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A recent study underlines the interest of the hair to fight against the heat, especially when curly.

What is our hair really for, apart from the aesthetic point of view? When it’s hot, we tend to find them too bulky, to tie them up to free them from our shoulders and cool off. But did you know that their role was precisely to help the body not to overheat? Researchers publish a study on the question in the journal PNAS.

They used a so-called “thermal” dummy, whose role is to reproduce human body heat. This one has no hair. It was exposed to different light sources that produced heat and UV rays, in an atmosphere whose humidity they varied. Several series of tests were carried out on the dummy, first with nothing on the head, then with several types of wigs: straight and more or less curly hair.

The curlier the hair, the more it refreshes the body

They realized that the dummy did not have the same temperature depending on what he was wearing on his head. And in particular thatwith very curly hair, the model saw her temperature drop naturally compared to other wigs.

A double observation emerged from this research. The hair has a primary function of protection from UV rays, but it is also a thermoregulator of the organism. And the tighter the curls, the frizzier the hair, the more effective it is.

In an interview, the researchers believe that hair and its curls appeared two million years ago to protect the brain of man when he stood up in equatorial Africa. Two million years ago, man had the same structure as us but a much less developed brain, recalls a researcher. And little by little, thanks to the capillary protection allowing to refresh the organism and to retain the perspiration, the latter could have developed until taking the size that we know today.

Sources: PNAS, Penn State

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