Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. -John Barrymore
Question #4751 posted on 04/05/2004 12:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,
What causes us to grow hairs of abnormal length and color (alien hairs)?
- I've got a couple of them myself

A: Dear follicular oddity:

Hair growth is controlled by a class of hormones called androgens. Anything from normal physiological factors to stress to medication to the breakfast you ate three days ago is going to affect your androgen levels a little. Sometimes a follicle gets its androgen signal a little confused -- it might get too much, it might get too little, it might get it at the wrong time, whatever. And so the hair grows abnormally. That's about a specific as I can get without taking a biopsy of the follice and monitoring your blood serum androgen levels over the course of a month.

-- Misaneroth