Our bodies are far more disgusting than we realize. Hair is no exception and there's actually a fair amount of gross things about body hair that you probably didn't know. Of course, it also has its positives. Without body hair, we'd have a hard time maintaining our body temperature and sweat would be dripping everywhere, but it's there for a reason, including to protect us from viruses and diseases.
From knowing the fascinating uses of butt hair (yes, butt hair), to identifying what is found on each strand of hair on your body (like bugs), there are a few noteworthy gross, disturbing, and fascinating things to know about the fuzz that covers your body. Take bacteria for instance. Even fresh out of the shower, our skin is covered in bacteria. According to a study published in the journal Science, there are over 1000 types of bacteria that live on our skin. Most of it is helpful bacteria, the kind that makes sure infections don't get into wounds. Some thrive in the moistness of our armpits and latch onto the hair there if you don't shave. That's why unshaved armpits often smell worse than shaved ones, though both could benefit from a good swipe of deodorant.
Then there's our quest to minimize our body hair, whether through shaving, depilatory cream or waxing. Be careful when shaving "down there" as according to Gurl, shaving your vagina can cause you to take off some of the skin membrane, which leaves you vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases. This is evidently the cause of many visits to the ER.
So love your body hair or hate your body hair, here are some things about it you might want to know.
1. Bugs Live In Your Eyelashes
Tiny mites, called demodex, can live in your eyelashes. Sounds gross, but don't worry, they're mostly harmless. According to Fitneass, they also live in your pores and in your hair follicles. Most of the time you won't even know they are there. Only in extreme cases will they cause itching and inflammation.
2. It Has Muscle Cells
According to the book, Essential Histology by Dr. David H. Cormack, each hair follicle has a bundle of smooth muscle called "arrector pili muscle." This is what makes the hair on your arms and legs stand on end.
3. It's Responsible For Body Odor
Pubic hair, facial hair and armpit hair are all the same. According to Cosmopolitan, they are all considered terminal hair. Each terminal hair has a sebaceous gland that not only produces sweat but it produces body odor, too.
4. It's Responsible For Attracting The Opposite Sex
Forget dating apps and swiping right or left — your body hair can be the thing that helps you to meet someone. According to Cosmopolitan, it's your body hair that takes the pheromones you're producing and helps waft it toward the other person.
5. Butt Hair Muffles Farts
This information is more anecdotal than scientifically proven (can you imagine the NIH funding a study on butt hair?) but several bloggers have noted that after shaving or waxing the hair in their tush, they were no longer able to manage a silent but deadly fart, referring to it as "trumpet-like." Makes sense. According to the Huffington Post, the hair might also be effective at enhancing what vlogger Hank Green calls "our scent communication" as butt hair generates more smell.
6. Butt Hairs Can Also Cause Pilonidal Disease
When your butt hairs get embedded at top of your butt crack, you could wind up with a chronic infection called Pilonidal disease, according to vlogger Hank Green of SciShow. But on the plus side, butt hair can cause a reduction of friction when you run, thus a reduction in rash and irritation.
7. It's Dead
Every hair on your body is dead, according to Stylecaster. The only exception are the epidermal cells that are still inside your scalp. That's a lot of dead cells hovering around your body.
8. We Shed 50-100 Hairs A Day
This could be why you constantly have to unclog your shower drain and why you may find a strand in your salad. According to Fitneass, losing so much hair each day is perfectly normal.
9. There's A Disease That Causes Fingernails To Grow Out Of Hair Follicles
The disease doesn't have a name, but according to ABC News, there has been a reported case of a woman who was given steroids in the emergency room to treat an asthma attack which potentially resulted in black fingernails growing from her hair follicles. Doctors at Johns Hopkins Medical Center believe that this woman is the only known case of this in the world, but they can not figure out why this has happened.
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