Drat. Mom Was Right Again! And Here’s A Cornell Study To Back Her Up.

January 11, 2010 at 7:44 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

When we used to go outside to play in the snow, Mom always told us to put a hat on. We’d ignore her (hats were NOT cool in the ’80s – hard on the feathered hair or some such) and slog around for twenty minutes, then come inside complaining that our feet were cold. “If your feet are cold, put a hat on,” she’d say. What kind of fool sense was that? If your feet are cold, clearly you need better boots. With wedge heels and faux shearling peeking over the top. Or possibly we just needed hot chocolate.

Now that I’m a cancer chick, I’ve come to realize that there may be something to this “cold feet/body = cold head” thing. Without hair, I’m FREEZING. All the time. From mid-June to mid-October, I’m okay, but the rest of the year? Cold. Layers, and lots of them. One of the layers must be wool (ok, cashmere), including the socks, or I’m shivering. I have rediscovered the magic of hats (and thank Kors they’re fashionable again!), and wear one all the time, inside and out. (Side benefit of baldness regrowth: no hat-head!)

My constant hypothermia has become a bit of an inter-gender needling trigger chez moi. Mr. Wonderful, whose metabolism usually runs at a high boil, is comfortable in the house in a t-shirt and jeans, bare feet. Occasionally he’s been known to take the dog out in the snow in said bare feet. He’s comfortable with the thermostat set at 64 (financially as well as thermally). My boys are always complaining that when I’m cold I make them put on sweaters. I, as previously noted, am only really warm in a hot shower or tucked into bed in (dead sexy) flannel PJs and a (dead sexy) fleece hat. Oh, and please set the thermostat to at LEAST 67. Preferably 69. All three boys find my shivering amusing, and think I’m making my griping up (but have come to expect that I’ll get them with my frosty fingers in the ribs at least once a day).

Today, there’s proof for the ladies. I discovered that some researchers at Cornell have released a study that proves that bald people are colder than people with hair! That’s right, four Biological and Environmental Engineering students put sensors on the heads of test subjects and put them in a cold environment for twelve minutes. They already knew that the head is a major source (60 to 80%) of heat loss (Mom was right!). The test subjects with hats showed little difference in head temperature regardless of hair length or thickness, but subjects without hats showed much higher heat loss through the head if their hair was shorter than one cm, and once their hair length reached two cm it started adding significant insulation to the skin.

I don’t think my hair is two cm long yet, but even if it were, I’d still quote this study. Rock on, my hatted bald-chick peeps.

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3 Comments

  1. mynameisnotcancergirl said,

    I have always had a full mane of thick, coarse, unruly frizz until chemo had it all jumping off my head. I almost always have something on my head, whether it be a scarf, hat or wig, unless I am having a hot flash…ah the joys.

    And forget it, if I don’t put on my little fleecy sleep cap, I shiver until I fall asleep. I usually wake up and throw it across the room by middle of the night, but I have to have it until the bed warms up.

    Oh, and thanks for the Cornell study. It’s always good to have backup.

    Rock on, with your bald bad self too!
    Eileen

  2. Julia Sadtler said,

    Told you.
    mom

  3. sandhy said,

    love mom’s comment. Is that My mom? ;o) [same comment I always have from her!]

    I am the same, even with my hair – constantly freezing. Or cold. My FH is like yours – can survive what I think of as sub arctic with a light sweater and we change the central heater dial up and down behind each others backs. Me: UP! Him: down. Me: grumble…

    When I had no hair it was horrible! My poor head was like an ice block! I wore a Buff ALL the time. Great insulation when sleeping. I bought wooly hats with fur on them – I hated hats. I now have a collection.

    Now I am off to catch up on the rest of your blog :o)

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