Have you ever struggled with drawing the perfect ponytail? Ever wonder why there’s an equation for so many random “shapes” (read: all those weird graphs you learn in math), but not for something as common as a ponytail? Ever wonder when a Sim’s hair will finally look like hair? Scientists have been trying to figure out the equation for the ponytail curve since Leonardo da Vinci pondered the question! (That’s 500 years of curiosity over the shape of a ponytail!)

Scientists have finally come up with a formula! And what’s more, it takes into account things like gravity, average waviness of hair, length, swelling of a bundle of hair due to pressure, and so forth. With the help of the Rapunzel number, they have found a solution to this intriguing question!

This will help with our understanding of fibrous materials (wool, fur, etc.), but will also help graphic designers that work for computers. At last, all those computer games that struggle to make hair look like hair, may finally be able to do it!