Is Body Hair Actually Good For Your Health?
29th April 2015
Many of us – both men and women – spend hours shaving, waxing and plucking in a bid to get rid of supposedly unsightly body hair. But, can being hairy actually be good for you?
These days, many a-listers – from Julia Roberts and Miley Cyrus, to Lily Allen and Leonardo DiCaprio – are challenging society’s expectations by stepping out with fair bit of bodily fuzz. It’s great to see people defying conventionalism, but these stars may also be improving their health in the process.
Hair plays a very important part in keeping skin healthy. Each hair follicle – which is surrounded by blood vessels, nerves and fat – is rich in stem cells, which never lose the ability to renew themselves, helping the skin to heal. If you get a cut or bruise somewhere on your body that lacks hair, such as the crease of your arm, you’ll notice that it takes a lot longer to heal than somewhere with a lot of hair, due to the lack of stem cells and blood supply in the area. But don’t worry if you’re a shaving fan, it’s only plucking and waxing that affects stem cells.
Nasal hairs, although seen as a pain by many across the globe, also have a function. The hairs actually prevent dust and other foreign materials from entering our nose and lungs. Similarly, hairs in the ear canal have the same purpose, as well as helping to transmit sound signals to the brain– something that might make you think twice before reaching for that trimmer.
Probably the most despised of the lot, hairy toes can actually be a sign of good circulation as hair follicles need a good blood supply in order to get the nutrients and oxygen they need to grow. Losing hair on your toes can be a sign of conditions such as peripheral artery disease, which prevent a sufficient blood supply from reaching the foot.
For those looking for love, the next trick they might want to try is letting their armpit hair grow au naturel. According to researchers, underarm hair helps to disperse the odours that attract us to potential partners – but I have to say, I’m not convinced.
Whether you keep your body hair or go for a clean shaven look, it’s all down to personal preference. But if you knew it was good for your health, would you get rid of the tweezers and wax strips?