The Rogue Hair - Beyond Thunderdome
November 8, 2006 2:00 PM   Subscribe

OK, seriously. This may be a bit TMI, but anyway... how is it possible for a 1 - 1.5 inch hair to grow out of one's forehead seemingly overnight?

Now, I stood in front of the mirror and brushed my teeth last night before bed... saw NUTHIN'. This morning, BANG, a fine(er than normal) head-hair is jutting out of my forehead, halfway up between my (right) eyebrow and my (receding) hairline. This doesn't happen every day of course, but it ain't the first time either.

Sure, it's possible I missed it last night or the day before... but every time? I just find it hard to believe that I never manage to catch these rogue hairs at the half-inch mark. It's always when the hair is shockingly and disturbingly long.

Is it because I'm fascinated with Dancing With The Stars?
posted by Witty to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do you use Rogaine, Propecia or any other drug designed to stimulate hair growth?
posted by huskerdont at 2:21 PM on November 8, 2006

Maybe it saw the "tide coming in" with your hairline and made a break for it--to join its eyebrow cousins where it can grow long and bushy for as long as you live.
posted by nonmyopicdave at 2:31 PM on November 8, 2006 [5 favorites]

It grew to that length under the skin before breaking through and becoming visible. In other words it's an uber-ingrown hair.

I have just such a single rogue hair that grows out of my deltoid and if left unmolested will grow to 3" before falling out. It always reappears in the same spot after a vigorous loofahing and starts at 3/4".
posted by jamaro at 2:32 PM on November 8, 2006

You're not alone, Witty. I've had the exact same occurrence in virtually the same location on my forehead. While the hair was finer than normal, mine was perhaps about 1/2 inch long. It just seemed to show up one day although it's distinctly possible that because it was so small that it went unnoticed. To answer the first comment's question, I haven't been taking any "hair drugs". I still have a full head of hair. Very curious to see if anyone has an answer for this.
posted by quadog at 2:36 PM on November 8, 2006

Hah, how much do I love that this is actually a repeat AskMe question. As random as rogue hairs!
posted by jamaro at 2:39 PM on November 8, 2006

I have one on the side of my nose of all places! It, too, has always confounded me.

(For the record, I'm female in my very early 30s. No need for Rogaine.)
posted by faunafrailty at 2:47 PM on November 8, 2006

Response by poster: huskerdont - Nope, nope, nope. And I only say receding because it's not the same hairline as it was in high school. But no one would consider me as "going bald" by any stretch.

nonmyopicdave - Ha! Well done.

jamaro - Interesting theory... sounds reasonable. So I guess it grows and grows, then shoots out like silly string overnight?
posted by Witty at 2:56 PM on November 8, 2006

I have one on my left arm, just above where I wear my watch. I call him Silky.
posted by Coffeemate at 2:58 PM on November 8, 2006 [4 favorites]

What's even more fun is that I have a couple of recurring ingrown hairs that'll pop out about a half an inch or so. Then when I go to pluck them, they grow to an inch or two long as I pull them. It's really sorta creepy, yet entertaining at the same time to be able to watch hair "grow" that way.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:32 PM on November 8, 2006

GOD, I get these all the time, usually on my left sholder. I find them so facinating. My wife was at first skeptical, then grossed out, now she actively looks for them!

I don't think they are ingrowns. There is nothing to clue you in that one is on its way. If this much hair were hiding under the surface there would be a bump or something.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:33 PM on November 8, 2006

Oh, and mine are always very white and very fine, you could even say silky. Perhaps it's some sort of recessive spider gene?
posted by Pollomacho at 6:34 PM on November 8, 2006

I, no kidding, had this happen to me on a blind date. Pre date mirror check? No worries. Mid date mirror check? Crazy Hair From Beyond. No idea other than the gods having a sense of humor.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:35 PM on November 8, 2006

Witty: ingrown hairs tend to just curl up just under the skin and if the growing tip finally points in the right direction or if the skin is broken (often a light exfoliating is enough to open the blocked pore) then the hair can finally pop out in all its lengthy glory. If there's no inflammation at the follicle, then you wouldn't have a bump.

The one I have on my shoulder often shows up as a loop and then, like Jacquilynne, I can pull out it to reveal the rest. (yikes. TMIfilter, sorry).

A separate issue are these weird hairs that grow in longer and often of a different color and texture than those from surrounding follicles. I think those are just the product of damaged follicles, the damage of which causes it to produce hair out of sync with the rest of your hair as well as making it more susceptible to being ingrown.

Lest you get too upset by your lone stray hair, a friend of mine in junior high had a 2" x 2" patch of luxuriant blonde ...fur...on her left forearm which she used to regularly shave. When she didn't, it looked as though she was wearing the ear of a cocker spaniel.

Coffemate: ha. mine is named Blondie because it's an apt description and it made its debut in the late 70s.
posted by jamaro at 6:40 PM on November 8, 2006

I'm a girl, and I have one in the same place on my forehead too. I used to not notice it until it was several inches long and was tickling me. Now I'm a little more diligent in watching for him and plucking him out when he's a half inch or so.

I'm comforted that I'm not the only person who has one of these.
posted by clh at 6:49 PM on November 8, 2006

clh: So, why do you refer to it as 'him'?
posted by tippiedog at 7:20 PM on November 8, 2006

My wife, swear to god, had an inch long hair grow out of her HEEL when we were in college. If that sucker reappears, I'm outta here.

Bodies do strange things, hairwise.
posted by ColdChef at 7:29 PM on November 8, 2006

Wow, i have one these on my neck; I always thought it was so incredibly weird, but apparently (if y'all are any indication) they are humankind's undiscussed commonality ;-)

Whenever I get ingrown hairs though, the spot usually gets a bit red or tender or bump-y. So I'm pretty sure this random long one isn't ingrown. I'm curious to hear if there are any other explanations?

Also, this is obviously a silly question, but what does 'TMI' mean?
posted by Kololo at 8:10 PM on November 8, 2006

You've hit the trifecta of questions about odd bodily hairs.

(Kudos to spilon, who describes them as "hillbilly hairs.")
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:25 PM on November 8, 2006

It means "too much information," Kololo.

I have one freak-hair under my chin and another on my forearm--glad to know they have siblings out there. I guess.
posted by hippugeek at 8:43 PM on November 8, 2006

I'm with the "gods having a sense of humor" theory. On the morning of my 30th birthday, I woke up to discover one in the same place as yours, half an inch long, and pure white. Until I saw this thread, I thought it was my own little freaky-deaky "sign" that sometimes the universe points and laughs.

(The errant hair practically fell out when I pulled on it. Seven years later and it's not come back yet.)
posted by Liffey at 9:03 PM on November 8, 2006

I had a 1.5" long eye lash appear from no where last week. Now that was weird. Seriously it was huge!
posted by public at 2:34 AM on November 9, 2006

This thread is useless without pictures.
posted by essexjan at 11:04 AM on November 9, 2006

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