Male Body Hair

Secondary Sexual Characteristic


Understand that male body hair affords protection, cushioning and preservation of heat and modesty, then keep it in mind before performing any type of hair removal.

The three types of body hair are lunago, terminal and vellus hair.

Hair texture can be fine, medium, coarse or wiry. The texture depends on the diameter or thickness of the hair shaft.

Within the four texture ranges described above, hair can also be thin, medium or thick. This depends on the follicle density, meaning how much hair is present.

Genetics determine the number of hair follicles a child’s body will develop. This is inherited from previous generations. Genetics also determine how rapid hair growth will be.

By week 22 of the pregnancy all hair follicles the adult body will have, have already been formed.

The colors of body hair are the full range from blonde, red, brown to pitch black. They also turn grey with old age.

A person can have a lot of hair everywhere on his body that can either be thin and soft, or thick and coarse. Or there can be very few hair present but they can be thin and soft, or thick and coarse.

A lot of chest or abdominal hair isn’t necessarily coarse and very few hair also doesn’t mean it will feel soft to the touch. The density and texture determines that.



What is the function of body hair?

The main function is the preservation of heat to keep you warm whenever it is needed. But also to protect the skin from dirt and germs, while providing cushioning to sensitive parts, and lastly lessening friction between skin and clothes.

Since Adam and Eve ate the apple, clothes have been used to cover the nakedness of the human body. The main purpose of pubic hair is to entrap each person’s unique personal scent (pheromone).

The function of hair on the body can therefore be summed up as protection, cushioning and to preserve heat as well as modesty.


Lunago and vellus hair

An unborn baby’s whole body is covered with extremely fine lunago hair. All the hair follicles have been formed by week 22. No further follicles are ever formed after birth.

Shortly after the birth the lunago hair falls out. The soft vellus hair takes the place of the lunago hair on the whole body. Children have only downy vellus hair on their bodies until puberty starts.

The vellus hair are by far the most in numbers, but the terminal hair are the most important to humans. The coarseness and follicle density depends on sex, age, body part, heredity, medical problems, etc.


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What is androgenic body hair?

It is hair that starts appearing on the bodies of males and females once puberty has been reached.

Hereditary factors play a huge part in the age puberty will commence. During puberty rising levels of androgens (hormones) cause vellus hair to transform into terminal hair as secondary sexual characteristics.

Genetics will also determine the amount of androgenous hair that will develop on a body. Girls will develop terminal hair in places characteristic to the female gender and boys to the male gender.

The image left by Eglenn3 clearly depicts the development of body hair on the male body.

From left to right is a child, an adolescent, a young adult and an adult male.

Heredity also plays its part in the amount of androgenous hair that will develop. Hairy parents tend to have hairy offspring, while the same goes for hairless parents.


Body areas always without hair

The skin is almost entirely covered with hair. Hair differs in degrees of coarseness from body part to body part. There are the extremely fine vellus hair, and the coarser terminal hair at gender specific places.

The only parts of the human body without any hair are:

  • palms of the hands
  • soles of the feet
  • first extremities of fingers and toes
  • areolas and nipples
  • glans penis and prepuce
  • inner surface of labia majora
  • whole surface of labia minora
  • inside of navel
  • both lips
  • any scar tissue


Androgenic body hair areas

The development of axillary (underarm) and pubic hair are the first and most noticeable places for androgenic hair growth in both sexes.

There is a sexual differentiation in the amount and distribution of androgenic hair, with males having more terminal hair in more body areas.

These areas include the face, chest, legs, arms, abdomen, underarms, feet, hands and sometimes the back.

Females normally only develop terminal hair in the underarm and pubic areas. Females mostly retain visible vellus hair, but their leg, arm, and foot hair often become more noticeable.

When a woman’s hormones are out of balance, she can develop hair in the male growth pattern on her body. She might be a sufferer of female hirsutism or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and needs medical treatment.


Can terminal hair be removed?

Read about the different available hair removal systems mentioned below to help you make an informed choice.

Nowadays it is easy to remove hair by means of any of the temporary depilation methods. These methods are shaving, trimmer and hair removal creams.

Another option is longer lasting epilation methods where the hair plus the root is removed from the skin.

If you have the money and you want really long-term results photo epilation (laser or intense pulsed light – IPL devices) are good choices.

But, if you want permanent hair removal, you can’t make a mistake by choosing electrolysis.




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  • Although laser, intense pulsed light (IPL) and electrolysis are all considered to be epilation hair removal methods, they differ considerably from the other epilation methods.
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