Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Hair and Fur

Hair vs Fur

The bodies of animals are made up of cells which collectively form an organ. Each organ of the body has individual functions, and they make up body systems that have specific jobs in the body. There are nine organ systems in the body:


Each of these organs is covered with protective layers that guard them against injury and bacteria. The skin is a protective covering of the body and, at the same time, it acts as a sensory organ. It, in turn, has a covering that protects it.

In mammals, this covering is in the form of hair or fur. It is made up of keratin, the fibrous protein which is also the main component of nails, feathers, and the skin. Aside from providing protection, hair and fur also provide insulation. Although both have the same chemical makeup and body functions, they are used to refer to different types of protective covering. Fur is used to refer to the body covering of animals although sometimes when the covering is coarse or sparse it is called hair.

Fur may be grown as a single coat or layered in which case it consists of ground hair or an undercoat which is for insulation, long guard hair which is for protection, and medium awn hair which can sometimes appear between the two layers. The word “fur” comes from the Old French word “fourrer” which means “to sheathe, to line,” or “covering.” It, in turn, came from the Proto-Germanic word “fodram” meaning “sheath.” Its first recorded use to refer to an animal covering was in the 15th century.

Hair, on the other hand, is used to refer to the body covering of humans. While fur may have layered textures or compositions, hair has a single texture or composition, and they grow independently from each other. Hair also tends to grow longer and is finer and softer. It has the following layers: the hair follicle or bulb which is located in the dermis; the cortex which harbors the keratin; and the medulla which is an open area at the center of the hair fiber. Unlike fur, hair cannot provide as much protection from the heat, cold, rain, and other natural forces requiring humans to wear clothing as well. The word “hair” comes from the Old English word “haer” which was from the Proto-Indo-European word “ker” which means “to bristle.”


1.Hair is the outer covering of humans while fur is the outer covering of animals.
2.Hair is finer and softer than fur.
3.Hair tends to grow longer while fur is usually short.
4.Hair is composed of only a single layer while fur is composed of three layers of hair: the undercoat, the guard hair, and the awn hair.
5.Both hair and fur are made up of keratin and have the same functions, but fur provides more protection and insulation from the cold as compared to hair.

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