How to Test Hair Strength

by Nicole Carlin ; Updated July 18, 2017

Woman combing her hair

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Human hair is made up of keratin protein, which is not only strong but flexible, giving hair its shape and swing. According to Proctor and Gamble Beauty and Grooming, the average hair strand should hold up to 100 g before breaking. Human hair is strong enough to make rope. A way to test hair strength at home is to load pennies onto a strand of your hair to measure how many pennies the hair supports.

Pluck a strand of hair from your head. Do not rip the hair out; instead, grab the strand by the root and pull gently.

Tape the strand of hair to a pencil.

Place the pencil inside the stack of books so it's sticking outward and the hair is hanging down toward the table top.

Tape one penny to the end of the hair so the penny is hanging off the end of the hair.

Tape additional pennies to the end of the hair one by one. Keep track of the number of pennies you have added. Note the number of pennies taped on when the hair breaks.

Calculate the strength of the hair. Each penny is approximately 2.5 g. Measure the strength of the hair by multiplying the number of pennies used by 2.5 g. This is an approximate measurement of how much weight your hair can hold. Repeat the experiment a few times to see if the results are the same.

Tips

  • Try using hairs from different sections of your head to see if the strength is the same.

Photo Credits

  • FotoimperiyA/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Nicole Carlin is a registered yoga teacher. Her writing has been published in yoga and dance teacher training manuals for POP Fizz Academy. Carlin received a Masters of Arts in gender studies from Birkbeck University in London and a Bachelors of Arts in psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia.