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#37112 - 11/10/15 11:23 AM Cleanliness is next to godliness
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Fascinating study:

Animals Rely on Hair to Keep Clean, Study Finds

which you can follow up in the journal

Cleanliness is next to godliness: mechanisms for staying clean.

The full article in PDF format (1.3MB) — quite technical but with superb photographs — is available on that site.

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#37238 - 11/17/15 10:58 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: grelber]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
I haven't read the whole article, but it seems to me that hair on your head, or your face for that matter, is a source of uncleanliness and difficult to clean without soap or shampoo (although when I was in Jamaica people did use a certain plant to wash their hair.) Human hair grows quite long before it stops growing so if that is the case how we're humans intended to keep themselves clean? Plain water doesn't leave your hair clean.


Edited by slolerner (11/17/15 11:00 AM)
Edit Reason: More

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#37256 - 11/18/15 06:33 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I think head hair is intended to be somewhat water repellent, much like the oil on your skin. Water buildup creates a habitat for bacteria. Though the smaller you are, the bigger a problem a bacteria colony becomes. To that end, most insects spend a lot of time grooming themselves, removing bacteria from their exoskeleton. A common housefly has a much cleaner body than you do!
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#37258 - 11/18/15 07:37 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: Virtual1]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Yes, hair is water repellant, but sweat builds up from the root. How does your body get rid of this on its own? Interestingly, and I'm not sure they mention this in the article, birds bath with water and afterwards spend a lot of time preening their feathers. In fact, they preem a lot of the time, trimming their nails back and making them pointy with their beaks, too. The feathers have to be made oily again to keep them waterproof but also to interlock the the edges of their feathers, which function like a zipper, so they keep insulated again as well as have a closed surface area to fly. If you see a feather close up you can see the little barbs at the edges that close them up.

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#37264 - 11/18/15 09:14 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: slolerner
Yes, hair is water repellant, but sweat builds up from the root. How does your body get rid of this on its own?

Evaporation? The main purpose of sweat is to lower body temperature by perspiration.
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#37271 - 11/18/15 10:24 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: Virtual1]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Unfortunately, evaporation leaves all solutes behind. Those may render hair greasy or otherwise ‘problematic’, such as being (part of) the substrate for bacterial growth. All good reasons to reapply water and even more solutes like detergents. smirk
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#37272 - 11/18/15 10:25 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: Virtual1]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Then hair on your head doesn't let sweat evaporate...

Edit: Then how were PEOPLE intended to keep themselves clean? Flaw in the Grand Design. Water doesn't get rid of oily hair. Shampoo comes from the shampoo factory AFAIK.


Edited by slolerner (11/18/15 10:33 AM)
Edit Reason: More

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#37287 - 11/18/15 12:30 PM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: slolerner
Then hair on your head doesn't let sweat evaporate...

Edit: Then how were PEOPLE intended to keep themselves clean? Flaw in the Grand Design. Water doesn't get rid of oily hair. Shampoo comes from the shampoo factory AFAIK.

Hairs grow, stop growing, and the follicle sheds them and takes a short break before growing a new hair. Evolutionarily, your hair is supposed to remain oily, that's part of its disposable design. Not all animals are that way, it varies. Oily is actually a bit uncommon, but we're far from unique there among mammals. Oily hair doesn't retain heat very well compared to fluffy dry hair, and that's what most animals rely on it for. (warm and dry)
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#37301 - 11/19/15 10:15 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: Virtual1]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
I'd like to solicit tacit's take on this:

In the case of people, hair on your head may be less functional as far as keeping you warm or cool and requires a lot of maintenance, but it does have a lot to do with whether others find you attractive. It's big business. Females spend a lot of time and money making sure their hair looks right. So, does it function like, say, brightly colored feathers, to determine if you are good genetic material for mating? And why?

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#37302 - 11/19/15 12:39 PM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: slolerner]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Brightly colored feathers are markers of health that birds are drawn to because they have genes that attract them to those features. We have genes that attract us to things like symmetric faces, but I suspect hair care products are too recent an innovation for that to be genetic.
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#37303 - 11/19/15 01:37 PM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: tacit]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: tacit
Brightly colored feathers are markers of health that birds are drawn to because they have genes that attract them to those features. We have genes that attract us to things like symmetric faces, but I suspect hair care products are too recent an innovation for that to be genetic.

I'm not so sure about that. Archeologists have found makeup kits with lipstick and eye shadow in women's graves long pre-dating the pyramids in Egypt and millennia before even the earliest stories in the Pentateuch. In the book of Genesis Rachel's older sister Leah is described as having "weak" eyes which modern scholars interpret to mean she did not use her eye makeup well. When the only thing that can be seen under a hijab such as women wore in those times and culture and still today in some cultures, even with arranged marriages, well made up eyes were critical to attracting a husband.

Human males may or may not be genetically attracted by the length of a woman's hair per. se., but long hair has been a cross cultural hallmark of femininity since prehistoric times in those genetic groups where women's hair grows longer than men. By and large and on the average human males are attracted by femininity — thus helping assure the continuation of the species — and by association the hallmarks of femininity such as long hair.
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#37311 - 11/20/15 09:16 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: tacit]
Ira L Online


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: tacit
Brightly colored feathers are markers of health that birds are drawn to because they have genes that attract them to those features.


And as a consequence in many birds it is only the males that have colorful plumage. The better to attract the females, who will perceive good health and good breeding capabilities.
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#37351 - 11/21/15 11:28 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: Ira L]
MacManiac Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
...so is this FINALLY a reasonable explanation for the leisure suit in the days of disco????? blush
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#37353 - 11/21/15 11:46 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: MacManiac]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
…so is this FINALLY a reasonable explanation for the leisure suit in the days of disco????? blush

That and the fact they were a lot more comfortable than a three piece suit and tie or in my case a class A uniform. grin
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#37355 - 11/21/15 12:11 PM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: joemikeb]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Explains those mustaches that somehow went with leisure suits...

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#37358 - 11/21/15 01:00 PM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: slolerner]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: slolerner
Explains those mustaches that somehow went with leisure suits…

I only got rid of mine this year — the mustache that is, not the leisure suit — then only because my wife said it made me look older. (Which seems an appropriate observation in the context of this thread. cool
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#37364 - 11/22/15 07:10 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: joemikeb]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I only got rid of mine this year — the mustache that is, not the leisure suit — then only because my wife said it made me look older. (Which seems an appropriate observation in the context of this thread. cool

If you bring that up in the context of this thread, does that mean that your wife likes (inviting) more competition? shocked wink
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#37367 - 11/22/15 09:38 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: alternaut]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: alternaut
If you bring that up in the context of this thread, does that mean that your wife likes (inviting) more competition? shocked wink

After 56 years of married life, I am not about even nibbling on that bait.
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#37368 - 11/22/15 09:59 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: joemikeb]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: alternaut
If you bring that up in the context of this thread, does that mean that your wife likes (inviting) more competition? shocked wink

After 56 years of married life, I am not about even nibbling on that bait.

Right on! (Otherwise it's: Dead on!) wink tongue

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#37369 - 11/22/15 10:02 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: joemikeb]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
After 56 years of married life, I am not about even nibbling on that bait.
Nor should you, and may your response serve as a multicolored coat in your spouse’s eye! My comment was exclusively (and as I hope obviously so) in jest.
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#37384 - 11/23/15 09:02 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: MacManiac]
Ira L Online


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
...so is this FINALLY a reasonable explanation for the leisure suit in the days of disco????? blush


That makes the grand assumption that a leisure suit was perceived as desirable "plumage" by the female of the species. It may just have been a ploy foisted on the culture by fashion designers. smirk
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#37403 - 11/24/15 01:28 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: Ira L]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Isn't everything a ploy foisted on us by fashion designers? Just think how easy they were to push at the time. Cleanliness (polyester, just throw it in the wash) and they were 'leisure' suits, comfortable for the wearer and convenient for everyone with little fashion savvy.

The flowered or paisley shirt were 'plumage', maybe with a gold chain or two... sign of a good 'provider' for females.

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#37409 - 11/24/15 05:06 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: slolerner
Isn't everything a ploy foisted on us by fashion designers? Just think how easy they were to push at the time. Cleanliness (polyester, just throw it in the wash) and they were 'leisure' suits, comfortable for the wearer and convenient for everyone with little fashion savvy.

The flowered or paisley shirt were 'plumage', maybe with a gold chain or two... sign of a good 'provider' for females.

Meh. I think science has established that sometimes traits for selection don't have a basis in utility. (or are at least a few degrees removed) Birds are especially ripe with examples, look at things like Peacocks, Bower Birds, Birds of Paradise, etc.
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#37425 - 11/24/15 04:47 PM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: Virtual1]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Bower birds are an excellent example of a trait that has it's basis in utility. It builds an elaborate, decorated bower to show females that it can build a great nest. In fact, many species of male birds spend a great deal of time and effort building a nest BEFORE they seek out a mate, and the females compare the different nests.

Birds of Paradise (or 'biiiirds', if you are Sir David Attenborough) have the most elaborate displays for females. Their talents include flashes of bright color feathers, making rhythmic sounds, and elaborate dances. They are the embodiment of disco, come to think of it. They do it because the females, although much more plain by comparison, are quite choosy...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7siJmzWbCyw


Edited by slolerner (11/24/15 04:57 PM)
Edit Reason: Add link

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#37432 - 11/25/15 05:00 AM Re: Cleanliness is next to godliness [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: slolerner
Bower birds are an excellent example of a trait that has it's basis in utility. It builds an elaborate, decorated bower to show females that it can build a great nest.

Wikipedia suggest the males don't assist with nest building?

Quote:
Female bowerbirds build a nest by laying soft materials, such as leaves, ferns, and vine tendrils, on top of a loose foundation of sticks.
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