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I have a question about the word "pelo"


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Old May 01, 2007, 10:46 AM
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I have a question about the word "pelo"

I know pelo means hair (cabello), but someone has told me that pelo is only used for animal's hair, like fur, but I hear lots of other people, especially the kids in school, who use it for human hair. Is there a consensus on this or is it a regional difference? Should I use only the word cabello to refer to human hair or can I use pelo as well? Thanks.
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Old May 01, 2007, 11:33 AM
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I've always used pelo as interchangeable with cabello, although I may be wrong to do that
If you find something wrong with my Spanish, please correct it!
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Old May 01, 2007, 04:33 PM
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my experience has been that cabello is used for the head of hair, like shampoo commercils, and pelo is like animal hair but also for individual strands of human hair, but also interchangeable.
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Old May 01, 2007, 06:16 PM
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I've also heard that for humans, pelo refers to body hair, but cabello specifically refers to the hair on your head.
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Old May 02, 2007, 02:00 AM
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There are three tipes of HAIR words

Pelo: Hair is a filamentous outgrowth of dead cells from the skin (spanish: filamento cil*ndrico, sutil, de naturaleza córnea, que nace y crece entre los poros de la piel de casi todos los mam*feros y de algunos otros animales de distinta clase.)
It's the common word, all-around and universal. Used for persons and animals.

Cabello: cada uno de los pelos que nacen en la cabeza. (hair that grows in the head)
Only for head hair. "Pelo" is more common, but "cabello" it's also used. It is used a lot in advertising media: "Lo mejor para tu cabello" "The best four your hair"

For example:
"Tienes un pelo/cabello precioso hoy" You have a wonderfull hair today
"Te brilla mucho el pelo/cabello" Your hair shines.

vello: pelos cortos y finos que cubren algunas partes del cuerpo humano (por ejemplo: los brazos de los niños, parte superior del labio superior de la mujer)

vello is body hair (pelo corporal). I's not the same as "bello" (Handsome, beautiful)
vello facial is "Facial hair", used for both sexes.
For men you can also use "barba y bigote" (beard and moustache)

For example:
"se depiló el pelo/vello de las piernas"

you still can use "pelo" for all three of them
With pelo you will never fail, buit it's more formal to use cabello when possible. Vello is not so often used.

For animal you can use "pelo" o "piel" (hair or fur)

Hope it helps

If your'e more interested, read this
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