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Why does body hair stop growing and head hair doesn't?

Launcher Erik Montes United States
Status Closed Closed 3 years, 4 months ago
Bounty Reward


life sciences / biology Evolution/Evolutionary biology mankind ; human species


It seems to me that facial hair like beard and mustache as well as head hair never stops growing. Is there a maximum length a human hair can grow? In contrast, body hair seems to stop growing once it gets to a certain length. Probably evolutionary, but what part of the body mandates the way hair grows? Any insights would be great as this is bugging me.

I will award the 5 credits whoever gives me the best answer. :)

Answers (1)

  • vchris407
    Oct 11, 2011

    The thing that controls hair length is the amount of time that the hair follicle is active. So the hair follicles on top of your head might be active growing hair (called the growth phase) for a year, then take a rest (the rest phase). When they take a rest, the hair falls out. In animals where a whole bunch of hair follicles enter the rest phase all at once, you get shedding. This is how many animals get rid of their winter coats.

    So your arm hairs have much shorter growth phases than your head hairs do. In most people, that keeps arm hair relatively short. But not in all people. Some people can have very long arm hairs. Their hair follicles are programmed a little differently from the “norm.” The growth phase is longer.

    Found this information in an article.

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