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Terminal hair

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Title: Terminal hair  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hair, Androgenic hair, Mild androgen insensitivity syndrome, Ear hair, Facial hair
Collection: Hair Anatomy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Terminal hair

Comparison of the vellus hair (left) to the terminal hair (right) in humans. Notice the presence of subcutaneous tissue on the thicker terminal hair.

Terminal hairs are thick, long, and dark, as compared with vellus hair.[1] During puberty, the increase in androgenic hormone levels causes vellus hair to be replaced with terminal hair in certain parts of the human body.[2] These parts will have different levels of sensitivity to androgens, primarily of the testosterone family.[3]

The pubic area is particularly sensitive to such hormones, as are the armpits which will develop axillary hair.[4] Pubic and axillary hair will develop on both men and women, to the extent that such hair qualifies as a secondary sex characteristic,[5] although males will develop terminal hair in more areas. This includes facial hair, chest hair, abdominal hair, leg and arm hair, and foot hair.[6] Human females on the other hand can be expected to retain more of the vellus hair.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Marks, James G; Miller, Jeffery (2006). Lookingbill and Marks' Principles of Dermatology (4th ed.), Elsevier Inc., p. 11. ISBN 1-4160-3185-5
  2. ^ Hiort, O. "Androgens and Puberty". Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 31–41.
  3. ^ Neal, Matthew; Lauren M. Sompayrac. How the Endocrine System Works. Blackwell Publishing, 2001, p. 75.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Heffner, Linda J. Human Reproduction at a Glance. Blackwell Publishing, 2001, p. 33.
  6. ^ Robertson, James. Forensic Examination of Hair, CRC Press, 1999, p. 47.
  7. ^ Neal, Matthew; Lauren M. Sompayrac. How the Endocrine System Works. Blackwell Publishing, 2001, pp. 70, 75.
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