What is Hair Whorl?

hair whorls are converging hair patterns found on the scalp that vary depending on their type. Simple whorls feature an easily discernible focal point or center, while more complex tufted whorls may contain multiple branches with complex structures.

The Use of hair Whorls in Chinese Fortune Telling

Since ancient China, Chinese fortune tellers have used facial features and hair whorls to predict temperament and laterality. This study is the first attempt at using scientific methodology to verify this age-old folklore.

hair Whorls in Animals

Hair whorls are an integral feature of most furry animals’ coats. These circles, sometimes clockwise or counterclockwise in direction, typically occur on the head (parietal whorls) but may also appear elsewhere on the body. Studies on humans have demonstrated their correlation with brain development.

Patterns and Locations of hair Whorls

Study data demonstrated that whorl type and location varied significantly among cephalic, cervical (dorsal and lateral), brachial-thoracic axillary-shoulder-abdominal regions; most whorls were simple while tufted whorls were rare; there, however, an association between coat thickness and whorl position.

Hair Whorls as a Phenotype

hair whorls are patterns of hair growth found on most furry animals and can occur on the head, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, and legs. Studies have demonstrated a correlation between hair whorls and behavioral reactivity, as well as whorls’ presence on facial features being predictive of temperament.

Correlation with Handedness and Brain Development

Recent research with a small sample of dogs revealed that most whorls were simple, with only rare instances of tufted whorls occurring. Furthermore, pattern correlation with handedness was observed – where right-handers tend to show counterclockwise whorl rotation while left-handers showed clockwise rotation of whorls. The study also demonstrated that whorl location correlates to early brain development and that some disorders are linked to abnormal scalp hair patterns.

Hair Whorls and Traits

Though there is no scientific basis to support it, people with a double crown of hair follicles on their heads are commonly thought to be quick-tempered, stubborn, belligerent, and ferocious. Although these beliefs have endured for centuries, their exact significance still needs to be clarified.

Correlation with Disorders in Children

Pediatric studies conducted in the US on hair whorls have demonstrated that they arise concurrently with brain development, depending on early brain expansion direction and genetic influences. As such, their location and orientation have been shown to correlate with various disorders among children.

Genetic Inheritance of Hair Whorls

Klar (2003) has recently revised the results of Schwarzburg’s 1927 study by proposing a single gene, a two-allele random recessive model for the inheritance of hair whorl orientation and handedness traits. According to this model, those heterozygous for the dominant R allele develop C whorls, while those homozygous for the recessive R allele form CC whorls.

Hair Whorls in Horses

Hair whorls on horses are genetic traits that may appear anywhere on their body, with those on the head and neck often drawing more notice. Hair whorls may indicate spookiness, playfulness, or other behavioral characteristics in horses. A study in Brazil may provide proof that specific genes link hair whorl patterns with personality.

Factors Influencing Hair Whorls in Humans

Humans’ number and direction of hair whorls depend on many factors, including gender, age, handedness, and cephalic index. A 1927 study discovered that one gene controls its orientation within nuclear families: the dominant allele produces C whorls while the recessive allele produces CC whorls (Schwarzburg model). Recent research demonstrates that scalp hair whorls form simultaneously with brain development and may be linked with various disorders associated with early brain expansion.