Main Difference – Hair vs Fur
Scientifically, there is no difference between hair and fur as both are made from a protein called keratin. However, you might have noticed that there is a certain difference between hair and fur in common usage. Hair is always associated with human beings whereas fur is associated with animals. We tend to refer to our hair as ‘hair’ and animal hair as ‘fur.’ This is the main difference between hair and fur.
This article looks at,
1. Meaning, Usage and Examples of the word Hair
2. Meaning, Usage and Examples of the word Fur
3. Difference Between Hair and Fur
What is Hair – Meaning and Usage
Hair refers to the fine thread-like strands growing from the skin. As mentioned above, the word hair is usually used to describe human hair. It’s important to note that there are different types of hair, even in the human body. The hair that makes up your eyelashes is different than the very fine hair on the back of your hand or the hair on your head. The whole human body, except hands and soles of feet, is covered with hairs. But in general usage, the word hair is usually used to refer to the hair on the head.
Sometimes, we also use hair to refer to animals. The coarse and sparse strands growing from the skin of mammals such as pigs and elephants is also called hair. Furthermore, we also use the word hair to refer to few strands of fur (hair of animals). For example, when there are white fibers in your black dress, you call them cat hair or dog hair, not cat fur or dog fur.
The following examples will help you to understand the usage of the word hair more clearly.
She has long thick black hair.
He lost all his hair before reaching thirties.
The hair on his arm is blond.
He has a lot of hair on his chest.
The couch was covered with dog hair.
What is Fur – Meaning and Usage
Fur is the hair of animals. We especially use this word to refer to animals that have thick and soft hair. Dogs, cats, foxes, lions, bears, monkeys, rabbits, etc. are some examples of mammals that have fur.
As mentioned above, both hair and fur are made of the same chemical substance. Although some people assume that the difference between hair and fur is the fact that fur stops growing after a certain period and hair continues growing, this is not true.
All hair follicles, be it of fur or hair, go through a period of growth, then a pause, then the hair fiber falls out. Then the follicle goes back into the growth phase, and this cycle repeats. This cycle is controlled by genes. We use the word hair to refer to hair that has a longer period of growth.
The following examples will help you to understand the usage of fur in common parlance.
I bought a teddy bear with soft fur.
The coat was made of soft fur.
Her cat Toby has black and white fur.
The rabbit has soft white fur.
Difference Between Hair and Fur
Human vs Animal
Hair is associated with humans.
Fur is associated with animals.
Hair has a longer growth period.
Fur has a shorter growth period.
Hair tends to be longer and finer.
Fur is typically shorter and denser.
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