Pulling Its Load
|This is ancient rope made from human hair|
Long ago, the people of Japan made ropes from human hair. They used these to lift heavy loads.
So how strong is hair. Try this test to find out how much weight a single hair can support before it breaks.
- Does it feel like it can bend easily without breaking?
- Is it stretchy?
|Compare healthy hair to hair that isn't so healthy. How are they different?|
What happens to hair as it breaks?
Then test your prediction. You'll need one hair that's at least 6 inches long. If you have short hair, you'll need someone with long hair to give you one to test or visit a hair salon to ask for a test sample.
Next, Use tape to attach one end of the hair to one end of a ruler. Set the ruler on a table so the hair hangs over the edge. Anchor the ruler with a stack of books.
Use a second piece of tape to attach a paperclip to the free end of the hair. Then slip other paperclips one at a time onto the first clip so they're dangling down from the hair. Do this until the hair breaks. Note: If the paper clip becomes full before the hair breaks, add a paper clip spread into a "V". Then add more paperclips to this clip.
Once the hair breaks, add up the number of clips the hair supported. Multiply that by 0.5. That will tell you the grams of weight the hair supported. To be sure what you discovered is likely to happen every time, repeat this test with two other hairs, one at a time. Then compare your results.
If you were going to make a rope out of hair, how many hairs would you want to use?
Would you rather use blonde or brunette hair? Describe how you came to your conclusions
Did you notice the ancient Japanese made their hair ropes by braiding together clusters of loose strands of hair. Why do you think braiding hairs together made the rope stronger?
It's Hair Story
Hair is something we all have. But it's one of those ways you can make yourself uniquely you.