weigh up to 5 ounces. Hair is slightly heavy when wet, but the difference is insignificant and almost impossible to accurately determine.
To successfully lose weight, focus on proven weight loss techniques as hair loss has no impact worth the mention.