Not sure if this question's been asked before (I searched beforehand but nothing came up, so), but I just came across this sentence : "今一番大切なのは頭の毛だ。", and I'm not having any comprehension problems linked to vocabulary and such, but I was always under the impression that to say "hair" (on one's head), it's "髪" (kami) that a person should use ? When should "頭の毛" be privileged instead of "髪", and doesn't "毛", when meaning hair, mostly designates body hair in specific ?

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    「身体の他の部分の毛ではなく、特に頭の毛」と、対比・強調したいときにこう言うと思います("「脇毛」や「胸毛」など、場所によって毛を区別する場合、「頭の毛」か「髪の毛」といった表現がされ" (語源由来辞典))。特に、ハゲ・薄毛の人が頭頂部の毛を気にして言うときに…。
    – chocolate
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 7:41

1 Answer 1


The English word "hair" is translated as [髪]{かみ}、髪の[毛]{け}、[毛髪]{もうはつ}、[頭髪]{とうはつ} in Japanese.

[頭]{あたま}の毛 isn't wrong but it is not common.

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