Hair Statistics: How Many Hairs on a Human Head? (2024)

Pete Scott, MD

This text was written according to the highest scientific standards and reviewed by medical experts. Find out more about our quality assurance.

Written by Matilda H. Updated on 16 Jan 2024

Beyond aesthetic appeal, hair contributes significantly to our overall well-being and serves many functional purposes. With over 100,000 users every month, Medihair is one of the largest platforms that gives information on effective hair loss treatments. We compile the most recent hair statistics every year based on user data and additional information.

Most Important Findingssvg

How Many Hairs? 80,000 - 120,000
Hair growth 15 cm per year
Normal shed 50 to 100 hairs per day
Most common hair color black or brown
Hair loss 85% of men affected

4 Key Hair Statistics

  • The quantity of terminal hairs on the scalp typically ranges between 80,000 and 120,000 for most healthy individuals. 
  • The human body has over five million hair follicles.
  • Hair growth occurs at an average rate of approximately 15 cm per year, which translates to roughly 1.25 cm per month or 0.5 mm per day.
  • Individuals shed approximately 50 to 100 hairs per day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
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The Average Number of Hairs by Hair Color

Hair density varies among individuals due to a combination of factors. These factors contribute to the variations observed, leading to differences in the quantity of hair among individuals.

One of those important factors is hair color. Various estimates based on hair color suggest the following:

Hair Color Average No. of Hair
Blonde 150,000
Brown 110,000
Black 100,000
Red 90,000

It is important to note that these estimates provide a general range and individual variations exist within each hair color category. Factors such as genetics, hair thickness, and overall hair health can further contribute to the observed differences in hair quantity.

What Is a Hair Follicle?

A hair follicle is a small cavity or sac in the skin from which hair grows. It is part of the pilosebaceous unit, which includes the hair follicle, sebaceous gland, and arrector pili muscle. Hair follicles are present all over the body except for the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and the lips.

The approximately 100,000 hair follicles on the scalp go through a continuous growth cycle, consisting of three main phases:

  • Anagen (Growth Phase)
  • Catagen (Regression Phase)
  • Telogen (Rest Phase)

Each hair follicle can be in a different stage of this cycle, contributing to the natural variation in hair growth and shedding patterns.

Average Density of Hair

Hair density, the number of hair strands per unit area of the scalp, is a fascinating aspect that contributes to the unique characteristics of our hair. While each individual possesses a distinct hair density, research has provided insights into average hair counts across different demographics. 

Hair Density and Race

Research has revealed a correlation between race and potential hair count, although it is important to note that these figures can vary among individuals within each demographic.

Race Average Strands per cm2 (40-year-old)
Caucasian 220
Afro-textured hair 150
Asian and Hispanic 170

These figures provide a general overview of the relationship between race and hair count, but individual variations within each racial group are common.

Hair Density and Gender

A common question that arises when considering hair count is how gender influences hair density. According to some researchers, gender does not have a significant impact on hair density. One reason why we may perceive men as having more hair than women is that men’s hair tends to grow faster.

On the other hand, there are also studies that suggest a gender-based difference in hair density. These studies point out that men tend to have a higher concentration of hair follicles in certain areas, such as the scalp, beard, and chest, compared to women. This higher follicle count may make it seem like men have a higher hair density. 

In the end, the question of gender’s influence on hair count remains a topic of interest and further investigation.

Other Factors

Here are some other factors that can affect hair density beyond hair color, race, and, gender: 

Age: The growth rate of hair slows down with age. That is why the likelihood of thinning and shedding increases with age. Conditions like male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia can also affect overall hair density.

Environment: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays, harsh chemicals, as well as hormonal imbalances can contribute to lower hair density.

Lifestyle: Many lifestyle factors such as poor diet, high-stress levels, and usage of hairstyling devices can contribute to hair loss and low hair density

30 Hair Facts and Hair Statistics

  • Hair is one of the fastest-growing tissues in the human body after bone marrow.
  • The color of our hair is primarily determined by genetics
  • If you pluck a hair out from its follicle, it starts going through a natural cycle that includes a resting phase (telogen) before initiating the growth of a new hair strand (anagen).
  • The foundational building blocks of hair are: Carbon (50%), Oxygen (21%), Nitrogen (17%), Hydrogen (6%), and Sulphur (5%).
  • Hair is remarkably strong and a single hair strand can withstand 3.5 ounces which is almost equal to 1/4 pound.
  • Male hair tends to grow at a faster rate than female hair.
  • The most common hair colors are black or brown, which can be seen in approximately 90 percent of the global population.
  • When your hair becomes wet, it can weigh approximately 12 to 18 percent more than when it is dry.
  • Very few body parts are completely hairless, these include: the palms, soles of the feet, and the red part of the lips.
  • Hair grows approximately 6 inches per year (15 cm per year)
  • Wet hair can stretch without breaking, with the potential to elongate up to 30% of its original length.
  • The likelihood of hair turning gray increases by approximately 10-20% for each decade after the age of 30.
  • It is estimated that we naturally lose 50 to 100 hairs every day. This dynamic process of hair growth and shedding ensures a constant cycle of renewal and replacement.
  • Hair primarily consists of keratin, the same substance found in various parts of horses, such as their hooves, mane, and tail.
  • Despite its thin and fragile appearance, a single strand of hair can support a weight of up to 100 grams. This is attributed to the robust keratin fibers within the hair’s cortex, as well as its three-layered structure.
  • It typically takes around 7 years for the average person to reach waist-length hair and approximately 3 years to achieve shoulder-length hair.
  • Humans possess the same number of hair follicles per square inch as chimpanzees.
  • Natural red hair is relatively rare, with less than 4% of the global population having this distinctive trait.
  • Approximately 95% of the total skin area is covered by hair. 
  • Hair stores information about substances that have circulated through your bloodstream, including medications, drugs, minerals, and vitamins. This property aids in forensic and medical investigations.
  • Hair has the remarkable ability to absorb oil from water. This helps in maintaining the cleanliness and balance of the scalp.
  • Hair cross-sections can provide insights into an individual’s race and ethnicity. (Asian: round, European: oval, and African-American: flat.)
  • Blondes generally have the highest number of hair strands, averaging around 150,000, while redheads tend to have the lowest at around 90,000.
  • The effects of stress or shock can manifest in the form of white or grey hair after approximately 13 days.
  • Around 90% of hair strands are in the anagen phase, which is the active growth phase of the hair follicle. The remaining 10% of hair strands are in either the catagen phase, a transitional phase, or the telogen phase, a resting phase.
  • Babies are born with hair because all of your hair follicles are formed during fetal development, around the fifth month of pregnancy.
  • Chemotherapy-induced hair loss occurs because chemotherapy drugs target rapidly dividing cells, including those in the hair follicles. 
  • In 2021, there were 3.4 million hair transplants worldwide.
  • Hair loss is a prevalent issue that affects approximately 85% of men and 33% of women at some point in their lives.
  • Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, accounts for around 95% of male hair loss cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

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