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In humans, terminal hair is thick and long, such as what grows on the scalp, as compared with
vellus hair Vellus hair is short, thin, light-colored, and barely noticeable hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The human body, apart from areas of g ...
growing elsewhere.Marks, James G; Miller, Jeffery (2006)
''Lookingbill and Marks' Principles of Dermatology''
(4th ed.), Elsevier Inc., p. 11.
During
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natur ...

puberty
, the increase in androgenic hormone levels causes vellus hair to be replaced with terminal hair in certain parts of the human body.Hiort, O. "Androgens and Puberty". ''Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism'', Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 31–41. These parts will have different levels of sensitivity to androgens, primarily of the testosterone family.Neal, Matthew; Lauren M. Sompayrac
''How the Endocrine System Works''
Blackwell Publishing, 2001, p. 75.
The
pubic area
pubic area
is particularly sensitive to such hormones, as are the armpits which will develop
axillary hair Underarm hair, also known as axillary hair, is the hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chem ...
.Randall, Valerie A.; Nigel A. Hibberts, M. Julie Thornton, Kazuto Hamada, Alison E. Merrick, Shoji Kato, Tracey J. Jenner, Isobel De Oliveira, Andrew G. Messenger. "The Hair Follicle: A Paradoxical Androgen Target Organ", ''Hormone Research'', Vol. 54, No. 5–6, 2000. Pubic and axillary hair will develop on both men and women, to the extent that such hair qualifies as a
secondary sex characteristic Secondary sex characteristics are features that appear during puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most ab ...
,Heffner, Linda J. ''Human Reproduction at a Glance''. Blackwell Publishing, 2001, p. 33. although males will generally develop terminal hair in more areas. This includes
facial hair Facial hair is hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molec ...
,
chest hair Chest hair is hair that grows on the chest of a male in the region between the neck and the Human abdomen, abdomen. Chest hair develops during and after puberty along with other types of androgenic hair. Development and growth Although vellus ...
,
abdominal hair Abdominal hair is the hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The human body, apart from areas of glabrous skin, is covered in follicles which ...
,
leg A leg is a weight-bearingIn orthopedics Orthopedic surgery or orthopedics, is the branch of surgery concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons use both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat muscul ...

leg
and
arm hair Body hair, or androgenic hair, is the terminal hair that develops on the human body during and after puberty. It is differentiated from the head hair and less visible vellus hair, which is much finer and lighter in color. The growth of androgenic h ...

arm hair
, and
foot hair Body hair, or androgenic hair, is the terminal hair that develops on the human body during and after puberty. It is differentiated from the head hair and less visible vellus hair, which is much finer and lighter in color. The growth of androgenic ...
.Robertson, James
''Forensic Examination of Hair''
CRC Press, 1999, p. 47.
Human females on the other hand can be expected to retain more of the vellus hair.Neal, Matthew; Lauren M. Sompayrac. ''How the Endocrine System Works''. Blackwell Publishing, 2001, pp. 70, 75. These hairs are present in the large apes but not in the small apes like gibbons and represent an evolutionary divergence.


See also

*
Body hair Body hair, or androgenic hair, is the terminal hair that develops on the human body during and after puberty. It is differentiated from the head hair and less visible vellus hair, which is much finer and lighter in color. The growth of androgenic ...


References

{{Human hair Hair anatomy