Friday, February 10, 2012

Hair, Hair, Hair!

Just like people, not every hair is the same.  Put this notion to the test in an at him experiment!  All you need is your microscope, a couple of slides and hair, of course.  Try collecting hair from people with different hair colors - dyed or natural, from pets like dogs, cats and rabbits, a man's mustache or beard, scissors and tweezers, and wherever else you can find it.  You can obtain hair by taking it from a hair brush, cutting it out or completely pulling it out.  

If you collect hair from another person, some interesting things to ask that person are: is your hair dyed? Do you use conditioner? Do you use a hair dryer, a curling iron or a hair straightener?  

After labeling the various hairs you have, place 1/4" to 1/2" pieces of hair in a drop of water on a slide, cover it with a cover slip and label it.  Check out the piece of hair and not your observations on a piece of paper.  Do this with all of the hair samples you have.  Once you're finished look at all the differences you noted!  

Here are some questions to keep in mind: Do you notice a difference in hair that had been dyed and hair that was a natural color? Was there a difference in hairs of different natural colors?  What did hair that came from the head look like compared to hair that came from the face?  What about differences in human hair and pet hair?  

For more information on this experiment and more activities you can do at home, visit the Great Scopes activity page.