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Vellus Hair and Hair Growth

by
author image Dustin Bogle
Dustin Bogle is an experienced personal trainer, group fitness instructor, nutritionist and fitness article writer. His articles have been featured in "Daily Press" newspaper and "Fresh Ink" newspaper.
Vellus Hair and Hair Growth
Vellus hair is one of the two primary types of hair that grows on the body. Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Many factors determine hair growth and the amount of hair that will be produced on the body. Heredity is important -- normally people will be as hairy as their parents. Vellus hair, or peach fuzz, is found throughout the body and is critical for certain physiological functions. Consuming vital nutrients and vitamins in your daily diet will promote hair growth and help produce healthier hair.

Hair Growth Cycle

The hair growth cycle has three stages: anagen, telogen and catagen, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Anagen is the stage in which hair growth mostly occurs, and this stage can last for years. The second stage is telogen, which lasts for months and is the stage in which the hair is preparing to be shed. The final stage, catagen, lasts for days and that is when the hair is shed and new hair is replaced in the hair follicle and the cycle begins again.

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Identification

Hair is composed of keratin, a protein also found on your toenails and fingernails. Two types of hair are found on the body: vellus and terminal. Vellus hair is naturally finer in texture, shorter and much lighter than terminal hair. Vellus hair is sometimes referred to as peach fuzz. This hair is mainly found on the legs, arms, stomach and face.

Function

One of the main purposes of vellus hair is to help regulate and maintain body temperature during cold conditions, according to TeensHealth from Nemours. Vellus hair also acts as an external sensory unit in which it can inform you if a creature may be crawling on your body, and touching can create goosebumps on the body.

Puberty

Around puberty is when hair begins to shift from vellus to terminal on certain areas of the body such as the armpits and pubic area in males and females. The vellus hair becomes coarse, darker and longer, according to TeensHealth from Nemours. The reason this occurs is because the body begins to produce hormones such as testosterone and androgens, and this hormone production changes the characteristics of the hair.

Considerations

Both types of hair are critical to a human body. Terminal hair is important for protection. Hair on the scalp protects the head from being sunburned, eyelashes and eyebrows are also considered terminal hair and they protect your eyes from small particles.

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References

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