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Everything you ever wanted to know about hair — and then some

Fact-packed book interweaves biology, history

By
8:00am, March 20, 2016
A hairy situation

A TALE OF HAIR A hair researcher explores the history and biology of hair (both human and animal), as well as its myriad uses, in a new book.

Hair: A Human History
Kurt Stenn
Pegasus Books, $26.95

 

After the Exxon Valdez dumped more than 10 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Alaska, hairdresser Phil McCrory got an idea.

He gathered up human hair from his salon, stuffed it into a pair of pantyhose and dunked the bundle into a solution of motor oil and water. The hair sopped up the oil — a discovery that has since inspired environmentalists to create “hair blankets” to clean up oil spills.

It’s not the most bizarre use of hair that Kurt Stenn describes in his new book, Hair: A Human History, or even the most surprising. From the felted wool covers of tennis balls to the horse-tail hair of a violin’s bow, Stenn, a

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