Tuesday Thoughts: Why Do Humans Have Hair?
This is a great question. Hair is such a weird material. It comes in a wide variety of colors and textures. People tend to style it such ways as popular, dye it any color of the rainbow and let us not forget metallics as well. Hair styles have become synonymous with cultures, and have even turned every day wear into societal conversations. But this begs the question in the first place, why is human hair necessary?
The Role of Human Hair
The role of hair, found in most animals, is one that has existed for centuries upon thousands of years. If you subscribe to the evolutionary theory that humans evolved from primates, you know that primates are covered in hair, but why aren’t humans? Well, some are, but the average human is not covered in a level equal to fur.
Hair is made of keratin, the same protein that composes nails. Hair protects our skin from sunlight, UV radiation, warms our bodies, keeps our bodies warm, and helps send signals of touch. Sunlight and other radiation as tanning beds, and from machines get partially blocked by hair. The movement of the follicle on the skin can help protect our bodies from cold temperatures. Before something touches our skin, it usually first brushes up on the hair. The hair sends a signal through our nervous system to alert our brain.
Comparatively to Neanderthals, humans have produced other means of keeping warm and protecting our skin via clothing and coverings. We continue to maintain eyelashes to protect our eyes from dust, sweat, and rain.
Are you someone who thinks hair is natural, or do you feel weird when you see someone with excess hair? Do you do anything special to your hair that sets you apart from your peers? Comment below!