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Author Topic: QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?  (Read 10133 times)

Offline thedoc

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QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?
« on: 09/03/2009 15:57:22 »
Do humans moult like other hairy animals such as cats and dogs? In other words, does our hair get thicker in winter while we moult in the summer? If we don't moult, did we once have this function and have we since lost it through evolution?

Asked by John, Hong Kong

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« Last Edit: 09/03/2009 16:23:26 by BenV »


 

Offline thedoc

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« Reply #1 on: 09/03/2009 15:57:22 »
We put this to Des Tobin, Associate Dean for Research at the School of Life Sciences, University of Bradford:
For most animals, like rodents you have a clear-cut wave of hair growth where all the follicles are synchronised. Moulting requires synchronicity in the follicles because the hair grows in a cycle of growth that we call anagen and a resorbative phase called catagen. In the human there is quite a bit of synchronicity in the very early stages: before birth and in the neonatal phase but it breaks up very quickly so that you get what we call a mosaic form of hair growth. Each follicle is an autonomous mini organ. Whilst, to some extent that can be re-synchronised, for example, when women are pregnant because they change their hormonal stimulus. Some studies have been done way back on hair on the thigh. I don't know why they chose thigh hair to check the seasonality of hair but it was shown that in certain times of the year perhaps a little bit related to weather (although with humans you have to be very careful because of the fact that we're wearing clothes for a very long time and we don't need it for the same thermo-regulation that mammals would have) but there is some kind of very minor peaks. If we were to do hair counts we tend to see more shedding as we go into the summer period than going into the winter period.
 

Offline JnA

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QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?
« Reply #2 on: 10/03/2009 07:53:36 »
We moult continuously. Our hair grows and falls out in cycles.


Not all these follicles are actively growing hairs at any one time. From the moment when it is first formed, each follicle undergoes repeated cycles of active growth and rest. The length of the cycle varies with the individual, and also with the part of the body on which the hair is growing.

http://www.pg.com/science/haircare/hair_twh_23.htm
 

Offline tony6789

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QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?
« Reply #3 on: 10/03/2009 18:26:08 »
i assume it does to some degree just based on the fact some people's hair will actually become lighter or dark based on the weather season.
 

Offline chris

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QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?
« Reply #4 on: 10/03/2009 19:36:37 »
But moulting is more of a synchronised process; the hair loss we experience is more stochastic and involves random follicles at any time. Moulting presumably involves multiple simultaneous follicle-down...?
 

Offline JnA

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QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?
« Reply #5 on: 11/03/2009 03:23:06 »
i assume it does to some degree just based on the fact some people's hair will actually become lighter or dark based on the weather season.

is that not due more to the light source/ exposure to sunlight?
 

Offline tony6789

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QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?
« Reply #6 on: 11/03/2009 16:26:48 »
i assume it does to some degree just based on the fact some people's hair will actually become lighter or dark based on the weather season.

is that not due more to the light source/ exposure to sunlight?


yea, but im guessing that because the seasons cause this change in sunlight exposure it may also trigger hair loss/hair growth? i cud b wrong im just thinking out loud
 

Offline Emilio Romero

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QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?
« Reply #7 on: 11/03/2009 18:27:43 »
Isn't 80% of the dust in our homes dead skin cells? If so, then of course we molt our skin... or at least in some way...

Emilio
 

Offline dentstudent

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QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?
« Reply #8 on: 12/03/2009 10:40:44 »
Agreed but I would call it 'slothing'. 

JnA - do you mean "sloughing", pronounced "sluffing"?


http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Sloughing

slough 2  (slf)
n.
1. The dead outer skin shed by a reptile or amphibian.
2. Medicine A layer or mass of dead tissue separated from surrounding living tissue, as in a wound, sore, or inflammation.
3. An outer layer or covering that is shed.
v. sloughed, sloughˇing, sloughs
v.intr.
1. To be cast off or shed; come off: The snake's skin sloughs off.
2. To shed a slough.
3. Medicine To separate from surrounding living tissue. Used of dead tissue.
 

Offline JnA

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QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?
« Reply #9 on: 12/03/2009 11:20:34 »
Agreed but I would call it 'slothing'. 

JnA - do you mean "sloughing", pronounced "sluffing"?


http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Sloughing

slough 2  (slf)
n.
1. The dead outer skin shed by a reptile or amphibian.
2. Medicine A layer or mass of dead tissue separated from surrounding living tissue, as in a wound, sore, or inflammation.
3. An outer layer or covering that is shed.
v. sloughed, sloughˇing, sloughs
v.intr.
1. To be cast off or shed; come off: The snake's skin sloughs off.
2. To shed a slough.
3. Medicine To separate from surrounding living tissue. Used of dead tissue.



um.. another glass of wine anyone?  :)
 

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QotW - 09.03.15 - Do people moult seasonally?
« Reply #9 on: 12/03/2009 11:20:34 »

 

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