What causes hair to stand

Have you ever seen the hairs on your arms or on your head to stand? Well, to many people, that is a normal occurrence. However, it can be no doubt pretty annoying. It may also cause a bit of confusion to some persons as they may feel something must be wrong. So what causes hair to stand? The reasons can range from cold to goosebumps which can also be caused by fear or stress hormones. 

If you are wondering what exactly happened makes them raise, you would be pleased to know that we have got the answer right now. Let us see if we can break it down. 

The cause of standing hair

Well, there are many ways to look out at the causes of standing hair. Let's take this from the scientific point of view. The main reason why hair stands as far as science is concerned is because of the presence of the reflex nerve which is known as Piloerection. What this does is that it triggers contracting muscle that is lying at the end of the hairs all over your body to stand. This then, in turn, makes an elevated hair. The outcome would leave your human skin surface looking like the aftermath of a chicken whose feathers have been plucked.

  • Cold 

Now, another reason why hair stands anywhere in the body could be cold. It is a known fact that when animals and humans, in general, feel a measure of cold, the body takes steps to protect itself. One of those steps would be to increase the mass of your hair in an effort to keep the heat inside the body. In other words, the hair on your body would stand when you are feeling cold and the goosebumps which forms would likely be present to help you stay warm even in the face of extremely cold weather. 

  • Fear

Now, the hair follicle in your body can also stand because of feelings of fear and discomfort. To understand this better, think of the times when you have been scared (e.g. from watching a horror movie). It creates a feeling of shallow depression that affects your hair too.

The physical responses of your body would probably range from an adrenaline boost to a racing heart. One of such physical responses would also be your hair standing up and goosebumps creeping in. In animals though, when afraid, their hair or fur stands too but for a different purpose. They help them look bigger and scarier to their predators. However, this surely does not have the same effect on humans. 

  • Strong Emotions orGood Music

Now, our hair does not only stand when things are scary or gloomy. It also has the ability to stand when things are going very rosy for us. During emotional situations, there is a spike in the emotional feelings that we are having, you are most likely going to see your hairs going up. 

An example of this can be a touching experience that you witnessed or are done. This can have a tremendous influence on our hairs without even you being aware of it. If you are also moved to blush or you grow pale with worry, those situations would be perfect timing for your goosebumps and hair to go into overdrive. 

You would also get goosebumps when you hear good music. In this case, it is not a physical response that comes in but one that is more rooted in a psychological response. 

  • Static electricity

Another common reason for hair to stand is static electricity. It is basically your hair trying to escape from the static electricity it received.

Hair Stand

Why hair stand?

When our hair goes into overdrive, there is usually nothing wrong with you. It is just a form of adjustment which the body makes to ensure that you are kept protected or a response to some emotional experience you are going through. In some persons, they have a measure of control over this. They have the ability to actually set it in motion. The ability to do so is not taught and would often be innate with the person. Research done by scientists has also shown that people who are open to trying out new things and experiences are more likely to be able to initiate or control this sensation or ability. 

Sometimes, it can also be caused by some medications. For example, Yohimbine has been suggested to be one of the drugs which have a way of promoting the rise of goosebumps or piloerection in the body. Generally, anything which has the ability to change the temperature of your body or the pattern of the flow of blood in your contracted blood vessels might make your hair stand. 


Your hair is an important part of your body and can really change the sensations you feel in a heart’s beat. Your hair can stand for a number of reasons as has been earlier stated and for good reasons too. Therefore, try not to panic when this happens and simply understand that it is part of being human. Of course, sometimes, it can be due to medications that you have taken. However, these situations are often rare and you should be fine most of the time. 

Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Sky Hoon
Hair Lover, Idea Starter. He started HairQueenie, which is ranked #27 in the FeedSpot Top 40 Hair Care Blogs and mentions in ManeAddicts and Tempest. Hair is not everything but something. He started Hairqueenie to share great hair products. Over time, he found there are more value to share answers to hair problems that cannot be found easily.
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