Body Hair: Your own fleece

Body hair, termed androgenic hair, develops on the body
during the years of puberty. We need this hair to regulate our body
temperature. When it’s cold, the hairs stand up because the tiny muscles
surrounding the hair follicles are trying to trap more heat. This is when we
see goosebumps on our skin. Hair is all over our bodies. We have eyebrows, facial,
arm, leg, chest, and pubic hair. Fine hairs found all over the body are called vellus which comes from the Latin word
“fleece”. Larger more coarse hairs found on the eyebrows, eyelashes, armpit,
facial, and pubic areas, are called terminal
. The cells of the hair follicles are constantly regenerating. We
aren’t wooly mammals with constant hair growth. Hair growth actually goes
through active and resting periods. The duration of growth varies on certain
parts of our bodies, which is seen between the difference of our head hair and
leg hair (for example).

The amount of hair on your body is determined by a number of
factors. The amount of hair you have can be based upon your ethnicity. Different
ethnicities have different amounts of terminal hairs. Hispanic and Middle
Eastern people have the most hair while Asians have the least. Hair growth can
be influenced by hormonal imbalances. For example, an increase in testosterone
can cause an increase in hair. This testosterone growing hair is an unwanted
condition called hirsutism. Women with irregular periods and polycystic ovarian
syndrome are also more prone to an increase in hair growth. Autoimmune
conditions can result in hair loss which is the case with types of alopecia. Being
iron deficient or having an underactive thyroid can also cause hair loss.

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There are certain home remedies that can help stimulate hair
growth. Eating a high protein diet can help due to the amino acid called
keratin. Cysteine is another type of amino acid that can help grow hair faster.
Sources of vitamins are a popular method because they contain biotin, folic
acid, and iron. Less hair washing can help preserve the natural oils of the
hair needed for hair health and growth. Less stress is also important which
will help reduce disruption to the hair-growth cycle. It is also important to regularly
trim the ends of your hair and brush it when it is wet to help prevent damage
that can affect hair health. Apple cider vinegar can also stimulate hair growth
by helping to balance pH levels effecting the hair follicles. Aloe-vera and
onion juice can also remove sebum from the hair which slows hair growth.

Hair is everywhere and we tend to value it in certain places
on our body than others. Hair is our skin’s protector. We shave it and remove
it, but always expect it will come back. Don’t take for granted your hair
follicle health and a natural layer of our body that we need.