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Hair Olympics

based on 2 ratings
Author: Judee Shipman

Our collective fascination with hair is focused mainly on hair growth, hair types and hair care. Hair is important to us, as evidenced by the millions of hair care products on the market. In this project you will calculate the strength and growth rates of hair.

Problem:

Do some types of hair grow faster than others? Are some types stronger than others?

Materials:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Blood pressure measurement apparatus
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.)
  •  Hair samples

Procedure:

  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below).
  2. Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
  5. Ask a group of volunteers to agree NOT to cut their hair until the end of the experiment.
  6. Mentally sort the volunteers into three groups, based on their different hair types (color, texture, volume, hair care product use, etc).
  7. Measure the hair length of each of these volunteers. Measure a piece of hair from the crown of the head down to the end.
  8. After 8 weeks, remeasure the hair length of these same volunteers.
  9. Ask another group of volunteers to each donate a hair sample about 10 inches long and a quarter inch in diameter.
  10. Divide these samples by hair type.
  11. Attach increasingly heavy objects from each hair sample. Determine the amount of weight required to tear each hair sample.
  12. Analyze your results.
  13. Write a detailed report.
  14. Include photos, diagrams and samples in your science fair display.
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