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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]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Marks, James G; Miller, Jeffery (2006). Lookingbill and Marks' Principles of Dermatology (4th ed.). Elsevier Inc. Page 11. ISBN 1-4160-3185-5.
  2. ^ Androgens and Puberty. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 31 - 41. O. Hiort
  3. ^ How the Endocrine System Works. Matthew Neal, Contributor Lauren M. Sompayrac. Blackwell Publishing, 2001. Page 75
  4. ^ Hormone Research, Vol. 54, No. 5-6, 2000. The Hair Follicle: A Paradoxical Androgen Target Organ. Valerie A. Randall, Nigel A. Hibberts, M. Julie Thornton, Kazuto Hamada, Alison E. Merrick, Shoji Kato, Tracey J. Jenner, Isobel De Oliveira, Andrew G. Messenger
  5. ^ Human Reproduction at a Glance. Linda J. Heffner. Blackwell Publishing, 2001. Page 33
  6. ^ Forensic Examination of Hair. James Robertson. CRC Press, 1999. Page 47
  7. ^ How the Endocrine System Works. Matthew Neal, Contributor Lauren M. Sompayrac. Blackwell Publishing, 2001. Pages 70, 75







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