What is androgenic hair?

Androgenic hair is a type of body hair whose growth is related to androgen level. It is thicker and darker than the rest of the body hair, and can typically be identified as hair. It is also usually different from the hair on the head.

Distribution in the body

During childhood the body is covered with very fine, pale hair.. In the puberty there is a major change in hormone levels and the hair in various areas of the body begins to grow and thicken. The change continues, albeit at a slower rate, throughout youth and adulthood.

Androgenic hair is much more abundant, thick and dark in the male body than in the feminine. In fact, its abundance is considered a typically male secondary sexual characteristic.

It is distributed mainly in the lower part of the legs, pubic area, groin, armpits and arms. In men it also appears in the upper area of ​​the legs, back, shoulders, chest, abdomen and face; in these areas women usually develop very little androgenic hair.


Follicles in different areas of the body have different degrees of sensitivity to androgenic hormonesmainly testosterone and derivatives, due to the lower or higher expression of androgen receptors (NR3C4).

When androgen levels increase with advancing age, the rate of hair growth and its size increase in the areas of greatest sensitivity to the hormone.

The level of hormonal sensitivity of the hair follicles and their distribution is mainly determined by genetic factorsalthough external substances, for example endocrine disruptors, can also have a considerable influence.

From around the age of 50, androgenic hair begins to decrease. It is not fully understood why this occurs but it could be related to decreased androgen levels or poorer superficial blood circulation.


Hair in general is related to a thermal function but androgenic hair is also related to a touch function. The vibration of the hair produced by the air, insects or any object, is transmitted to the sensory nerves of the dermis and the follicular nerves. In this sense, it can be said that androgenic hair expands the sensory surface from the epidermis to the air.

Unlike other hominids, the human species has been losing body hair throughout his evolution. It is estimated that this loss began about 2 million years ago when the first bipedal apes appeared.

Currently, depilation and removal of body hair, in addition to an evolutionary process, is a symbol of beauty in some cultural currents, especially in the West, which is why it is done artificially.

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