Body & Fitness

Health facts: your hair

We uncover interesting facts about the speeds at which parts of your body develop and function. This week, hair.

The speed at which your locks grow depends on your genetic make-up and the shape of your follicles. If you’re of European origin, your hair grows about 1 cm a month – or 0.035 cm a day.

That’s about a sixth of the rate that grass grows during the winter months.

By contrast, those of African descent have more spiral-shaped follicles, which tend to grow hair more slowly – 0.027 cm per day or 0.8 cm a month. The growth of body hair varies widely from person to person, and can be anything between 0.48 cm per month (0.016 cm per day) to 1.5 cm (0.05 cm a day) per month. But unlike scalp hair, eyebrows and eyelashes automatically stop growing at 2 cm, fall out and are replaced.

In men, their beards grow at about the same speed as head hair – though for unknown reasons the rate of beard growth speeds up after the age of 40.

Have a look at our favourite celebrity hairstyles

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