Why Different Hair Textures Tangle (Or Don't)

Why Different Hair Textures Tangle (Or Don't)


Oof. I just looked in the mirror and wondered how sitting at a desk all day manages to turn my hair into a rat's nest. And now I know! Jean-Baptiste Masson, a French researcher, has found that straight hair tangles more than curly hair does. As it turns out, it's a matter of physics.

After observing a group of 212 people over the course of three weeks, Masson created a mathematical model to explain the phenomenon. As News in Science reports:

Although curly hairs are more likely to come into contact with other hairs, he says straight hairs tend to have bigger angles between them when they connect. This second factor turns out to be the most important when it comes to tangles, Masson reported. It's the angle at which hair meets that most determines its likelihood of tangling.

You may wonder why a physicist would be studying hair. Masson's work was inspired by a field of science called polymer dynamics, and his findings may help other scientists develop Velcro-like products—and more likely than not, some new hair products, too.

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