Hairs are considered a symbol of beauty. You have hair all over your body. Some of you have thick hair, while some have light hair. But do you ever contemplate, why do we have armpit hair? Everyone relates hair growth to hormonal changes but is that the reason for female underarm hair? Let us know more about armpit hair today in this article.
1. What is Natural Hair Growth?
You have hair everywhere except your palms, lips, soles of feet, back of the ears, eyelids, and places where there is a scar. The basic reason for natural hair growth in humans is a protein called Keratin. It is responsible for hair and nail growth in humans along with other vertebrates. But let us continue with humans only for now. (Also read What is a Hair Cowlick?)
2. What are the Different Types of Body Hair?
Before answering the question of why do we have armpit hair, let’s know about the hair types. Your body grows two types of hair during your lifetime, vellus hair and androgenic hair.
- The former is very thin, light-colored, and short. They are barely noticeable. You have this type of hair before puberty.
- The latter is darker, thick, and long. They are quite noticeable and grow after puberty. Both these types of hair have specific characteristics and are helpful in many ways. (Also read 6 Nasal Hair Facts)
3. What are the Benefits of Female Underarm Hair?
Like other animals have fur for keeping them warm, humans have hair for warmth as well. Underarms hairs, also known as axillary hair start developing when you hit puberty. They become longer and more visible as you age and also serve several purposes. Even though all body hair has some functions, then why do we have armpit hair?
- Hairs in armpits serve the purpose of preventing friction between the skin while it rubs against each other.
- This hair provides protection against skin infections. Some people have sensitive skin in their underarms and armpit hairs that keeps their skin safe from the rashes and itchiness caused by sweating. When you do heavy workouts and sweat too much, these hairs help dry the sweat quickly. (Also read Pubic Hair Wig Fashion)
4. What is the Reason for Excess Hair Growth?
It is not difficult to figure out whether you have normal or excess hair growth. If it is just on legs or armpits, it can be normal. But any kind of extra hair and if the growth is coarse and similar to the male body, it’s considered abnormal, no matter if it is only in a few places. Reasons for excess growth are listed below. (Also read What Causes Funny Bone Pain?)
- Some people have excess growth of armpit hairs after puberty and it happens because of a hormone, androgen. It is the hormone from which the name of androgenic hair is derived. It is referred to as a male hormone as it’s one of the reasons why do we have armpit hair and is also responsible for very thick ones.
- Idiopathic hirsutism is a genetic condition responsible for excess hair growth.
- In some cases, if you don’t shave your armpits in the right direction, it can cause excess hair growth. Though everyone shaves their armpits more often than other body parts, some believe that it is the reason for extra, thicker, or darker hair growth. But this is only a myth and not true at all.
- Medicines can also cause extra hair growth in your body. If you notice some unusual hair growth after starting a new medication then contact your doctor. Medicine like anti-depressants, sleeping pills, and antibiotics can cause this problem. (Also read Are Nootropics Safe?)
5. How Does Androgen Hormone Causes Excess Hair Growth?
Although there are several underlying issues, different types of medical conditions can cause the hormonal imbalance pushing the body to produce excessive androgen.
- Imbalance in the production of Luteinizing hormone (LH) also causes excess hair growth in females. The imbalance of this hormone is responsible for a medical condition in females known as PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome). It leads to the over-production of androgen hormone. (Also read Do Women Have Adam’s Apple?)
- Another condition known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a rare group of disorders. Adrenal glands are affected by this disorder resulting in excessive production of androgen hormones in the body.
- Malfunctioning of the thyroid gland is also responsible for the imbalance of these hormones. Also, checkout 9 diseases caused by obesity
6. What are the Ways to Get Rid of Armpit Hair?
There are some methods used for removing other armpit hair which are,
- Trimming with scissors or an electric shaver,
- Shaving with a razor,
- Laser hair removal,
- Hair removal creams.
You need to figure out which method works best for you. Remember not to use any cheap or bad quality products on the skin as they will cause allergic reactions. (Also read What Does It Mean When Kids Shave A Line In Their Eyebrow?)
Now you understand why do we have armpit hair. You also learned the reasons for excess growth of female underarm hair as well as other body hairs. One should be confident with their body hair regardless of how they are but if you feel you need some help, do approach the experts freely. (Also read 29 Types of Makeup Every Woman Should Know About)