For many women, the task of hair removal is a daily endeavor. And even the average man can spend up to six months of his lifetime shaving his beard!1 With all this need for grooming, one might think that evolution would have done away with body hair completely by now. However, from head to toe (for some), and all the bits in between, there are age old reasons why we humans grow body hair, and why it can be determined to grow back even after the most rigorous removal methods. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why body hair exists, even in the most awkward of places.
What Lies Beneath?
The journey of every hair starts below the skin’s surface. The cells inside our hair follicles divide and multiply, pushing the old cells out to form a hair shaft. These hairs will grow for a certain period known as the anagen phase, before resting during the telogen phase and eventually falling off.2 The anagen phase varies in length, depending on the type of hair. This is why the hair on our heads will grow for years longer than the hair on our legs, for instance3.
To Sweat or Not to Sweat
Despite our complaints, humans are relatively hairless compared to other mammals. Since our primate years we have shed most of the hair which once covered the body - a great relief when it comes to bikini season! One of the main reasons for this is to keep our bodies from over-heating. Sweat cools us down through evaporation, and with only a thin coating of hair, our bodies can better adjust even to extreme temperatures4.
A Protective Layer
The hair that has remained also serves an important purpose. One of the functions of the hair on our heads is to offer better protection from the sun5. Even our eyebrows provide protection, helping to keep our eyes clear of sweat and rain.6 Think of it as nature’s panama! Going back to the days when humans had to hunt and protect the family in the wild, the hair found on our legs, arms, and back is said to provide protection from cuts, scrapes, and chafing, as well as any nasty insects7. Now that we no longer hunt in the wild, it’s no wonder that smooth legs have become the feminine trend.
A Sensual Matter?
Many women agree that excess hair in the bikini and underarm area are more of a beauty burden than an asset. Ironically, the thick hair found in more intimate zones is said to stem from its ability to help emit pheromones, which can entice sexual awareness in others, even making people seem sexually desirable8.
With changes in fashion trends, and a huge range of cosmetics at our fingertips, it’s no wonder that humans have evolved to vary their tastes in body hair. Waxing is one of the most common long-term solution to hair removal, the EasyWax™ Electrical Roll-On Kit enables you to get salon results from the comfort of your own home. For a short-term fix, shaving and depilatory creams can be good solution. Even stray eyebrows can be altered with a simple tweeze.
There are many reasons why our bodies produce hair, sometimes in awkward places. But while it’s great to know that our bodies are working in our favor, with such a range of hair removal solutions out there, unwanted body-hair needn’t be a problem for the modern woman.