reply to post by Wolfenz
So, what's your point in posting cut and pastes to piloerector muscles? It's an old system that "fluffed" your shorter body hair if you were cold,
or nervous. There's a lot of other stuff connected to hair follicles as well, like sebaceous glands. None of it's got jack to do with connecting
mysterious non-existent hair nerves to your brain.
Next, that ehow post about static and hair is horribly wrong. "As you walk, you gather more and more static electricity and it exits through your
hair"? OMG. Who is this idjit?
Let's poke at that eHow reference you posted a bit, because it's so very wrong, and it's a shiny example of why you ought not use eHow for any
reason at all, sort of like Yahoo Answers. Wikipedia is a bastion of accuracy compared to those two.
"When your hair receives a charge of static electricity, it loses its normal smoothness as the charged particles interact with the air around
Not at all. What's happening is that your hair has a tiny, nearly undetectable bit of surface conductivity due to the oil coating and surface
adsorption of water molecules. This allows the triboelectric charge you picked up due to the interaction between your shoes and the carpet to be
evenly distributed over the hair shaft. The charge is not very mobile because the surface conductivity is so low. So now you have a bunch of very low
mass, long, charged objects that have limited ability for the electrons to get away from each other, so what you end up with is mutual repulsion. The
charges stuck to the hair shafts are all the same polarity, and they don't want to be next to each other, so the strands try to separate from each
other. If you've got enough charge, they'll repel each other so much your hair will literally stand on end, but you can't generally get this from
carpet and shoes. It should be noted that this will happen even better in a vacuum, and hasn't got jack to do with "interacting with the air around
"Static electricity occurs most often during the cold winter months because cold air holds less moisture."
One of the few things he gets right - likely because he copy pasted it from some reliable source...
"The static charges in your hair, for instance, would normally flow through the water particles surrounding your head."
But then he tries to think about it, and gets it wrong again. Given more air conductivity due to moisture, you will not build up a static charge in
the first place. The charge transport by triboelectric friction will still occur, but it'll disperse quickly, in most cases faster than the charge is
pumped in. Your hair won't build up a charge because YOU don't.
According to Hair Finder, hair and skin both have a natural pH of 5. A measurement of acidity or basicity, pH also refers to electrical conductivity.
Stronger acids and bases conduct electricity more easily than do weaker ones, due to the presence of hydrogen or hydroxide ions.
Ah, yes, Hair Finder, that bastion of physics. Your hair is essentially non-conductive when dry. Period. Your skin isn't very conductive if intact -
the epidermis is comprised of dead partially cornified cells from which most of the moisture is gone. If the epidermis is removed, or if you stuff a
conductive electrolytic material between the gaps in the dead cells by, say, using a conductive gel, you can get around this. However, even your
epidermis is very conductive compared to hair.
There's a nice little study by R.A. Fischer company (link)
where they measured the conductivity of
hair - even with a couple thousand volts across it, they were unable to measure any current at all.
"As you walk, you gather more and more charge and it will exit through your hair. "
And you're on crack.
Seriously, wolfenz, you can't really go by eHow. What you're looking for here is found under the search term "triboelectric effect". Here are a
few links, most are pretty pre-chewed for you:
At any rate, it's nothing more than a mechanical transfer of charge. It's got jack to do with ESP or tracking people through a jungle.