Jay Razel, North Carolina asked:
If you don't cut and /or wash your hair, does it grow any slower?
Professor Des Tobin, University of Bradford:
There is a perception of thickened hair re-growth because if you were to cut it with a sharp instrument like a razor you would end up getting a sharpened end of the hair at its thickest point rather than that more fine, tapered end. Hair growth is very important for the success of the mammal and nature has provided enormous back-up systems to ensure that the hair continues to grow. In the wild you can imagine the loss of a coat would really be disastrous for a mammal in terms of thermoregulation or camouflage etcetera. As a result the skin has invested enormous power into maintaining the hair follicle. That's why it's hard to grow when you want it to grow or stop growing when you want it to stop growing. That's because the principal driver for hair growth is hormonal, especially in those areas of the body with changed hair pattern after puberty.
There's a lot of clinical evidence to suggest that if you have abnormalities of the endocrine system or the hormone system you can have altered patterns of hair growth: either too much or too little.
I think that hair grows at the rate predetermined by genetics.. however.. I also think that massage, as you do when you wash and brush your hair, stimulate blood flow to the scalp and possibly has an effect on health of the hair.
If you clean cut the hair should grow faster and the rate of growth will slow down as it grows. For example seikhs of india dont cut their hair but the growth slows down and eventually it stops growing. As otherwise their lock of hair will be bigger than their head. eroshik, Thu, 6th Mar 2008
Not sure about if uncut hair grows slower than short hair but thinking about it as the human body is a marvel of natural engineering with the ability to sense and react naturally to changes in our enviroment and lifestyles in ways that we are still discovering I could see the hair follicle being naturally designed to notice the extra pull due to the weight of the long hair and therefore changing the output from normal growth length wise to growth thickness or density wise strengthening the hair so it becomes less prone to breakage due too weight effectivly slowing down its growth.
Doesn't seem to work like that for me and it's from whether or not, I am well or poorly. That might be genetic thing as my Mother's hair was thin,
I love that woman's dreads! Em, Sun, 22nd Nov 2009