Make Your Editor Cry: Hair (Awkward Plural)

Make Your Editor Cry: Hair (Awkward Plural)

BLUF: (Bottom Line Up Front)
Hair is singular when it refers to an entire head of hair.

The definition of hair: a slender threadlike outgrowth of the epidermis of an animal, especially one of the usually pigmented filaments that form the characteristic coat of a mammal

The singular of hair is hair. When describing individual strands of hair, the plural of hair is usually hairs. However, when it refers to an entire head of hairs (e.g., brown hair, blond hair, curly hair), the plural is hair.

When describing an entire head covered with individual hairs, hair is treated as a single object or group like an uncountable noun (mass noun), which is why it is referred to in a singular form.


I washed my hair this morning.
I found three gray hairs this morning.

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