Hair History – Where Does Hair Come from & Why do we Have it?

A short look at the long history of one of the most useful evolutions of man…

As the number one hair selling marketplace on the web, it would be remiss of us not to discuss the merits and history of how and why we have hair.

We take our hair for granted these days (until of course we lose it!). For some it’s a wonderful thing, for a few unfortunate others it can be more irritating than beneficial, but the real benefits of hair, how it’s aided us, and why it was evolved is often overlooked, serving these days as more of a fashion accessory rather than the utilitarian purpose it evolved for.


Why Do We Have Hair

When you think about it a couple of the benefits of hair are obvious straight away; it offers warmth and protection.

Early humans didn’t have fur coats and woolly hats and were therefore far more reliant on their hair for warmth. A lot of heat can be lost through your head, but this can be greatly reduced with a thick mop of hair. The same principle was true for the rest of the hair that covered early humans, far more than we have today.

In terms of protection, hair helped and still helps in several ways. It protects us from the sun (particularly head hair). Eye lashes and nasal hair helps to keep insects/bugs out of our eyes and nose and throughout the rest of our body hair can alarm us if it’s brushed by potential foreign threats such as mosquitos.

However there are also less obvious roles that hair plays in the functioning of humans…

Certainly with early humans (as is seen with many animals today) hair served as useful handholds for babies as they were carried around. Hair also continues to serve as a lubricant, reducing friction in areas such as armpits and groins.

Most interesting of all is the role that scientists suggest hair played in the ritual of mating for early humans. Besides its smell retaining and enhancing properties, hair served as a main attractor for the opposite sex and as a hierarchical feature for dominance amongst males. Scientists believe that males with the most impressive head of hair would have had greater success procreating and beating out potential competition. You could think of it like the feathered tails of a peacock!

Feel free to add any suggestions or theories of your own about hair to the comments below…

July 16, 2012 19:33

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