How much does hair weigh? And what factors affect its average weight? These aren’t questions you’re frequently likely to ask. But if you want to know, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn all you need to know.
How much hair weighs depends on the person and their genetic makeup. If you have thick hair, will it affect your overall weight? Does wet hair weigh more, and how does having long hair affect head pains? Hair is something we live with every day, but we might not have considered these questions. That’s why we made this guide — we’ll answer these and more below.
How Much Does My Hair Weigh?
The average person’s hair weighs less than half a pound, unless it’s very long and thick. It varies depending on multiple factors, but even the thickest hair won’t weigh more than a pound or two.
The short answer is that hair weight varies, but not by much. For every individual, hair density and coarseness are individual genetic factors that can’t be changed. Every person’s hair is slightly different, and this affects the weight.
However, an individual’s hair can vary slightly in weight daily, depending on their hydration levels. With more water, hair weighs a bit more. These differences are tiny and hardly noticeable on a regular scale. The biggest difference in hair weight is how long and thick it is.
An average hair (about six inches in length) weighs about 0.2-0.4 milligrams or 0.00015 ounces. A healthy person has anywhere between 80,000 and 120,000 hairs on their head. Therefore, most full heads of hair weigh no more than a few ounces.
How Hair Weight Affects You
In addition to wondering how much your hair may weigh, you may also wonder how it affects your everyday life. Let’s look at how your hair may play a role in your life.
Does My Hair Make Me Weigh More?
If you have hair down to the floor and it’s incredibly thick, it might add a few pounds to your weight. However, an average person with shoulder-length hair could shave their entire body and only see a few ounces difference. With shorter hair, there’s barely enough of a difference to weigh.
Even though there isn’t that much of a difference, it can sometimes feel as though your hair is very heavy. If you have an extra sensitive scalp, you might feel the weight of your hair a little more. If your hair is excessively thick, you might be more comfortable with a shorter haircut.
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Does it Affect Aerodynamics?
While hair doesn’t affect how much you weigh, it can affect your aerodynamics. Professional swimmers often shave their entire bodies to give them a slightly sleeker body in the water. Swim caps reduce the drag of the water through hair. Still, it doesn’t make a difference in their weight.
What is My Hair Made Of?
Hair is mostly made of keratin, a protein that grows from the follicle under your scalp. As your hormones shift, your blood vessels help the hair to grow. After a certain amount of time, hairs fall off naturally and decompose, making room for new hairs to grow in their place.
Hair is not a living organism–this is why it doesn’t hurt to get a haircut. While keratin is a thick protein compared to other proteins, it’s still incredibly small and thin. Hair is a natural protectant from the sun and weather, even though it hardly weighs anything.
Things to Consider
Here are some things to consider about hair and how its weight affects you:
- The longer your hair is, the heavier it is.
- Your hair won’t affect your overall weight more than a few ounces.
- Hair isn’t a living structure–it’s dead cells of protein.
- The more hydrated you are, the more your hair will weigh. Hair holds water.
- Excessive drying can damage your hair.
- Pulling your hair back into tight buns or ponytails can cause tension headaches.
- Coarser hair is heavier than fine hair.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about hair weight and how it affects day-to-day living.
Is My Hair Heavier When It’s Wet?
Technically, hair is a tiny bit heavier when it’s wet. However, the difference is so tiny that it’s impossible to tell unless you have an extremely accurate scale. When you shower and your hair feels heavier, you’re feeling the water between each hair.
How Can I Calculate My Weight Without My Hair?
There’s no accurate way to measure how much you would weigh without hair, except to remove all your body hair and weigh yourself. However, whether your hair is wet or dry, it’s not going to make a noticeable difference. If you weigh yourself consistently, make sure you’re doing it at the same time of day with the same amount of food and water.
Does Heavy Hair Cause Headaches?
People with longer hair often complain of ponytail headaches. While the weight of the hair does affect the severity of the pain, these headaches come from the tightness of the ponytail. When hair is pulled back, it strains the nerves on the head. The more sensitive your nerve endings are, the more likely ponytails are to hurt.
How Can I Tell How Much My Hair Weighs?
If you are truly curious about your hair weight, the only perfectly accurate way to tell is to shave your head and weigh the hair. If you (understandably) don’t want to do that, you’ll have to guess based on your hair length and average hair weight.
Does Thicker Hair Cause Hair Loss?
Thicker or heavier hair doesn’t cause hair loss on its own. Most healthy people shed about a hundred hairs a day because of natural hair decay. Pulling hair back into tight buns or ponytails can cause hair loss because of the strain it puts on the hairs in front of the head.
Does Race Play a Role In Hair Weight?
Texture, thickness, and color of hair vary based on genetic factors. However, hair behaves the same way no matter what your race is. Fine hair weighs less than thick hair, but everyone has the same approximate number of hairs on their head.
So, How Much Does Hair Weigh?
The bottom line is that while it’s impossible to tell how much your hair weighs without shaving your head, it’s safe to bet that it’s under a pound. Unless your hair is extremely long and thick, it’s not going to add more than a few ounces to your overall weight.