Hair vs hairs: Countable and Uncountable Noun

Hair vs Hairs in English!

What’s the difference between hair and hairs? Can we use hairs in a sentence? Is hair a singular noun or a plural noun? Is it correct to use hairs? Let’s find out together!

Some of the traditional linguists believe that hair is a singular uncountable noun. It is one of the most befuddling concepts in grammar. Before getting into the skin of the concept, let us all understand that what kind of noun hair is.

Hair can be categorized into two kinds: Common noun and Material noun.

Why is hair a common noun?

Noun names which create a class are basically called a common noun.

Almost every creature on this planet has hair on their body somewhere: humans have hair, dogs have hair, cats have hair, and like this, every other creature has hair on their body. So, identifying whose hair we are talking about without mentioning that creature’s name is impossible and paradoxical.

The hair on different parts on the body are given different proper name:

The hair on the chin and lower chin: Beard.
Hair grew on upper lip: Moustache.

With this reasoning, we can call it a common noun.

Why is hair a material noun?

A material noun is the name of the material of which something is made up of. Everything that has a physical existence is made up of some materials.

Examples – wood, cotton, milk, iron, plastic, gold, sand, etc.

It is called a material noun since a lot of things are made up of hair. Here are some examples: woolen sweaters, scarf, broom, artificial pony, etc.

Look at the bottle you drink water from. What is it made up of? Plastic, Iron, or Aluminum, right? If you are loaded, it might be made up of gold. I won’t take this possibility out of the conversation. ūüėČ

Look at other things around you: Fridge, shirts, computer, road, building, cookies, mirror, your mobile phone, the wall of your room. All these things are made of something: Material.

  • Fridge – plastic, iron etc.
  • Shirts – cotton, wool, etc.
  • Computer – plastic, iron, etc.
  • Road – cement, sand, water, etc.
  • Building – bricks, sand, cement, iron, glass, etc.
  • Cookies – milk, sugar, water, chocolate, etc.
  • Mirror – glass
  • Phone – plastic, iron, silver, etc.

Now let’s see hair vs hairs contest.

Can we use hairs?

We can use both hair and hairs but in certain contexts.

When you want to use hairs, you should be talking about individual strands of hair.

Here are some of the examples:

  1. My tea has 3 gray hairs in it. (Individual strands)
  2. His white hairs are clearly seen.

Use hair when you want to refer to a collection of hair as a mass. It is, therefore, used as a collective noun here.

Examples:

1. I just washed my hair.
2. Your hair is looking beautiful.
3. My mother’s hair is turning white.

In the above sentences, hair is used as an uncountable collection of strands of hair as a mass.

Hair vs hairs difference (infographic)

Hair vs hairs explanation
Hair vs hairs explanation

Related topics:

FAQs

Is it correct to say hairs?

Yes. We can use hairs when we refer to multiple strands of hair.

Should we use hair or hairs?

When referring to the entire material that hair is, use hair, but when referring to individual strands of hair, use hairs.

Can we use hairs in a sentence? Where do we use hairs?

Yes, we can hairs in a sentence. To refer to individual strands of hair, we use hairs.

1. My tea has a couple of gray hairs in it.
2. There are two strands of white hairs on the plate.

What is the plural of ‚Äėhair‚Äė?

Hairs¬†is the plural noun of ‚Äėhair‚Äô. Hair is an uncountable noun as a singular noun.

Is¬†hair¬†plural? Or does ‚Äėhairs‚Äė as a word exist?

Hair is a singular uncountable noun. The plural form of hair is hairs. The word hairs is used to refer to strands of hair.

How do you use hair in a sentence?

Hair is a singular uncountable noun that refers to the collection of hair that grows on your head.

Examples:

1. What have you done to your hair? You look great in this look.
2. He has coloured his hair blue.
3. I lost my hair when I was 20.

Is hair countable or uncountable noun?

The noun hair is both countable and uncountable. When it refers to the mass of hair that grows on your head, it is considered an uncountable noun. When it refers to a strand of hair, it is considered a countable noun.

1. Take care of your hair.
2. Your grey hairs are on there in the dish.

Conclusion

Though HAIR is the standard word used around the world as a common noun referring to a collection of hair (individual strands), HAIRS can be used in certain contexts when referring to a specific number of strands of hair. However, if you feel doing that might put you in a difficult spot or can get your numbers cut, avoid using it.

You might find the answers of this question on stackExchange and Quora useful!

I hope hair vs hairs was a fun and learning experience. Feel free to correct any typos if you see one. Feel free to empower others by sharing this informative post with them. As someone said, “The best way to empower people is to educate them.”

Keep learning! See you guys in a different post! Class dismissed! ūüėČ

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