View Full Version : Hair Growth: Terminal vs Vellus Hairs

March 28th, 2010, 09:36 AM
This is a question I've had in my mind which prompted me to do a little research. I've learned that there are a couple of hair types (not meaning straight vs curly):
Terminal hair: thick, long (and usually darker)and grows on the top of the head.
Vellus: short, fine, light colored hairs which cover most of the body (peach fuzz, if you will).
Lanugo: fetal hair which we'll exclude from my question(I remember this from science classes in the past).

Now, I need to mention that the hairs on my legs seem like the terminal hairs that grow on my head (as I mentioned in another forum, I'd be half Wookie if I didn't shave my legs). However, I have considered that vellus hairs grow faster than terminal hair. Do the hairs on your legs grow faster than those on your head? The underarm, groin, and leg area seem to grow at the speed of a thunderbolt or is this just because we constantly shave?

(sorry if this question has been posed before)


March 28th, 2010, 09:40 AM
Mine do grow faster! :D Could be the other way around.

March 28th, 2010, 09:59 AM
I don't know about faster. If I shave my legs and my boys heads on the same day we both have about the same stubble length in a week.

I think we just notice the places we don't want hair faster than allll the hairs on our heads growing together.

The hair on my legs, and pits, and such definately have a shorter terminal length.

March 28th, 2010, 10:12 AM
Do you think the same is true for nail growth? Nails grow faster then hair, hair grows faster then nails, or indifferent?

March 28th, 2010, 11:13 AM
I don't know if they have the same growth rate or not, as I've never measure the rates for either. I do know that this last fall when my hair growth stalled for about a month, my body hair also grew significantly slower than normal. Though it may have just been a sign of my stress levels and general health.

March 28th, 2010, 11:17 AM
My armpits when I used to shave, do grow at a much faster rate than my head hair. However, once they hit their terminal length, I don't see the fast growth, and there was a huge stall at 1 inch, at which they then grew at a normal head hair length. I think the faster rate of growth from shaving is due to the increased circulation for some, and the fact that stubble feels horrid.

ETA Armpit and pubic hairs are also terminal hairs, but they don't ever grow as long as head hairs! Neither do leg hairs, although some of them can be terminal hairs, and men can grow terminal hairs on their back and chests in some cases, along with beard hair. I think beards can get pretty long, but I haven't a clue why beards and head hair grow longer than hair below our necks!

March 28th, 2010, 11:24 AM
Keep in mind it's also a whole lot easier to see growth in really short hair (such as hair that has been freshly shaved) than in longer hair because the change in overall length appears more drastic (adding 1 cm to 0 cm versus adding 1 cm to 35 cm).

I have terminal hair on my head and I have hair that keeps on growing on my head. I thought at one point that the terminals were shedding a ton, but really they have a very short cycle so they shed often anyway.

When I shave (only my face) I would reckon that the hair grows back at roughly average speed, judging by the growth I see.

March 28th, 2010, 12:27 PM
about two years ago I shaved my head and shaved my legs within the week. they grew at the same rate, but leg hairs go terminal much more quickly.

March 28th, 2010, 12:53 PM
I've read all the input so far... interesting!! I have a mutant (terminal) hair (won't say wear haha) & I always tweeze it but I forgot about it once & that sucker GREW really, really long!!! But as one poster put it, it's much easier to see the regrowth of hair on shaved skin. The comment about the nails was interesting, too.... my nails grow pretty quickly but don't really know if nails grow faster than hair???

March 28th, 2010, 12:54 PM
ooops.. I hate typos: not "wear" but "where" oops again :)

March 28th, 2010, 01:00 PM
I also noticed that my armpit hair seemed to grow much faster than the hair on my head. So, I thought I'd track it for some time. Because I henna my hair, it's pretty easy to see how much my hair grows in a week. That's about 1mm, the hair under my armpits grow that much in two days. A LOT faster, I'd say.

March 28th, 2010, 01:35 PM
Very interesting. I hope the hairs on my head grow as fast as the hairs on my legs!

But even leg-hair growth has slowed since my diet change after starting college (and being poor). So I can bet that the hair on my head has slowed too.

March 29th, 2010, 11:21 AM
this seems weird, but since I've started my hair vitamin regime, I have had to go from shaving (legs and armpits) once a week to every other day, and still have major stubble, like I have not shaved in 4 or 5 days. :rolleyes: Although dh swears my hair on my head is growing faster, I don't see it, maybe because I'm too anxious for growth. I can only hope my head hair is growing just as fast! I took a pic today and will take one next month to measure.