Is it okay to replace "hairs" with "hair" in "Why do our hairs stand on end when we’re cold?"? I asked the question because I found another link that uses "hair" instead of "hairs" - "We just found out how often we should be cutting our hair to keep it healthy and we're shook". Thank you!

  • 1
    It would have to be "Why does our hair stand on end?" Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


When referring to the individual hairs, "hair" is countable. When referring to a mass of hair, especially in a particular location, like your head or your arm, then "hair" is uncountable. Most of the time, it is uncountable.

When looking at our hair standing on end when it's cold, it's usually on our arm, where we can see the individual hairs each standing on end, so we use the countable version.

For any purpose other than describing individual hairs, we use uncountable, as in your second example.

  • Thank you so much for your answer! I am sorry, but I have one additional question: In the second example we are talking about more than one person's hair, so in theory shouldn't it be "hairs" because there are at least 2 individuals' heads involved here? Thank you!
    – Maurice
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 5:59
  • No - we use hairs to refer to more than one individual hair, but not to the head hair of more than one person. Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 8:38
  • @Maurice No because mass nouns are uncountable already. If two people have uncountable hair, their hair combined is still uncountable.
    – gotube
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 14:41

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