Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

ABC of Weather: Hair

Have you spent ages getting your hair looking just so, then gone out only to find it's gone into an unsightly frizz (curly hair) or limp and lanky (straight hair)? If you have, then you've observed the effect humidity can have on your body. Hair is shorter when the air is dry and stretches when it's moist by up to 2.5 percent.

This phenomenon didn't go unnoticed by the early inventors of humidity recorders (aka hygrometers): In the 15th Century Nicolas de Cousa observed changing humidity levels by recording the amount of moisture absorbed by wool. Others used human hair, string, intestines or wild oats before the standard wet/dry bulb thermometer method and today's electronic wizardry were developed.

If any of you have one of those little weather houses, where a man or woman comes out of a door depending on whether it's going to rain or shine, then you're using hair to tell you what the weather's doing. If you don't have one, then here's how you can build your own simpler version.

Humidity isn't the only weather component our hair reacts to. I was taken by surprise by the speed of an approaching storm in Mallorca once and I knew exactly when it was directly overhead as all the hairs on my arms were raised clear of my skin. I felt electrically charged and very alive. Needless to say I headed for shelter as fast as I possibly could as I was the tallest object around and on a bicycle to boot. Not the best of situations in a raging storm!

How's the weather with you today?

Happy ABC Wednesday everyone :)

20 comments:

  1. What an intriguing post for the H day!! I'm amazed at how many H things/words have already appeared today that I knew little or nothing about! One of the pluses in blogging! Have a wonderful week!

    Sylvia

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  2. Very creative H post : ). When I try to make my hair look perfect it doesn't work. And when I could care less, perfection : )

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  3. A most informative post VP - never realised that hair was involved in the working of one of those little weather houses. How intriguing. Have not seen one of them for years. We have a dry day here - started frosty with blue skies and sunshine but clouded up as the day went along.

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  4. VP as always an interesting post.

    Weather cold grey but fortunately warm enough to get lots of gardening done so not bad at all then.

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  5. Very interesting post. I guess I need to move some place with lower humidity if i ever want my hair to look decent.

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  6. How interesting! Without a lot of product, my curly hair is perpetually frizzy... but I live in a very humid place. I think I'll just put up with the hair for the sake of the beauty of the place. ;)

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  7. I keep my hair as short as possible - low maintenance.

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  8. I was wondering about the weather in Malvern and its effects on hair. What's the word, voluminizing? Or as my daughter calls it, poufhead. Your storm story was exciting, if scary. I do love the air just before a storm, when the wind has a certain twang to it. Today was warm but cloudy, perfect for gardening chores. :-)
    Frances

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  9. Fascinating post today and very informative too. I didn't know about the little weather houses and hair. I don't like when I get electricity in my hair and it stands up all over.
    Weather here in No. California is mostly gray and slightly breezy. The reports said it was suppose to rain but we never saw any.

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  10. Interesting - I think I'll make a hygrometer according to your link - thanks!

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  11. Looks as the hair of my cat Rosie, lol!

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  12. Now the title song from the musical's running thru my head: "Gimme a head with hair (HAIR!). Long beautiful hair..."

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  13. A very interesting post, enjoy it.

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  14. How interesting! I didn't know they used to use wool to measure humidity!

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  15. Yes, I am plagued by the frizzy hair syndrome! And the weather where I am at the moment is not at all suitable - snow AGAIN! I've long since given up on the ooh-ing and ah-ing at the pretty scenes it makes.

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  16. very very different H post..i liked it..

    my hair it has a tendency to get dry and then catch static

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  17. My hair is rather straight so 'friz" isn't a problem. Very informative and creative capture!

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  18. One of the things I always fuzz about is my hair. lol
    No need make up ... just to get my hair right!

    Happy Thursday!

    hugs

    shakira

    HOPE FOR GREAT LAKES NOW!

    THEME THURSDAY-HATS

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  19. Have you had an exotic and interesting birthday hair-do?
    I'm sure it didn't look like that last time I saw you.
    It is quite Cruella de Ville

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  20. Hi everyone - glad you enjoyed the post and well spotted Gattina who knows the source of the hair in my photo.

    James - you'll have to wait for Malvern to see what my hair actually looks like ;)

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