The vast majority of us have body hair. Whether that body hair is barely noticeable or covers half of your body is another matter entirely. The good news is that hair plays a natural role in skin and overall health. In fact, many biologists do not wonder why we have so much hair, but instead why we have so little. In fact, humans have perhaps the strangest body hair patterns of all mammals.
But we digress. Today, we will be reviewing how body hair impacts our skin by exploring why people have body hair, expelling some commonly held body hair myths, examining how body hair affects our skin, and offering some simple tips for trimming and managing body hair for men.
Why do People Have Body Hair?
The average human’s skin contains approximately 5 million hair follicles. One of the primary functions of these hair follicles is to keep us warm in colder temperatures. The goosebumps or goose pimples you can sometimes feel are actually the result of miniscule muscles working to raise the skin around your hair follicles. When this occurs, our hairs stand on edge which allows them to keep more heat in our bodies, and keeping our core body temperature up.
When it comes to facial hair, the debate rages on over whether beards are essentially breeding grounds for bacteria or whether facial hair actually traps debris and improves lung health. As with many debates, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Beards and moustaches have been shown to effectively “filter” the air coming into our lungs, trapping bacteria and other irritants. However, for this to work long term, men must keep their beards clean or that bacteria will remain on the facial hair, essentially defeating the purpose.
Common Body Hair and Skin Myths
For some reason, our skin has a laundry list of myths and wives’ tales stemming back from decades, centuries, and even beyond. Here are just a few common misconceptions about body hair that you may believe to this day:
- Shaving body hair causes it to grow back thicker. Perhaps the most well known of all body hair myths: no, your hair does not somehow sense that it has been cut and grow back with a furious vengeance. We’re not sure where this one came from, but it sure has stuck around.
- Shaving is tough on skin. For most individuals, shaving is completely healthy and will not cause any adverse skin effects. There are certain exceptions to this rule as we will explore in greater detail below.
- Men have stronger skin than women. Men may have thicker skin than women, but in most measurables, it is actually weaker and more susceptible to harm. Sorry fellas.
- Men don’t need to moisturize their skin. Again, we men have the tendency to just ignore our problems away, but that often doesn’t work. Dry, cracked, and damaged skin may stay that way without a little help. This is exactly why we believe all men should be using moisturizer daily.
How Body Hair Affects Skin Health
So how exactly does body hair affect our skin? The short answer is that whether or not you have lots of body hair, keeping your skin clean and practicing good hygiene remain the best ways to stay healthy. However, there are a few concrete ways in which body hair can impact your skin health, including:
Hair, skin, and natural oils: Acne is frequently caused by clogged hair follicles. While the hair itself may not be to blame, your hair follicles do produce sebum, a natural oil which then sits on your body hair and your skin. Simple cleansing can go a long way towards healthy oil levels, but certain situations will call for acute care.
Body hair can keep us warm: You aren’t imagining that your beard keeps you warm in the winter. The difference may not be dramatic, but this coupled with the goosebumps functionality discussed earlier can make a huge difference overall.
Shaving body hair and razor bumps and/or razor burn: Razor burn is an extremely common and simple skin condition which mostly equates to mild irritation. Razor bumps may actually cause some consternation, as they often involve ingrown hairs or even painful infections.
Manscaping Tips for Easy and Healthy Body Grooming
How, where, and when you choose to “manscape” is a highly individual matter. The one piece of advice which always holds true is to trim and shave properly. This means no shaving dry, no shaving with week old razor blades, and no shaving over the same spot incessantly. If you treat your hair and your skin with respect, you can trim, shave, and maintain body hair safely.
HEFF Relief for Men Once Daily Moisturizer
HEFF is a men’s moisturizing cream developed for dry, cracked hands, elbows, and feet. We believe in providing the strongest possible product for men who work hard. Our non-greasy formula harnesses the power of essential amino acids to heal your skin without leaving any nasty residue! Purchases of HEFF support the United States military through Operation Gratitude and our ongoing military donation program.
If you are in need of some serious dry skin relief, look no further! Our products are available in major retailers across the country, online, or you can feel free to contact us directly with any additional questions.