What Is Hair and Why Is It Important?


Hair covers almost every surface of the human body. It serves a variety of functions, including protection, sensory input and thermoregulation. Hair on the head protects the scalp from sunlight, hair in the ears and nose traps particles of dust around the eyes (and prevents them from dripping into the eyes), and the eyelashes prevent sweat and other particles from entering the eyes. In addition, the follicles that produce hair are attached to sebaceous glands that secrete lipid-rich oil which naturally protects and moisturizes the hair.

Hair grows from a tiny blood vessel called a hair follicle, which is located under the skin. As the follicle grows, new cells are created inside and older cells are pushed outwards to form the hair shaft. The hair follicle is innervated by nerves, which receive sensory information about touch and are sensitive to air movement, which is why hair is so responsive to the slightest draft.

The color of a person’s hair is determined by pigmentation, which reflects the amount of melanin in the strands. The more melanin a hair has, the darker it is. The color of a person’s hair may also be influenced by genetics, diet, and the environment.

People’s hair is often a source of personal expression and pride. It can reflect an individual’s culture and ethnicity, the way they are dressed, their personality and even their moods. It can also be an indicator of biological sex, age and even ancestry in some cases.

Although most hair is soft and smooth, some types of it can be stiff or wiry. These hairs are often referred to as coarse, tough, or rough. The texture of a person’s hair can also be determined by the thickness of each strand. Thicker strands of hair are more rigid and stronger than thinner strands, although they can still feel soft to the touch.

In some mammals, such as hedgehogs and porcupines, the hair is modified into hard spines or quills that provide protection against predators. Other animals have modified their fur to serve similar protective purposes. In humans, hair is used as an indicator of biological sex and gender, and can also have cultural significance. For example, some people choose to wear their hair in a certain style as an indication of their religious beliefs or social group membership.

When describing a character’s hair, it is important to use descriptive words that help readers imagine how the hair looks. Using these descriptive words will enhance the clarity of your description and ensure that your reader has a clear picture in their mind as to who your character is. A great way to add depth and detail to your description is to describe the movement of a person’s hair. This can be as simple as stating that their hair “swings back to the side” or that it moves in a particular direction when they walk. This will help bring your reader into the scene and make them feel like they are there.