Difference Between Fur vs Hair

Difference Between Fur vs Hair

The skin, which is the largest organ of the human body, serves some of the most sensitive purposes – regulation, sensation, and protection. Interestingly, it cannot perform all of these functions without the help of its keratin counterpart, which can be in the form of hair or fur depending on the biological subject in question.

To a lot of people, there is no actual difference between fur and hair, but is that the case? They may be similar when it comes to their chemical compositions, functions, and appearance, but there is more to it than meets the eye.

Definition of Fur

A fur is defined as a protein filament that is rooted in the skin of certain mammalian animals. It is usually thick and soft and is found on animals like bears, rabbits, monkeys, rats, and so on. It comes in different colors, length, and textures depending on the host. While doing a fur vs hair comparison, you will observe that the former is thicker and coarser than the latter.

Naturally, this type of skin covering comes in three different layers – the thick underfur, the awn hair, and the oily guard hair. The underfur is closer to the skin and functions more as an insulating layer to provide the host with some warmth, whereas the guard hair functions as a general covering that protects the skin from elements like moisture. Newborn mammals do not have a typical type of fur when they are born. They are born with a type of hair known as velli or down fur.

When it comes to shedding, fur is known to naturally fall off when they are old or damaged. This gives space for new ones to regrow. This shedding may also be as a result of weather changes. The lighter ones give way to thicker ones when the weather is too cold and vice versa.

Definition of Hair

A hair is defined as a fine threadlike strand made of keratin growing from the epidermis of humans. It is no longer news that your hair can either enhance or impair the quality of a person’s appearance despite the fact that it is made of dead cells. It grows directly from the epidermal layer of the skin and is rooted deep in the dermis below the surface of the skin.

The hair vs fur comparison shows that hair is more sparsely distributed on the skin than the fur, except for some certain areas like the scalp. The two have similar functions – regulating the body temperature, extending the sense of touch, and protection from harmful elements.

Another peculiar feature of the human hair is the growth pattern. The strands tend to grow independently and have to be shaved in a certain manner to achieve a certain look. Hair on the human head grows far longer than fur but is thinner in diameter.

Main Differences Between Fur vs Hair

To many people, the difference between these two is their host, which may not be far from the truth considering that that is the basis of all the other differences. Below are a few key factors that show how these two are unique in their own ways.

Basis of ComparisonFurHair
DefinitionA protein filament that is rooted in the skin of certain mammalian animalsA fine threadlike strand made of keratin growing from the epidermis of humans mostly
TextureHard and coarseSoft and fine
Physical makeupNot-homogeneousHomogeneous
Body temperature regulationQuite high and effectiveNot very effective

Difference Between Fur and Hair: Conclusion

In conclusion, these two are quite similar in a lot of ways and degrees. They both serve to protect their hosts, regulate their body temperatures, enhance their appearance, and extend their sensitivities. They both have keratin as their basic composition, are rooted in the skin, and shed from time to time depending on certain factors.

However, they do not have a similar texture for the most part, and they do not grow in the same pattern. Also, they shed at different stages and grow at different rates and lengths. Many scholars argue that these words have the same meaning judging by their origins, but that may not be applicable in the world of science.