Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Split Ended

I hate split ends.  They make me sad.  Fortunately, my wife Anna doesn't mind cutting them off for me.  How long will it take to cut off all my split ends?

Sadly, there are no hair care products that can remove splits ends.  I could just shave my head and eliminate them rather quickly, but I'd like to keep my rather luxuriant flowing hair so I'm just going to consider how long it will take to go through each hair individually.  In How Many Licks?, I estimated that there were about 250,000 hairs on a (non-bald) human head.  Roughly 5% or 12,000 of my hairs have splits ends.  If my wife can sift through 10 hairs per minute and cut all the split ends off, then it would take about 17 straight days of sifting to remove all the split ends.  

We could go further with this.  There's some question about what to do with the hair she's already looked at so that she doesn't end up checking it twice.  Moreover, my computer science friends might suggest that a more efficient search algorithm could decrease the time requirement immensely, but I'll leave that to the nice people at Google and Bing.

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