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The Ponytail is a Math Equation!!

The Ponytail is a Math Equation!!



      I was completely in shock when researching the history of the ponytail when I found that there was an equation formulated for the ponytail.       Yes, it’s true; scientists have created a mathematical formula that predicts the shape of the ponytail! It takes into account the stiffness of hairs, the effects of gravity and the frequency of random curls or waves in the hair. It also explains why a ponytail moves from side to side based on mathematics. How wild!       The Rapunzel number is a quotient used to calculate the effects of gravity on hair comparative to its length. This number will determine whether a ponytail looks like a fan or if it will arc and become nearly vertical at the bottom. The shorter a ponytail of springy hair with a low Rapunzel number, will fan outward. A long ponytail with a high Rapunzel number, hangs downward, as the pull of gravity overwhelms the springiness. This research actually won the Ig Nobel for Physics in 2012.       The formula, which is quite complicated, is summarized on the graph below.     ponymath       The full details of their research can be viewed here. How amazingly interesting is hair? Come practice your math and physics skills when viewing our pony wig here.  


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