13 Things You Didn't Know About Body Hair

Gross AND informative!

1. Body hair doesn't last as long as the hair on your head. The reason body hair doesn't get longer than a few inches is because it only has a lifespan of about 6 months.

2. Your body hair has muscles. Believe it or not, your body hair has muscle cells; it's what makes them stand on end.

3. Body hair is tied to intelligence. According to a 1996 study, the more body hair you have, the more intelligent you are. It's a tenuous connection at best, but researchers found that the majority of male mensa members had more body hair compared to the average population. It's not a bad trade-off for all the extra shaving you have to do.

4. We have two different kinds of body hair (well, technically three). Terminal hair is long and thick, like beard hair, pubic hair, and armpit hair. (Let that sink in for a moment: face hair and penis hair are the same thing.) Vellus hair is finer, like whispy arm hair. Infant hair is also a totally different kind of body hair: lanugo. But you lose all your lanugo hair pretty much right after you're born.

5. Pubic hair is basically responsible for you smelling weird. Every terminal hair has its own sebaceous gland. The glands are responsible for producing sweat and protecting against germs...and they also create body odor.

6. But it's also responsible for sending out hormones that attract the opposite sex. There's a lot of ways our body produces hormones, but our body hair can actually wick away hormones and send them towards potential mates. Your body hair is basically the ultimate wingman (winghair?).

7. Body hair regulates your temperature. It can retain heat when we're cold, and wick away sweat when we're hot. So before you consider laser hair removal, remember that it's like shooting a laser into your central air unit.

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8. You can shed up to 150 hairs a day. The average for most people is around 100.

9. Your hair color can actually be indicative of genetic disorders. Blonde women tend to have more estrogen, redheads are more susceptible to pain, blondes tend to have a higher percentage of learning disabilities and macular degeneration, and bald people might die earlier. Brunettes are more likely to get addicted to smoking.

10. There are tiny creatures that live in your eyelashes. They're mites called demodex, and about half of all people have them. They're (usually) harmless, but in extreme cases, they can cause itching and inflammation.

11. Your hair can contain gold. Don't go carrying a bag of hair into your nearest pawn shop, though. It's only trace amounts.

12. Split ends are known as "trichoptilosis." So now you know the scientific term of that thing you hate.

13. Almost everyone trims. A recent study found that 90 percent of people have trimmed or shaved their pubes in the last 4 weeks. The study also found that 60 percent of guys prefer a partner with no pubic hair. A surprisingly high 19 percent of guys are pubic hair free. And if it makes you feel any better: 80 percent of those people who shaved their genitals also reported itchiness.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

RELATED:

How To Deal With (And Prevent!) Ingrown Hairs 

Here's Why You Really Need To Invest In Laser Hair Removal 

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