Head Count: How Many Hairs Are on a Human Head?

Head Count: How Many Hairs Are on a Human Head?

Have you ever sat and wondered about just exactly how much hair you have on your head at the moment? It may seem impossible to painstakingly go through each strand of hair on your head (without getting lost of track). But you’re in luck - Revela has done the research so you can find out just how much, continue reading to learn more.

What Is Hair Made Of? 

The first thing you should understand is what exactly hair is made of and where it comes from. While we are focusing on the hair on your head in this blog, you should note that all of the hair on your body—whether it is the hair on your legs, arms, or elsewhere—is made and functions in the same way. 

On your scalp, the hair begins to form at the root. The root exists inside a follicle, a tube-like structure in the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer. Underneath your roots, your hair is made up of cells bonded together to form a protein called keratin. From there, as your hair begins to grow, shafts of hair will emerge upward from the dividing cells of the hair matrix, which shares the foundation of the follicle with dermal papilla cells inside the hair bulb.

Let’s break those parts down again, one at a time:

  • Dermal papilla cells are the core component of every hair follicle. They’re surrounded by blood vessels called capillaries, and the division of dermal papilla cells plays a part in how fast your hair grows, what stage of life your hair follicle is in, and more.
  • The germinal matrix sits above the dermal papilla, and new hair growth comes from germinal matrix cells as they divide and push upward through the skin. They also transfer color to the hair, known as pigmentation, by transferring melanin, the same compound that makes a mole on our skin look darker or gives us a tan when we’re out in the sun.
  • The hair bulb is the larger, round-shaped structure that includes the dermal papilla, germinal matrix, and the base of the growing hair shaft. It protects its contents and sits below the surface of the skin.
  • The sheath covers the outside of the growing hair shaft, giving it shape and structure. If the hair shaft is like a sword, think of the hair sheath as the holster for the sword that knights wear on their waists in those fantasy movies!
  • The sebaceous gland, closer to the skin’s surface, produces oil that lubricates our hair as it grows out. Sebaceous glands are everywhere, too—we’re all familiar with clogged sebaceous glands that lead to unwanted pimples and acne!
  • The arrector pili is a tiny muscle that contracts, or tightens, to make our hair stand up. Think goosebumps!

Why Do We Need Hairs on Our Head?

Hair, while keeping us fashionable, isn’t just for show - it serves a purpose, too. Our hair has several roles that differ depending where it is located on our body: 

  • Body hair helps to control our core temperature. Not only does it warm us up when we’re cold—think of goosebumps as your hair’s way of casting a wider net to trap more heat!—but it also helps our bodies to notice things touching it. Think of each hair as a motion sensor that detects bugs, parasites, and other creepy-crawlies that we might not notice on our skin!
  • Nasal hair works like an air filter, helping to keep germs from flying up our nose when we breathe.
  • Eyelashes and eyebrows work like another type of filter, this time catching dirt and dust that might otherwise fall into the eye and cause irritation or infection.
  • The hair on a human head keeps us warm, but when well-maintained, it looks stylish and attractive, too.

So How Many Hairs Are on a Human Head?

While we have nearly five million hair follicles throughout our skin, the average person has roughly 100,000 hairs on their scalp. You should note that while we have many, many hairs on our head, we also regularly lose about 50-100 hairs every day - and this is completely normal! Every day when you are brushing or washing your hair, or even just sitting still, you will lose hair. Don’t let this fact scare you, as new hairs are constantly replacing the ones that have fallen out. All the hair on your body is constantly going through some part of the hair growth cycle at any given time. Typically, each hair on your head grows for about 2-6 years. Then your hair enters a rest phase for a few months before finally falling out. The hair growth cycle is then repeated from a new hair on your head growing from the same hair follicle. 

Take Care of Your Hair

While your hair knows to grow on its own, you can also be proactive in creating an optimal environment for your hair to grow. In order to keep your scalp healthy, consider using a natural shampoo free from harsh ingredients like sulfates or parabens. It is important to keep your scalp clean and prevent the overgrowth of bacteria. Using a scalp massager is also beneficial to help encourage blood flow to your roots and stimulate the scalp to promote health and restoration deep in the hair follicles where hair growth begins. You may also consider your diet - nutritional deficiencies can be a cause of hair loss, so ensuring you eat a balanced diet is important. Incorporate more foods containing nutritional properties to hair such as iron, zinc, fatty acids, vitamin D, and so on.

Tip Your Hat to Head Hairs

We hope you’ve learned a bit more about what your hair is made of, how it grows, and just how many hairs are on a human head! If you’re hoping to support healthy hair, try working the tips we’ve listed above into your daily routine—or even better, work a little bit of our Hair Revival Serum into your roots, too! With a clinically tested formula that’s supported by dermatologists, your roots can finally get the reawakening they deserve.

Profile photo for David Zhang

Reviewed by: David Zhang, PhD

David is an immunologist and bioengineer with over a decade of medical research experience. He completed his PhD at Harvard University, where he worked on developing life-saving cancer therapies. He received his undergraduate degree in immunology from McGill University and his master's degree from the University of Toronto

Written by: Revela Editorial Team

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