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Why can't I say, "I have a brown hair," to describe the colour of my hair?

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My Czech friend always says "hairs". It's never plural. – JoJo Mar 31 '11 at 6:29
I have a brown hair. The rest are white. – Hot Licks Apr 3 at 15:41
up vote 11 down vote accepted

When describing the hair on one's head, the noun hair takes on a collective sense, i.e. hair is treated as uncountable. Thus, the correct way to describe your hair (presumably that on your head) color is:

I have brown hair.

However, hair is also a countable noun, e.g. "Who knows the number of hairs on their head?" Hence,

I have a brown hair

is also perfectly valid, but it would usually imply that that a particular brown hair is special—perhaps one in a billion black hairs, or something of the sort.

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thanks - how do I accept that answer? I'm having problems registering. – nicholas ainsworth Mar 30 '11 at 6:42
@nicholas: I believe there is a checkbox outline to the left of the answer. Clicking this should mark it as accepted. – Jimi Oke Mar 30 '11 at 6:55
@Jimi Oke - the upward facing arrow? It asks me to register... – nicholas ainsworth Mar 30 '11 at 6:58
Yes! I've found it! Thanks - and sorry to everybody for appearing to be miserly...I'll try and use it as much as possible from now on. – nicholas ainsworth Mar 30 '11 at 7:19
"I have a brown hair" sounds rare indeed, but "I have a gray hair" is not so uncommon. – J.R. May 26 '12 at 21:08

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