Hair Swirls and HandednessQ: My mom told me that my baby will be right-handed because his hair swirls clockwise. Is this correct? Does the hair of left-handed people always swirl counter-clockwise and the hair of right-handed people clockwise?
A: Actually, scientists HAVE discovered a correlation between the direction of hair swirls and handedness, but it’s not an either/or proposition. Like with most all facets of development, genetics play a major role.
According to a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, there may be one gene that controls handedness and hair-swirl direction. They are therefore looking for a single gene that has “right” and “random” forms.
The idea is that those individuals with one or two copies of the “right” form of the gene would be right-handed, and have clockwise hair swirls. Two “random” forms of the gene mean that the person could be right-handed or left-handed and have hair swirls that go in either direction.
Research revealed statistics that showed that if the hair swirls clockwise, there’s a 95-percent chance that the individual will be right-handed. The research showed that left-handed people were equally likely to have hair that swirls in either direction (the same was true of the ambidextrous).
While there is still a LOT of research to be done, the information we have at present tells us that we’re looking at a pretty accurate method of determining someone’s handedness. Of course, if you’re looking at someone who’s bald or has long hair that is pulled straight, you’re out of luck.
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