Vitality

8 Strange Facts About Body Hair You Probably Didn't Know

Men and women spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to remove their body hair, from laser hair removal to the traditional razor and shaving cream. It remains a biological mystery why we have pubic hair or armpit hair, especially since we go to such great lengths to remove it. Here are some strange facts about body hair to think about before you whisk it away.

Fact #1: There are two different kinds of body hair.

Terminal hair is long and thick, like beard hair, pubic hair, and armpit hair. Meanwhile, vellus hair is finer, like your arm hair. Infants have a different kind of body hair known as "lanugo," but we lose lanugo hair after we’re born.

Fact #2: Body hair regulates temperature.

Body hair facilitates sweating, which cools your body. If your internal temperature increases more than a dozen or so degrees, you'd probably die. To keep the body from overheating, you sweat -- but there can't be a lot of thick hair around to get in the way. Hence: The hair on your body is fine.

Fact #3: You can shed up to 150 hairs a day.

Up to 100 to 150 strands of hair are shed per day. This number will regrow every day. Most people cycle through their entire 100,000 hairs every three years and replace it day by day, according to Dr. William Rassman, a Los Angeles hair restoration surgeon.

Fact #4: Almost everyone trims their pubic hair.

Ninety percent of people have trimmed or shaved their pubic hair in the last four weeks, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Researchers also found that 60 percent of guys prefer a partner with no pubic hair. A surprisingly high 19 percent of guys are pubic-hair-free.

Body hair The hairy science behind body hair. Photo courtesy of Svdmolen, CC BY-SA 3.0

Fact #5: Body hair is linked to intelligence.

The more body hair you have, the more intelligent you are — at least that's according to a study. Researchers found that the majority of male Mensa members had more body hair compared to the average population. 

Fact #6: Eyebrow hair prevents sweat and oils from running into our eyes.

The eyebrows function to prevent sweat, water, and other debris from falling into our eyes. The arch shape diverts rain or sweat around to the sides of our face, keeping our eyes dry. The shape of our brow itself diverts a certain amount of moisture, and also makes a significant difference in our ability to see.

Fact #7: Some women have boob hair.

Women who develop breast hair may be alarmed, but this is typical, and happens to most women in their lifetime. Rapid development of breasts can lead to spoke-like stretch marks, but these will lighten with time. Towards the end of puberty, girls may also grow a small amount of hair around the areola.

Fact #8: An unidentified disease causes fingernails to grow out of hair follicles instead of hair.

In 2012, a 28-year-old woman started to grow human nails instead of hair. Doctors found patient Shanya A. Isom's hair follicles were producing 12 times as many skin cells as hair cells, according to The Huffington Post. This meant that her hair follicles were producing nails, instead of hair.

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