General Question

tups's avatar

What do you think about this article, saying that hair is an extension of the nervous system?

Asked by tups (6709points) July 12th, 2013

Here’s the article.
Please read the entire article before you answer. I could try to explain what it’s about, but you might as well just read the article.

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8 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar


But something that “has been hidden since the end of the Vietnam war” and just now released seems, well, bogus. The fact that it was just now revealed makes me think that this is somehow an invented story.

And look at where it is published – in a blog that “blog for people interested in natural health, living with awareness and elevating their consciousness. We author and aggregate mind-opening articles, editorials and videos that inspire our readers and liberate them from the status quo.” (their web page)

So the authors have a vested interest in making things like this seem true. This is not an unbiased, objective, neutral source.

So there may be something to this, but in order to be believable, I would want to see some sort of actual (not anecdotal) data, with real statistics and a control group and all of that.

Until that happens, I won’t give this any serious credence.

glacial's avatar

This is one of the silliest things I’ve read on the internet in a long while.

mattbrowne's avatar

Scientific nonsense, sorry.

thorninmud's avatar

I’m pretty much bald, but my nose hairs tell me that this is lousy science.

Supposing that the anecdotes about the Indian trackers are true, I think I far likelier explanation would be this: Your brain constantly monitors your environment for change. Someone who is extraordinarily aware of subtle changes, as these trackers supposedly were, would be keenly tuned in to sensory input, including how the body feels. If you’ve had long hair or a beard for a long time and then cut them off, you know how very weird that feels for quite awhile. It takes a lot of adjustment before your brain accepts this as the new sensory baseline. So I would suggest that during this adaptation period, very subtle sensory signals would be overwhelmed by that strangeness.

gailcalled's avatar


ragingloli's avatar

That must be why I always scream in pain when I cut my hair.
Oh, that is right, I do not.

Neodarwinian's avatar

Pure bunk..

Google human hair as your HM assignment today.

hearkat's avatar

Hair on our scalps is passive – especially the longer it gets. I’ve had hair as short as 1” and longer than 1’ since my teenage years, so I feel qualified to address that. I get food or other stuff in my long hair without realizing it. I could more easily believe that men’s coarse facial hair provides additional reception of vibrations and movement than scalp hair does.

I know that my cats do pick up vibrations to detect movement with their whiskers. When I flick a feathered toy in the air, my tuxedo flays his long white whiskers so as to sense the movements. It is also well documented that if you cut a cat’s whiskers, they are clumsy for a few days.

But cats are instinctive and learn to use this information. Most people in industrialized society are not so actively engaged with their environment as to develop the sensitivity to utilize this additional sensory input.

Even so, that means that our hair is an extension of our skin’s vibro-tactile sensory system. The nerves are beneath the skin and detect the changes in the hair’s position. To say that it’s an “extension of the nervous system” suggests that there are nerves running through the hairs, and we know this is not true.

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