Androgenic hair

The hair follicles on much of the body respond to androgens (primarily testosterone and its derivatives). The rate of hair growth increases and the weight of the hairs increases. However, different areas respond with different sensitivities. As testosterone level increases (normally at puberty), the sequence of appearance of sexual (androgenic) hair reflects the gradations of androgen sensitivity. The pubic area is most sensitive, and heavier hair usually grows there first in response to androgens. The following regions also respond to androgens, in order of decreasing sensitivity: axillary and perianal areas, sideburns, above the upper lip, periareolar areas, chin and beard areas, center of chest, arms and legs, across the chest, shoulders, buttocks, back, and abdomen.

It is the hair in these areas that appears earlier or grows to excess in disorders of excess androgen (e.g., precocious puberty, late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and polycystic ovary syndrome).

Table of Contents:
Human hair
Types of hair
Hair change with aging