Hair Growth

Written by Lori Reichel, Ph.D.

  |  Reviewed by Hina J. Talib, MD

New hair growth occurs in a variety of places during puberty, including the armpit and genital areas, and, for some people, on the face, chest, stomach, and/or back. Hair on the arms and legs may also become darker and thicker. Hair on the head may also become oilier.

How much hair growth a person experiences depends upon the individual. A young person can ask family members about their experiences with hair growth to see if their growth might be similar.

Pubic hair protects the skin around the genitals from friction. Pubic hair also keeps germs away from the genital openings, keeps the genital area warm, and it is believed to hold natural body chemicals called pheromones. A pheromone is a chemical substance produced and released by the body that triggers a social response in members of the same species. Pheromones are chemicals capable of acting like hormones outside the body of the secreting individual, to impact the behavior of the receiving individuals.

Tips for dealing with new hair growth
  • Remember that choosing to remove any body hair is a personal choice. Certain cultures are supportive of certain body hair being removed, while other cultures are not.
  • If you choose to remove any body hair, speak with a trusted adult who can help you learn the proper techniques for removing hair. This may include using a razor or shaver, which requires patience – you will need to be careful as to not hurt yourself. You can also visit BLOOM’s Healthy Body section for more information about safe shaving techniques.
  • If you are curious about how much hair you may grow, ask a family member about their experiences with body hair growth.