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MYTH VS. TRUTH
Pulling out a gray hair

MYTH:

Pulling out one gray hair will make three grow in its place.

TRUTH:

Well first of all that doesn't even make sense because a hair follicle can only house one single strand of hair. The hair follicle itself is a tiny pit in the skin where one single strand of hair can grow. So if you pull that one hair out, how in the world could three hairs grow from that space if only one strand of hair can live there?

Human Hair

Human hair is made of the same stuff (keratin) that is found in human fingernails, animal hooves, feathers, antlers, horns, and claws. The body protein (keratin) grows out of a tiny opening in the skin called a follicle.

A hair follicle is part of the skin that grows hair by packing old cells together. Attached to the follicle is a sebaceous gland, which is a tiny sebum-producing gland found everywhere on the human body except the lips, palms and soles of the feet. Sebum is an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands in the skin. The thicker density of hair the more sebaceous glands are found.

Human hair is a thin, flexible shaft of horny/hard (keratinized) cells that develop from a cylindrical invagination of the epidermis (top layer of the skin). An invagination means that it is ensheathed in something. Each hair follicle (tiny sac) consists of one 'single' free portion of shaft and a root embedded within the follicle.

The average growth rate of healthy hair follicles on the scalp is .04 cm per day. Keep in mind that is the 'average'. Since 2.54 cm equals 1 inch, that means it would take 63 days to grow 1 inch of hair or a 1/2 inch a month. That doesn't sound like a lot of hair growth unless you wear your hair super short, then the growth rate would be more noticeable. I'm exception to this average rule. Back in October 2011 I had 18 inches cut off my hair. At that time my hair was touching my 'gluteal fold'. LOLOLOL . . . gluteal fold is the medical term for 'butt crack'. At this writing, it is October 2012 and my hair is within 6 inches of touching my gluteal fold once again, which is right at about double the average at 1 inch a month. And about that gray? Even though pulling out one gray hair will 'not' make three hairs grow in its place, I still won't do it just simply because the myth is in my head. (winky wink)

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**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.