Difference Between Hair and Fur (With Table)

Hair is a very important aspect of mammals. It is a layer of protection for many mammals, locks out cold temperatures for them, and for humans also the hair on the body acts as protection later from harmful UV rays of the sun. Now a very basic may be held to figure out the differences between Hair and Fur.

Hair vs Fur

The difference between Hair and fur is that Hair is composed of keratin and other amino acids whereas fur is made of oily guard hair and thick underfur. Human hair grows endlessly and it is required to get cut whereas fur grows till a particular point after which the hair falls out. Unlike fur, hair cannot provide insulation in the context of heat, cold, rainfall, and temperature.

The outgrowth of filament made of keratin through the epidermis is known to be hair. It is bound to the skin with the help of hair follicles. The hair bulb contains cells that divide multiple times for the development of a hair shaft. Hair growth and hair bulb are nourished by hormones from the blood vessel’s hair bulb.

The thick sheath of hair covering the skins of various animals specifically mammals are known as fur. Oily guard hair is found as a layer on the fur and below the fur lies a thick underfur. Guard hair is instrumental in separating moisture and skin and the underfur is useful for keeping the animals warm.

Comparison Table Between Hair and and Fur

Parameters Of ComparisonHairFur
InsulationHair lacks the ability to provide insulation in terms of heat, cold, rainfall, and fails to enable temperature regulation.
Fur has the ability to provide absolute insulation to protect the animals from cold, heat, and rainfall as well.
Growth pattern
The growth of hair is different from that of fur as the growth progression of the hair strands is independent and needed to get cut.
The growth of fur is synchronized and aligned to the temperature, and it falls out after growing at a particular point.
Composition and physical features
Hair is composed of the same texture. It is considerably thinner than fur. Hair diameter varies from 17 to 181 μm.
Fur does not have the same texture and has double composition. It has a thicker diameter than that of hair.
Uses
It is vastly used for making hair extensions and wigs. Dough conditioner is the resultant product of human hair.
It is used for making clothes, fashion bags or items, knitting yarn, minks, brooms, and several other things.
Biological perspective
Hair has the continuous progression of growth and has different densities and softness as compared to fur.
Fur growth stops at a particular point after which the hair falls out. However, the growth progression is more synchronized.

What is Hair?

The outgrowth of hair is projected between dermis and hypoderms or the follicles that are also known as hair bulbs. Hair is provided with nutrients, vitamins, mineral salts, nourishment, and vital elements by the blood vessels incarnated in the hair shaft. Glands, specifically sebaceous glands play the role of a natural lubricant by producing sebum. Hair is composed of approximately 95% keratin and other amino acids. Hair is structured into three parts- the medulla, cuticle, and cortex.

Melanin is found in the hair cortex which is produced by melanocytes (specialized cells) that plays a vital role in controlling hair color. These pigment cells die with aging which turns the hair color into grey. Hair growth is a process containing a cycle with three stages. Anagen or the growth phase is the first phase in which each hair strands spend years for growth. Catagen or the transitional phase is marked as the second phase in which the growth of hair reduces, and shrinkage of hair follicle occurs. Telogen or the resting phase is the final phase in which the growth of hair ceases to rest and the hair shreds from the hair follicle. The rate of hair growth is different for everyone and its average rate is approximately one-half inch in one month.

What is Fur?

The outgrowth of hair from the skin of animals or mammals is known as fur. Fur has comparatively more thickness than that of hair. It is composed of thick underfur as well as oily guard hair that has different functions. The oily guard hair covering the top of the fur helps in resisting the contact of moisture to the skin of the animals. On the other hand, the thick underfur underneath the fur is functions as a blanket that insulates body temperature for keeping the mammal warm. The fur has different functions in the lives of animals. It is used for sensory purposes, protection, camouflaging, thermoregulation, and others.

The number of insulation changes with the alteration of the density of fur. Fur is composed of three significant layers. The innermost layer is known to be down hair that is used for thermoregulation. Awn hair is the middle layer of fur which is helpful for thermoregulation as well as water shedding. The topmost layer of the guard hair helps the animals to display or camouflage, water-repelling, protection from ultraviolet radiation, protection of skin from cuts and scratches, and others. The use of animal fur for clothing or fashion is sectioned to be illegal recently.

Main Differences Between Hair and Fur

  1. Hair has the continuous progression of growth while Fur growth stops at a particular point.
  2. Hair does not have the ability to offer insulation whereas fur can provide insulation to protect the animals from extreme cold or heat, rainfall, and also regulates their body temperature.
  3. The growth of hair strands takes place independently. On the other hand, the growth progression associated with fur is rather synchronized with the change in climatic conditions.
  4. Hair is composed of the same texture and is thinner than fur. On the contrary, fur has double composition and is thick in nature.
  5. Application of hair is wide in the fields of making wigs and hair extensions whereas furs are used to make clothes, yarn for knitting, brooms, and others.

Conclusion

Thus, it can be concluded by saying that hair and fur differ from each other in respect of different parameters. They are different in terms of the hair follicle, biological perspective, composition, physical attribute, uses, growth pattern, density, as well as smoothness. Unlike fur, hair lacks the ability to the insulation of heat, rainfall, cold, and body temperature. Hair has a lesser diameter than that of fur which is a lot denser. Unlike human hair, the growth of fur is synchronized to the weather conditions. Hair is used for making hair extensions and furs are used for making yarn for knitting, clothes, brooms, and others.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-81650-5_9
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cgf.12830
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