Please DO NOT DELETE this page.

Blog //
  • Wellbeing
//

Beards, baldness and body hair - why men are hairy

31 May, 2017
Man with fabulous hair

Men and women have some obvious differences for obvious reasons, normally related to reproduction and the gender roles that spawn from them. However, some differences aren’t as readily apparent. Why, for instance, do men grow beards? Why are they more likely to go bald? And what’s up with all that body hair?

Why men have beards

While some of guys might act like it, their beards don’t have the same value as a peacock’s feathers or a baboons’ shiny, red behind. The beard isn’t there to attract a mate – too many studies over the years have shown contradictory results about the preference for beards for that to be the case. Instead, the beard acts more like a lions’ mane; it’s not about the ladies, it’s about the competition.

When competing for the attention of a female, a male has to be more dominant than his peers: and that’s where the beard steps (or grows) in.

Both men and women see men with beards as being older, stronger, and more aggressive.

Meaning guys with beards are less likely to be messed with by guys without.

This has had some interesting impacts on culture and style as well; a study that went from 1842 to 1971 saw that, when there were more men competing for less women, beards and moustaches were more likely to be in fashion.

So now when you see a big, curly walrus moustache from the 1800s, you can understand the context.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160418-the-real-reason-men-grow-beards

Why men go bald

In the past, it was noted that boys that were castrated kept their naturally high-pitched voices and never went bald in later life – something to think about next time you worry about your loss of hair.

Testosterone is to thank for why men go bald and women don’t. When enzymes convert testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, it makes hair shorter and thinner. The other party member to thank are androgen receptors – the more you have, the more likely you are to go bald.

It’s been hypothesised that baldness may have an evolutionary advantage. As a sign of age, it tells younger males that they’re less likely to be competition, and females that they’re less likely to be aggressive or prone to seeking multiple mates.

Source: http://www.livescience.com/32106-why-do-men-go-bald.html

Why men are hairy

Throughout our evolutionary stages, men and women were much hairier than we are now. In fact, we can see today that the similarities in the amount of hair follicles both men and women have that we’re as hairy as one another – the difference comes down to colour and coarseness.

Hair on our head and eyebrows is known as terminal hair. Vellus hair is the almost invisible, fine hair that we find on other parts of our body. Again, testosterone is to thank for men’s abundance of terminal hair, where its impact is most apparent when the hormone kicks into gear during puberty.

It’s hard to say whether or not there’s an evolutionary advantage to the hair as it changes so drastically from ethnicity to ethnicity. On the face of it, there should be some correlation between less body hair and humid climates (to lessen chances of parasites), and colder climates and coarser, darker body hair (to insulate from the cold). However, there doesn’t seem to be any concrete evolutionary proof of why body hair grows in the way it does.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/09/08/2679925.htm

 

All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified medical practitioner. CBHS endeavours to provide independent and complete information, and content may include information regarding services, products and procedures not covered by CBHS Health Cover policies. For full terms, click here.

1911_CBHS Skyscraper Banner-07

Suggested Articles

  • A person checking weight Loss

    Four simple rules to lose weight

    Dieting but not losing weight? You may have been given bad advice. Try following these four simple food rules to speed up your weight loss efforts.
    • Wellbeing
    16 January 2020
  • Face mask

    Should I be worried about smoke haze?

    Australia’s bush fire crisis has devastated many towns and rural communities. Cities not directly affected have been blanketed in smoke, but how hazardous is it?
    • Wellbeing
    16 January 2020
  • Volunteer firefighters

    Support from CBHS for volunteer firefighters

    We are extending our emergency relief program – set up to help members affected by bushfires - to any members who are also volunteer firefighters.
    • Membership
    9 January 2020
  • vegetarian meals

    Veganism. Not as nutty as you might think

    We weigh up the pros and cons of going vegan and examine claims that Australia’s fastest growing food trend is not only healthier but better for the planet too.
    • Nutrition
    7 January 2020

What Our Members Think

I joined as a CBHS member in 1978. Through many health events and challenges CBHS has always been there for me and my family. Their exceptional service over this time has always been appreciated.

- Jenny J

What Our Members Think

I've not long joined CBHS from another fund, but so far I've been impressed by the super helpful and friendly staff, the higher claim limits and rebates at a very competitive premium, and how easy it is to lodge manual claims through the app. Thanks CBHS - you've won me over! 😃

- Jessica B

What Our Members Think

What I love about CBHS is their customer service - friendly staff and always ready to help and email you the information you ask about. Keep up the great work!!!

- Linda S

What Our Members Think

I love CBHS as its so so easy to lodge a claim and whenever i need a question answered friendly consultant is one phone call away. The phone back option instead of waiting is brilliant!

- Rachel N

What Our Members Think

I have been with CBHS since I began at CBA 15 years ago...Now I have three beautiful children, one who has a disability. Our top extras cover has been really essential for his early intervention. I do love the ease of claiming online.

- Annette E

What Our Members Think

I am relatively new to CBHS and am loving it already. I worked for a CBA subsidiary a long time ago but was still eligible to join. So much better that the for-profit funds - our premium is only a little more and we pay a lower co-contribution and get great benefits. I am loving the massage rebate for my partner and gym rebate for me!

- David G

What Our Members Think

I'm extremely happy with CBHS! I have been a customer for about six years. I think the price is reasonable. And i would refer you to my family and friends any day. Thank you CBHS!!!

- Karen W

What Our Members Think

Love CBHS as I never have to doubt that they've got my back when I need it. Been through other insurers who have limited options or limits, yet cost the same or more.

- Mark F

Prev
Next