Hair removal – What’s the purpose of hair?


Hair removal, in modern times, has become quite common and often necessary from the social point of view. Hair is considered undesirable for various reasons whether they might be justified or unjustified. So there’s a whole range of more or less successful ways to remove hair. Shaving, mechanical plucking, waxing (hot or cold wax), depilatory creams, laser hair removal, IPL machines, electroepilation…

Hair removal – Laser hair removal

The only method that permanently removes hair is the one using a real medical laser whose beam penetrates 3 to 5 mm into the skin. Only this allows the hair follicles to be broken down, permanently solving the problem of hair growth.

Body hair

During evolution, the purpose as well as the quantity of hairs on a human body was changing. It is believed that, an evolutionary process of hair loss from the body begun three million years ago. It is not entirely clear if this happened because of the global warming and the creation of a slightly larger number of sweat glands. Another theory is based on the change in the hormonal status of the species, which could explain the difference between the amount of hairiness in men and women.

Our body has hair follicles (hair roots) that are composed of stem cells, blood vessels, sebaceous glands and levator muscle. They are living parts of our hair and are residing in the second layer of skin –dermis. The hair we see is external, dead and composed of keratin varying in thickness and amount of pigment.

The whole body of the human species is covered with vellus hair – thin and light or terminal hair – thick and sharp (except on the mucous membranes, palms and soles).

What ‘s the purpose of hair?

The ancestors of humans had terminal hair all over their bodies that protected them from the cold. Although we don’t have anymore thick hair for thermoregulation, we still have a levator muscle connected to the root of the hair warning us every time we’re exposed to the cold, creating goosebumps.

Interestingly, the hair also intensifies the sense of touch, so important in special moments. For example, in countries where malaria is common, the function of hair on exposed extremities is to warn when a mosquito lands on the skin, and this is one of the reasons that children are more at risk than adults.

The purpose of the hair is also to protects us from solar UV radiation. People with very dark skin have curly hairs because the density increases the protection capacity. The eyebrows are meant to stop the drops of sweat before they slide off from the forehead towards the eye and the eyelashes protect the eyes from dust and small debris. The hairs in our noses stop polluted air, more precisely, particles of soot and dust from reaching the upper airways. The retention of terminal hair in the pubic region had its purpose until the appearance of the first types of underwear and represented the protection of the mucous membrane of the reproductive organs and at the same time it reduced friction when walking.

Finally, we should add that today almost everything we do or try to do with our hair on the exterior does not affect its quality and its properties. The quality of the hair is determined by the follicle itself and the potential of the stem cells residing in it.

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