Why Is Finding a Hair in Your Food so Disturbing?

A few weeks ago, I was cheerfully chowing down on some leftover Korean food when it happened: I picked up a chunk of rice, only to find a long, black hair protruding from it.

My stomach dropped. There was something about that hair, pieces of rice stuck to the strand, that made me lose my appetite. The only thing that kept me going (after removing the hair) was that the food was really good.

Since then, whenever I think about this particular restaurant, as much as I enjoy the food, I can’tΒ notΒ think about that hair. In fact, there’s something about finding hair in food that wedges into my memory like none other. In fact, I can still remember finding a hair in my popcorn at a certain St. Louis movie theater nearly 5 years ago!

What is it, exactly, that makes hair so gross when it ends up in food? It’s not like finding a testicle in your mashed potatoes or an eyeball in your green beans. It’s just a strand of hair. But there’s just something about it that is truly unappetizing, especially when it’s clearly someone else’s hair.

I’m sure I’ll eat at the Korean place again–it’s too good to miss out on. But I’ll have to try really hard not to think about the hair.

Has a piece of hair in found ever made a mark on your memory? If it bothers you too, why do you think it’s so gross?