"The American tribal love-rock musical." A 1960s Broadway musical developed by two semi-hippie actors, James Rado and Gerome Ragni, and older composer Galt McDermot. Controversial due to using rock music, containing nudity, "misuse of the national flag," and generally supporting hippie ideals.

Random Hair Facts

25% of your hair is on your head
Grows 0.25 to 0.40 millimeters per day

This means an average growth as follows:
1 hour = 0.0125 mm
1 day = 0.3 mm
1 week = 2.1 mm
1 month = 1 cm
1 year = 12 cm

Every day, lose up to 100 hairs

If you add together the growth of every individual hair, your total hair growth daily is about 30 meters.

Throughout the past, hair has proved to be extremely important. In the 11th century, a woman's status was easily known by looking at her hair. Grand ladies wore their hair in two long braids on either side of their head, while young girls wore their hair down.

Women spent hours on their hair every day to make sure it looked perfect. In the 1700s, both men and women spent a lot of money having wigs made so their hair could be fashionable.

Your hair is an extension of your personality. If you were to go to a job interview dressed nicely in a suit, but your hair was a mess, it wouldn't matter how nice your suit was. If your hair is well taken care of, people will probably assume you are as well. I take pride in my hair, because it's the only thing about myself that I am definitely happy with. Be good to your hair; it is more important than it seems.

At this writing, my hair falls to my waist. I haven't cut it significantly since about six months before my freshman year of high school, and it is such a powerful part of my self-identity that I'm not sure when I'll be able to cut it again. Why is it so integral to my self-perception?

I suppose it started when I first decided to let it grow. My mother gave me all sorts of hell about it, telling me I'd look like a girl, people would make fun of me, the police would think I was a worthless degenerate, that she'd cut it off while I slept (seriously: I started locking my door at night after that). Things like that. Just the way the War on Drugs gives kids a wonderful reason to rebel, so did my mother's War on Hair. Or rather, it compounded the rebellion value of growing it out. My initial decision was probably influenced by Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, and the other Seattle-"grunge" types--something of which I'm not too proud. It was superficial: I thought that by emulating their hairstyles and wardrobes, I would gain some of their other, more intangible qualities. Ah, the follies of youth (said the nineteen-year-old, unaware of any trace of irony).

So it began with rebellion, but by the time the old mop was down to my shoulders (maybe a year's growth), the novelty of that had faded. I'm really not sure why I kept it long when that happened. I might have had a vague notion that girls thought it was attractive, but I don't think I believed girls were capable of finding me attractive then. Call that a glimmer of hope. The only real reason I can offer is that it had been that way for so long that I knew nothing else. You know that strange feeling you have when you change hairstyles, as though you can't believe that's your head on those shoulders? I had forgotten what that was like. Today, I think I can summon up the dimmest memories of it, but I suspect that I'm just imagining those memories into being. My relationship with my hair was like that significant other you've had around since long after the sparks stopped flying: an affair of comfort, of habit.

As high school progressed, other people did most of the contributing to my hair's importance to my self-identity. I came to be known as "That-guy-with-the-really-long-hair-and-no-discernible-ideology/group-identity". People recognized me because of my hair. No drug dealer in history has ever doubted that I was anything but a drug user because of my hair (a stigma that I do regret these days; nothing boosts one's natural paranoia like random trustafarians and smelly hippie kids asking you if you "got any, man?"). Unlike the federal government, even my mother realized the futility of war, and came to accept the length of my hair--to an extent. The black women where she worked always told me a little jealously that my hair was beautiful while my mother almost visibly shrank with embarrassment. Although I wouldn't say it was as indispensable to me then as it is now, I suppose I grew... well, fond of it by the time I graduated, and when I walked across the stage to receive my diploma, my hair fell almost to the small of my back.

By the time I left for college three months later, things had changed. I was old enough and self-aware enough to know that one of the first things people would notice about me was not my eyes or even my short stature, but my hair. I came close to cutting it for that very reason, but around that same time I began having nightmares about the kitchen in which I worked. They involved a bit of carelessness around the chargrill and my head becoming a Michael Jackson-Pepsi-commercial-like inferno. Not pleasant. I stopped toying with a drastic change in length, and the dreams left for good. When I came to school, people of course immediately began to identify me as the "guy-with-the-really-long-hair". In spite of that, though, I began to actually enjoy my hair, not as a social phenomenon, but as a physical entity. Brushing it was a meditation in imposing order. Having it brushed or braided by someone else was an act of intimacy, sometimes erotic, sometimes not. Even just letting it hang over my arms, down my back, feeling it catch in the wind, was cause for a moment of revelry in my locks. Hell, even the annoyance of getting it caught in the window of my car was a moment I relished. In other words, I was in love.

But I didn't know why. I felt as though I was being superficial, taking such great pride in my hair. I cherished it, for god's sake, and I very nearly hated myself for it. But then I heard a little tidbit that, factually sound or not, gave me reason to keep my hair, and keep it long.

Contrary to what Pantene Pro-V commercials would have you believe, hair is not alive and does not need vitamins. It is the waste product produced by cells in one's skin. That's why advertisers say "Brand X leaves your hair beautiful and healthy-looking". And perhaps it does, but morticians will do the same for your face; it's "healthy-looking" and not "healthy" because it's dead.

Now, the dubious fact that I heard the other day was this (and it seems reasonably sound to me, but it is hearsay): The body you have now is not the body you had a year ago. Why, you ask? Because your cells are constantly dying and being replaced with new ones. We slough skin cells like they're goin' out of style. Blood? Sure, you can have a pint. Take two. As far as I know, this is true for just about all cells, with the exception of brain cells, which do not regenerate, although they do die at a terrific rate, as evidenced by one's willingness to talk to total strangers after slamming a few mudslides.

Now, hair, on the other hand, is already dead. We carry it around with us like packrats, and the only things it's really good for are keeping us warm and making us look damned good on a Saturday night. And, most importantly, it marks the passage of time.

Just ask anyone who has been screened for drugs using their hair. A record of every joint I have smoked in the last five years is right there hanging from my head, ordered chronologically, the most recent closest to my scalp. The only parts of my body I have held onto since I moved from Pittsburgh to Boone are my brain and my hair. There is an intrinsic connection there. My hair is evidence that the I that once was still is. My hair is the great record keeper of my brain: external evidence of the internal.

So I think I'll hang on to it a bit longer. Perhaps if I undergo some sort of profound rebirth, I'll take shears to the old mop. Until then, ¡ viva mi pelo muerto!

There is a charity organization called Locks of Love that takes donations of hair to be used in wigs for victims of cancer and other long-term illnesses resulting in hair loss (and no, male-pattern baldness doesn't count; deal with it, Mr. Clean. It's very worthwhile if you're going to cut 10-12" from your hair. For god's sake, don't let it go to rot in your wastebasket! They accept only clean, dry, untreated hair in a ponytail or (better) a braid. For more info, visit www.locksoflove.org or call them at 1.888.896.1588.
If there are any factual errors in this writeup, or other errors for that matter, please /msg me so that I can correct them.

Thanks :),
hackitude = H = hairball

hair n.

[back-formation from hairy] The complications that make something hairy. "Decoding TECO commands requires a certain amount of hair." Often seen in the phrase `infinite hair', which connotes extreme complexity. Also in `hairiferous' (tending to promote hair growth): "GNUMACS elisp encourages lusers to write complex editing modes." "Yeah, it's pretty hairiferous all right." (or just: "Hair squared!")

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Structure and Growth

Hair is composed primarily from a long protein polymer called keratin, which is found in two forms alpha keratin (which has a helical structure) and amorphous keratin. This protein is secreted in the hair follicle from cortical cells in a structure known as the bulb. Within this, amorphous keratin is gradually organised into the helical alpha keratin from the bottom to the top of the bulb. By the time the growing hair emerges from the bulb, the keratin has been organised into filaments, embedded in another type of keratin, so called matrix keratin. Five of these keratin molecules twist together to form a protofibril and again five of these protofibrils are joined to form a microfibril, which are again in turn bound together to form cables.

In turn the cables bind together to form the hair strand, which are covered by cuticle cells. These are bound at their base to the strand, and overlap each other to form a protective coat for the cortex of the hair strand. The cuticle cells are transparent, which helps diffuse and reflect light, to give hair a glossy appearance. Damage to the cuticle, perhaps by to much heat, or to much brushing can cause the hair to lose its sheen. If the cuticle cells are pushed back from the hair strand itself, they can tangle with other hairs making the hair as a whole matted.

As the hair strand moves out of the follicle cells in the papilla called melanocytes deposit grains containing melanin pigment into the spaces between the fibrils and cables. The amount of pigment grains, and the density of melanin within the grains determines how dark your hair is, from blonde through brown and onto black. Red hair is caused by the addition of an iron containing pigment.

In curly hair the disulphide bonds between amines (i.e. cysteine) in the matrix keratin are much more plentiful; the amount of these bonds present can be enhanced by the process of perming which can turn straight hair into curly hair. Or by breaking the disulphide bonds and re-forming them, turn you from curly to straight. Also water can disrupt the hydrogen bonding present in the proteins in hair, if you wrap the hair around a roller, as the hair dries the disrupted bonds will tend to reform in their new positions, making it curly. This is temporary, as getting the hair wet again will again disrupt the bonding that gave it its nice wavy shape.


(There are actually many different types of hair, which can vary from species to species, in this write-up, I'm only going to talk about the human ones...)

Hair can be catergorised in many different ways, but one of the most common is used by Dermatologists and pediatritions which distinguishes types according to the hairs's length and thickness; forming three classifications. The amount of each type a person has is usually (although illness or disease can also have their effects) determined by their genetic make-up.

1.) Lanugo or primary hair. This is the first hair to grow from a follicle and happens during the growth of the foetus in the womb. The hair is very long and fine and is unpigmented; this hair is replaced during the eighth month of pregnancy by the next stage of hair growth....

2.) Vellus or secondary hair. This hair is again unpigmented and fine, but is short. On children and adults it's the fuzzy hair on their nose and cheeks. Follicles producing vellus hair can produce the next stage, terminal hair, and revert back to vellus again at different times.

3.) Terminal hair is the coarsest of all hair, and comes from large follicles which often contain a medulla. During puberty hormones trigger the conversion of vellus follicles to terminal follicles, the reverese process androgenetic alopecia sees the terminal hair go back to vellus hairs.

Terminal hair sub-categories

Again terminal hair can be sub-categorised according to the hairs location and appearance.

1.) Eyebrow hair, this hair has a very slow growth rate, reaching an average length of 10 mm at about 0.16mm per day! Also plucking eyebrows can damage the follicle, which can cause complete loss of hair production.
2.) Eyelash hair is very similar to eyebrow hair aside from being a bit shorter at 7.5mm.
3.) Scalp hair grows in a clockwise spiral pattern from the top of the head at about 0.36mm a day for women and 0.34mm for men.
4.) Beard hair is considered to be another type of hair, originating from the action of hormones on the follicle. You won't be surprised to hear it's one of the fastest growing types at 0.38mm per day!
5.) Body hair. Some of the body hairs are slightly responsive to the sex hormones, whilst other neighbouring ones are not; the ones that are develop into terminal hairs. This helps explain why some people are more hairy I suppose, their follicles just respond differently...
6.) (Chin) whisker hair. These hairs are very susceptable to sex hormones in both men and women, explaining why an imbalance in androgen levels in women can trigger beard growth....
7.) Pubic hair is very large in diameter, pigmented and kinky. Again sex hormone levels can determine it's appearance. Abnormal pubic hair growth can be a sign of a genetic condition that cause abnormal hormone production.
8.) Peri-anal hairs. Yes, the hairs around your bum-hole are of a distinct type, different from other hairs near there by virtue of their unusually large size and sebaceous glands. Perhaps once-upon-a-time the oil produced helped us mark territory, or attract a mate from miles away, something that our atrophied sense of smell is now 'blind' to!

Factors affecting Growth

As hair is often affected by androgen hormones, another classification system exists based on the response of a hair follicle to the different sex hormones.

1.) No effect, hairs on the eyelashes, brows and extremities of the hands and feet aren't really affected by any of the androgens.
2.) Female hormone responsive follicles. Generally pubic and armpit hairs (and some limb and torso hairs) are responsive to the low female androgen levels.
3.) Male androgen level responsive follicles. The beard, mustache, nasal, chest upper back and scalp vertex hair. (The last one, scalp vertex explains baldness I suppose!)

Concluding Remarks

As I said, the exact number and appearance of each type of hair is genetically determined, giving rise to the many different appearances of individuals throughout the world. Also conditions such as cancer can affect both the pattern and growth of hair.

The musical “Hair” focuses on the lives of freeloving hippies during the Vietnam War, a time where the youth of America began to retaliate against the war through protests and through drastic lifestyle changes. Each of the main characters in this concept musical exemplify many of the basic attitudes and ideals inherent to the hippies during that period. George Berger acts as a central antagonist towards two other main characters in “Hair,” Claude and Sheila. Berger also functions as a leader of the hippie tribe. George Berger, when performed well, represents the hippie culture of the 60s by reflecting a youthful character preoccupied with subjects such as sex, rebellion, and drugs.

Berger, a character who loves his sexual freedom, opens with “Donna,” a song about his lost love, using plenty of sexual gestures and a strong lustful voice. He tends to grab himself a lot, not only in this song but during other numbers as well, and also grabs at other hippie tribe members- he makes sexually suggestive moves with both men and women in the play. This demonstrates Berger’s passion for sex and his love of both sexes, which was considered by many a key part of the hippie lifestyle.

Berger is concerned not only with sex but with rebellion as well, and he acts rebellious towards both school and towards the war effort. He is unconcerned about being expelled from school and sings “Going Down” when faced with three Hitler-like principals. Also, when the character of Claude receives a draft card in the mail, Berger attempts to persuade Claude not to go— he wants him to refuse the government’s request— to rebel against the establishment. When Berger speaks to Claude about his situation, he acts as a caring friend, but also as an individual who truly despises the war. He absolutely does not want him to go.

Drugs play a major part of Berger’s rebellion as well as in the hippie movement in general. Berger loves drugs and constantly talks about them in the play, and he also initiates the pot smoking scene during the pow-wow. Berger comes off as a stereotypical hippie, someone who smokes pot profusely and loves every minute of it.

George Berger, a freeloving, rebellious drug user, not only shows the personality of a typical teenager, but displays a 60s culture where all of these attitudes and actions were meant both as a means of protest and as a way to subvert the ugly and reprehensible realities of a war that many feel should have never been fought. I've seen this play once, and very much enjoyed it.

“Do you like my hair?” she asked, twirling a strand and smiling, hoping for an affirmation of her expectations.

He looked at the soft, flowing, dark brown locks, expertly sewn into the roots of her harder, black, African coils. The extensions were expertly attached. He could not tell, without looking closely, where her own hair ended and the attachments began. Looking at her expectant smile, he knew she wasn’t really interested in his opinion. She just wanted a gushy “yes”.

The hair was probably expensive. He’d heard stories of a few locks being sold for sums that were more than his monthly earnings. Like many beauty products, the provenance determined the price; he vaguely recalled that Brazilian hair had been in vogue for some time. One joke had it that if a forensic examination of hairs found in a Nigerian crime scene were conducted, the investigation would have to travel to another continent to find the suspect. Given how Nigerians love anything associated with white people, such an event might even be viewed with pride. It would be seen as further affirmation of the country’s global importance. This desire for western recognition, while good in some instances, was questionable in this case.

But she is important to him, he likes her a lot. And if he wants to keep her, it is necessary that he pleases her by giving her the affirmation she seemed to crave. However, he realized that telling her he likes something when he actually does not would create a problem for him. He would have to keep lying to her; this would make him resent her and strain the relationship. Furthermore, she would keep doing what he dislikes on the assumption that he likes it.

If, on the other hand, he told her he did not like it, the best outcome he could hope for would be a long conversation explaining his reason while avoiding criticism of her. She was not so fawning as to submit to his whim without justification. He had once had such a conversation with a friend, going on about the silliness of black women uglifying themselves by aping white women, suffering hair loss and wasting their money on something that (he imagined) most guys did not care about. The normally agreeable and rather timid girl had torn into him with a savagery that had shaken him – who the hell did he think he was? did he think she was trying to look good for him? And so on. He did not want to risk a repeat of that unpleasantness with this one.

He wondered if she would be convinced if he told her that he disliked the attachments because the hair did not feel nice against his skin, it was too itchy. Or he disliked how it looks and smells when it’s been on her head a while - brittle, dull and musty. Or perhaps talk about hair loss, how her hairline would become patchy, straggling clumps amid ever expanding bare patches, like the rainforest retreating from developers.
Finally, he said:

“I like your hair” he said. Stressing the word “your”.

She automatically began smiling wider in appreciation, then slowly froze as his meaning sank in. She narrowed her eyes and he mentally braced for impact.

Hair (?), n. [OE. her, heer, haer, AS. h&aemac;r; akin to OFries, h&emac;r, D. & G. haar, OHG. & Icel. h&amac;r, Dan. haar, Sw. h�x86;r; cf. Lith. kasa.]


The collection or mass of filaments growing from the skin of an animal, and forming a covering for a part of the head or for any part or the whole of the body.


One the above-mentioned filaments, consisting, in invertebrate animals, of a long, tubular part which is free and flexible, and a bulbous root imbedded in the skin.

Then read he me how Sampson lost his hairs. Chaucer.

And draweth new delights with hoary hairs. Spenser.


Hair (human or animal) used for various purposes; as, hair for stuffing cushions.

4. Zool.

A slender outgrowth from the chitinous cuticle of insects, spiders, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. Such hairs are totally unlike those of vertebrates in structure, composition, and mode of growth.


An outgrowth of the epidermis, consisting of one or of several cells, whether pointed, hooked, knobbed, or stellated. Internal hairs occur in the flower stalk of the yellow frog lily (Nuphar).


A spring device used in a hair-trigger firearm.


A haircloth.




Any very small distance, or degree; a hairbreadth.

Hairs is often used adjectively or in combination; as, hairbrush or hair brush, hair dye, hair oil, hairpin, hair powder, a brush, a dye, etc., for the hair.

Against the hair, in a rough and disagreeable manner; against the grain. [Obs.] "You go against the hair of your professions." Shak. -- Hair bracket Ship Carp., a molding which comes in at the back of, or runs aft from, the figurehead. -- Hair cells Anat., cells with hairlike processes in the sensory epithelium of certain parts of the internal ear. -- Hair compass, Hair divider, a compass or divider capable of delicate adjustment by means of a screw. -- Hair glove, a glove of horsehair for rubbing the skin. -- Hair lace, a netted fillet for tying up the hair of the head. Swift. -- Hair line, a line made of hair; a very slender line. -- Hair moth Zool., any moth which destroys goods made of hair, esp. Tinea biselliella. -- Hair pencil, a brush or fine hair, for painting; -- generally called by the name of the hair used; as, a camel's hair pencil, a sable's hair pencil, etc. -- Hair plate, an iron plate forming the back of the hearth of a bloomery fire. -- Hair powder, a white perfumed powder, as of flour or starch, formerly much used for sprinkling on the hair of the head, or on wigs. -- Hair seal Zool., any one of several species of eared seals which do not produce fur; a sea lion. -- Hair seating, haircloth for seats of chairs, etc. -- Hair shirt, a shirt, or a band for the loins, made of horsehair, and worn as a penance. -- Hair sieve, a strainer with a haircloth bottom. -- Hair snake. See Gordius. -- Hair space Printing, the thinnest metal space used in lines of type. -- Hair stroke, a delicate stroke in writing. -- Hair trigger, a trigger so constructed as to discharge a firearm by a very slight pressure, as by the touch of a hair. Farrow. -- Not worth a hair, of no value. -- To a hair, with the nicest distinction. -- To split hairs, to make distinctions of useless nicety.


© Webster 1913.

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