Disney’s Tangled hit theaters 10 years ago this week. Continuing the residence of Mouse’s long legacy of popular fairy-tale adaptations, Tangled, directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, tells an updated translate of the Rapunzel tale.

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The story that Rapunzel has actually uncertain origins, however we do understand it to be eventually collected by the brothers Grimm, cementing its position within the pantheon of standard stories. Disney’s rendition to add its very own elements, namely the of a magical high quality to Rapunzel’s hair. And, of course, songs.

One wonders, though, if there isn’t some fact to this yarn. We"ll target to find out if Rapunzel"s hair might really flourish that long or be strong enough to assistance the weight of a dashing young suitor. 


In order to answer this question, we must very first understand how hair grows. Your hair goes with three distinct cycles beginning with anagen and ending with telogen.

In the anagen phase, her hair is growing. This is the most common phase and around 90 percent of your hairs space in this step at any given time. Throughout this time, new hairs grow in the follicle, breach the surface, and also grow. The rate at which they grow, and also for how long, depends on a number of factors including chemical signals and the ar of the hair on the body. Those determinants are the reason the hair on your head can grow so long, while the hair on your body is more limited.

In the following phase, well-known as catagen, the follicle shrinks and hair growth stops. The hair then separates from the follicle but remains in place. At any kind of given time, about 5 percent of your hairs are in this phase. This is kind of the critical gasp of an separation, personal, instance hair. If it had any bucket perform items to cross off, this would certainly be the moment to perform it.

Finally, the hair enters telogen, the resting phase. With the hair disconnected and no much longer growing, your follicle has a opportunity to take a breather and also prepare because that a brand-new hair to take root. The old hair will fall out, more than likely landing in her mouth or in someone’s soup, and also the bicycle starts everywhere again.

For scalp hair, the rate of growth is approximately half an inch per month and also the anagen step lasts an typical of three years. Because that these reasons, the mean maximum size of person hair is around three feet. No matter just how long you go without a haircut, your own biological processes conspire versus your hair getting any kind of longer — though there are some notable exceptions.


Presuming you’re one of the genetically happy (or unlucky) few, v hair that never quits growing, you could end up with a collection of locks qualified of lowering to the ground indigenous atop a lofty tower. You can then find yourself at the beck and call that a witch or a gallant prince in need of a lift.

A single human hair is capable of holding as much as 100 grams. That’s an ext than fifty percent the weight of the median smartphone (chosen since it’s more than likely the most common object you regularly host in her hand). Still, the typical European male (chosen since that’s the most common type Rapunzel could have encountered) weighs around 160 pounds.

The tensile strength of a solitary human hair, when impressive, might hold only around one-tenth that a percent of the weight.

Luckily, the average head has about 100,000 hairs and their merged strength is much more than sufficient to lug the weight of a person. It’s estimated that a complete head of healthy and balanced hair might hold hundreds of pounds, yet we recognize it is in ~ least solid enough to hold the weight of a person. For proof, we need only to look in ~ circus acts for proof.

Danila Bim is a performer for Cirque du Soleil, performing the Hair Hang. According to Bim, it took months for she to train herself to be able to support her very own weight with just her hair. Now, using just a steel ring, a rope, and also peak physical fitness, she’s able to assistance her weight also dozens that feet in the air.

The feat is impressive, if a little terrifying, and also shows the superior strength of human hair. The genuine marker here is the ability of the scalp come endure the pressure. The hair itself has no nerve endings and also feels no pain, for this reason if ever before you’re in a instance where you need to lift you yourself or someone rather by her hair, wednesday recommend friend anchor it to something else and take the pressure off your scalp.

Also, obviously, don’t shot this at home.


Humans" hair growth shows up seemingly distinctive in the animal kingdom. Hair, in and also of itself, is not special. Mammals of every stripes have hair, an ext commonly referred to as fur for the non-humans, but it acts in essentially the exact same ways.

Looking even at various breeds of the very same animals, favor cats or dogs, we view that some of them have fur that continues to be eternally short, when others have actually something akin to our flowing, luscious locks.

There are a number of hypotheses about why we lost most of our fur throughout the evolution process. It could have been the losing fur on the face allowed us to much better read one another’s emotionally cues. One more idea is that endurance hunting during the heat of the day, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa, necessitated a greater capability to sweat, which is far better facilitated by having actually less hair.

It’s a concern still in require of a critical answer, but, for whatever reason, we preserved our more thick scalp fur even while the rest of that receded. It’s most likely that scalp fur remained together a type of security from the Sun.

We need direct call with sunshine in bespeak to produce vitamin D. Yet too much call can have ill effects, as confirmed by everyone who’s ever before suffered a particularly painful sunburn. Hair atop the head helps avoid that. It’s additionally why you could have one uncle with specifically hairy shoulders or a furry back.

There’s no a clean answer ~ above why ours head hair grows so long while the same isn’t watched in various other animals. It could be there’s part evolutionary advantage putting press on longer hair. Or it may be one artifact. Evolution, after ~ all, doesn’t necessarily care around the objective best, so much as that cares around the good enough.

What we do understand is the same processes are current in humans as in various other mammals. Each follicle goes through those exact same three stages. It just so happens that the hair on your head has actually a longer anagen phase 보다 your non-human counterparts.

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A organic happenstance the benefits both hairstylists and also imprisoned princesses alike.