Discover your Armpit Hairs Closer
At a certain age, you will notice budding hairs in specific parts of your body. These physical changes seemingly symbolize the rites to adulthood.
One of these body parts that acquire hair is the underarm or the armpit that generally acquires hair when the individual reaches puberty. Widespread growth might occur during the early or late stages of puberty, depending on the person’s unique body chemistry. That’s between the ages of thirteen to eighteen. A survey conducted in 2006 showed that nearly all Americans started growing armpit hair when they were thirteen and nearly all fifteen year-olds had armpit hair.
A thin or thick armpit hair is dependent on a person’s genes – being hairy runs in the blood. Armpit hair is unique compared to the hairs from other parts of the body (including pubic hair) because it serves a unique purpose: pheromones, the sexually attractive chemicals our bodies produce, are collected by armpit hair. This is why our underarm hair is usually thicker than in most parts of our body.
The biology of armpit hair
We have two layers of skin: the epidermis, and the dermis. The epidermis is the outside skin, while the dermis is the lower layer.
Armpit hair is seen on the epidermis, but the hair follicles are deep in the dermis. Connected to the hair follicle is the sebaceous (oil) gland which produces sebum – an oily substance made of fat and dead fat cells. Sebum is odorless and acts to keep the skin from drying, but a bacterium gives it odor, which explains underarm body odor since armpit hair is a natural bacteria trap.
Sex pheromones are also spread through olfactory means, thus adding emphasis to smell. Pheromones serve to attract the opposite sex and have an important role in sexual attraction.
Connected to the armpit hair are various sensory nerve endings. This explains where the pain comes from whenever armpit hairs are plucked. The arrector pili muscle is connected to each hair follicle and together, the hair, hair shaft, arrector pili muscle, and sebaceous gland, are known as the pilisebaceous unit.
The armpit hair is known this way simply because it is located under your arms! Most people find long armpit hair unattractive, which may lead to insecurities and other psychosocial problems. Rest assured that your underarm forest has its very own unique purpose. It’s just a matter of taking the good with the bad. In exchange of body odor, or being unattractively long (it depends on preference), underarm hair provides less friction to your armpits, and releases sexual hormones to attract the opposite sex.
With regular maintenance and washing, armpit hair doesn’t have to be the pits.