Phantom blond hair growth
November 29, 2004 10:08 AM   Subscribe

I shave about three times a week and have black hair, but occasionally I'll wake up to see a blond hair that's half an inch long or longer has sprouted out of my face overnight. The same thing has happened on my arms and legs, with much-longer-than-ordinary blond hairs appearing amidst my regular body hair. What's going on?
posted by BuddhaInABucket to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Ha. I've experienced this before, too. I haven't a clue why it happens; just wanted to let you know you weren't alone.
posted by mauriteb at 10:28 AM on November 29, 2004

I get the same thing sometimes, but not on my face. I occasionally see a lone black hair longer than an eyelash on my shoulder. It always seems to crop up from out of nowhere.
posted by emptybowl at 10:28 AM on November 29, 2004

These hairs: they grow a half-inch overnight? I get long randoms hairs on my shoulders and arms, but they match my hair color. Probably the same thing as emptybowl and probably the start of a nice back-rug.
posted by BradNelson at 10:42 AM on November 29, 2004

I'd like to know an answer on this. I used to get the same type of hairs alot when I was in my late teens and early twenties.

Don't get them as often now, but the odd one still pops up occasionally.

I know the 'growing overnight' sounds amazing but that is what it seems like when you suddenly discover them, although I suspect that because they tend to be finer and blonde they don't stand out so much as normal hairs.
posted by Frasermoo at 10:48 AM on November 29, 2004

Could be these are ingrown hairs that through what ever means "broke through". Why these would be only blond- I don't know. Could be that these are finer than your black hairs and are more likely to "ingrow". I'm always shocked by the length of ingrown hairs when they are finally freed. Although, I also usually notice when I have an ingrown hair...
posted by Wolfie at 10:50 AM on November 29, 2004

Everyone I know who has a beard - including myself - has multicolored hairs in it. The hair on my head is brown, but the hair in my beard is brown, blonde, red, and black. Can't understand it, and never noticed it until I first grew the beard (stubble just looks universally black, until it grows longer).

Not that this helps explain anything, but I do think it's quite normal.
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:51 AM on November 29, 2004

Oh, and I remember reading somewhere that blonde hairs (esp. beard hairs) brow faster that dark ones.

To, you know, answer your question, and stuff.
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:53 AM on November 29, 2004

Best answer: I think the answer is just that bodies are weird.
posted by agregoli at 11:01 AM on November 29, 2004

It's all that miscegination you infidels have been getting up to!!

My eyebrows are dark brown, but every 10th eyebrow hair is whitish blonde, twice as long, thicker, and MUCH harder to yank out. If you wonder why I know how resistant each of my eyebrow hairs is to yanking out: nervous habit. Anyway, I have always thought of mine as mutant eyebrows and this thread makes me feel marginally better.
posted by damehex at 11:35 AM on November 29, 2004

Response by poster: Well, even if nobody seems to know what the heck is going on, it's nice to see that I'm not alone in the weird-body-hair department.
To follow up- these blond hairs in my beard don't fit in with the rest of the hairs. My normal beard is black with auburny-red tints in it and very coarse hairs... the blond ones are thin, long (I mentioned that I shave 3 times a week cause they are growing a lot longer than you would expect a hair to grow in two or three days), and usually on the upper half of my face- either right above the beardline or encroaching up the orbital bone towards my eyebrows. They aren't ingrown hairs because I normally notice those and don't get them often anyway.
Anyway, the blond leg hair is easily three to four times as long as the rest of my brown leg hairs... it's actually almost as long as my head hair... and the tip of it is brown, which shows that at one point it was just a regular hair, and then the follicle mutated or something and sprouted out an additional two inches.
Somebody, anybody- an answer!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:12 PM on November 29, 2004

If I had any hair on my head it'd be blondish in the summer and brown in the winter. My beard though is bright red. Hence I don't grow a beard.
posted by substrate at 12:21 PM on November 29, 2004

I have predominantly blonde hair in my so-called beard and, every once in a while, will find a jet black hair in there.

But my favorite (and my s.o.'s favorite) hair funkiness is what she calls my "Unicorn hair" -- a single, long, blonde hair that seems to sprout overnight from the middle of my forehead. She takes great joy in pointing it out, playing with it, and then yanking it out.

I know this is not helpful in any way. Please, BradNelson, don't yell at me.
posted by papercake at 12:21 PM on November 29, 2004

I know this is not helpful in any way. Please, BradNelson, don't yell at me.
Ha! No, you're actually on topic. I was just in a snarky mood earlier. And it looks like Matt already dumped the offending comment along with mine.

As to the actual topic, this is pretty interesting. I should try growing my beard out to see what color(s) I get. Right now, I shave it off about as soon as it shows up.
posted by BradNelson at 1:24 PM on November 29, 2004

I've worn a goatee ever since I was 18, and while my normal hair is dark brown, I have a natural stripe of reddish hairs in the goatee. I have no idea why. people ask me if i dye it like that all the time.
posted by Hackworth at 1:45 PM on November 29, 2004

This happens to me too, but only on my arms.
posted by falconred at 1:49 PM on November 29, 2004

This happens to me, and I kind of kept half an ear open in med school to learn why (at least when my ear hairs weren't plugging it up.)

No luck. No one seems to know. In their defense, I guess doctors are more interested in life-threatening or sick-making things.
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:56 PM on November 29, 2004

I once heard that those random blonde hairs have something to do with moles, or "birthmarks" or something like that. Like, you may have birthmark that you don't know about, maybe it doesn't actually show up on your skin but it's there.

Do they always come from the same spot on your face?
posted by chaz at 3:11 PM on November 29, 2004

Very occasionally I'll get a wierd, thick (many times thicker than my normal hair) black twisty - not curly, mind you, twisty - hair that will grow out the side of my head and I can feel it pushing through, but it is definitely not an ingrown hair. Once about 1/2 cm of it pops through it looks like this total freak hair and I can pull it out without much effort.

I call it my bug-leg. Because it looks like a leg of a bug. My sister calls it a "spastic fiber" and claims she occasionally gets them too. But, I googled spastic fiber and got nada, so it must be her own personal term. (I like bug-leg better, myself).
posted by contessa at 3:18 PM on November 29, 2004

I get 'em, too. Mutant Hairs, I call 'em. Almost always albino, strangely tougher-than-normal, with an almost cancerous growth rate.

Out of curiosity, I found that This guy holds the record for longest arm hair.

Here's a random picture of a mutant hair.

I'm Googling with all my might to answer this once and for all.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:36 PM on November 29, 2004 [2 favorites]

I get contessa's "bug-legs" as well but on my chin. The hairs are much much thicker than a regular beard hair. They pull out very easily and have a really large "bulb" on the end.
posted by TimeFactor at 4:01 PM on November 29, 2004

Hmm. The closest thing I can find is that it's may be some form of hypertrichosis. There's a hair-defect message board here, and someone mentions mutant hairs, but didn't get any responses. Oh well...
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:13 PM on November 29, 2004

I get them too - but only on the top of my right ear, so they're easy to spot. I check every morning so I'm pretty sure they grow overnight.
posted by tellurian at 5:26 PM on November 29, 2004

contessa: I get those too. The grow very slowly, though, and they're darker than my normal hair (brown). They pull out without any pain. I've been asking various people for many years about this and never found anyone that had something similar. Thanks, now I know I'm not a complete freak!
posted by e40 at 7:40 PM on November 29, 2004

I get these, always in some place where I don't normally grow hair (like my upper chest -- I'm female). Suddenly there will be this single long almost colorless hair there. I pluck it out and then nothing is there for months until it suddenly reappears. I am pretty sure it's not just there for a while, because I would honestly notice. It's got to be growing insanely fast.

I'm a mutant! AIIIIEEEE!
posted by litlnemo at 12:49 AM on November 30, 2004

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