Some women struggle with the issue of dark facial hairs due to genetics, ethnicity, or hormones. Sometimes, it means the frustration of having to undergo regular waxing or laser to keep it in check. But then there are women who swear that they have it far worse – because their entire face is covered in fine, blonde, “peach fuzz.”
What is this “Peach Fuzz” Hair?
Peach fuzz is a cute name for the fine, fuzzy hairs that can be found all over the face. This is because they resemble the fuzz found on peaches. But in reality, this downy hair is actually known as vellus hair.
Vellus hair is usually light, short, and fine, and it’s most often seen in bright light. How much of it you have, and its texture, varies. You may have slightly thicker and darker peach fuzz, which feels more noticeable. But vellus hair isn’t only found as hairs on the face. You should be able to find it over most areas of your body – though you may need that bright, natural light to see it. It will be noticeable in areas where you don’t already have “normal” or terminal hair growth, like your earlobe or around your belly button.1
What’s the Difference Between Vellus Hair and Terminal Hair?
Some vellus hair becomes “terminal hair’ as you hit puberty. Terminal hairs are much stronger, longer, and more noticeable than vellus hairs – they are the hairs that you find on your arms, legs, pubic area, underarms – and for men, on their stomach and chest. Men tend to have far more terminal hair than women because they have more of the androgen hormone, which tells terminal hair to grow.2
Why Do We Need Vellus Hair?
Interestingly, scientists believe that humans originally needed vellus hair to keep warm. Of course, this was in the days of cave dwelling. With modern heating, humans today don’t have much need for fine hairs to keep them cozy.3 But, like all body hair, vellus hairs may still help to regulate your body temperature today, and they’re useful for helping sweat to evaporate from your body.4
But, there’s more. Some researchers believe that vellus hair may help humans to spot parasites – a pretty important trait when it comes to survival. During tests, researchers found that vellus hairs made it harder for parasites to feed on the skin.5
So, this fine, downy peach fuzz may actually be the perfect middle ground between warmth and parasite defense.
Vellus Hair Removal
Today, there isn’t much that the beauty industry can’t fix, at least superficially. And with the recent trend of dermaplaning on the rise, vellus hair removal can now be easier and pain-free.
So, what’s dermaplaning?
As much as it sounds shocking, dermaplaning is basically shaving your face. And it’s something that, until now, few women would admit to doing. Women have always been told that shaving hair only makes it come back thicker and more noticeable, after all. But dermaplaning is heralding some pretty impressive benefits – aside from eradicating that fuzz.
Skin specialists believe that dermaplaning provides a great exfoliation, helping to remove dead skin cells and boost skin growth.
And some think it may help to slow down the visible signs of aging. It may also help to stimulate collagen production due to its dermabrasive effect. Then there’s the fact that a smooth skin surface often gives off a more polished and smooth look, which can make you feel more youthful. As for that old wives tale about hair growing back thicker – have no fear. Experts say because the hair producing follicle is way under your skin’s surface, nothing that happens up top can have an impact on it.6
It’s also a great choice over other hair removal processes. The skin on the face is highly sensitive and waxing is not only painful, but can leave unsightly red irritation and bumps. Laser hair removal is far more expensive and some women also find it quite painful.
If you’re scared to try dermaplaning out at home, head over to your favorite dermatologist or skin care professional who will use a special little scalpel to quickly, easily, and painlessly remove your peach fuzz.
It’s recommended that you wear sunscreen after dermaplaning, as with any post-exfoliation procedure, because your skin is extra vulnerable to the sun. Dermaplaning results usually last around 4 weeks and may remove up to three weeks’ worth of dead skin cells.7
The Buzz About Fuzz
So there you have it: A brief lesson on peach fuzz.
Vellus hair probably arrived as a more minimalistic approach to the coarse body hair of our very ancient ancestors, and it may also have been an evolutionary gift to better ward off parasites.
Just remember, that though you may feel like you’re the only one with a “hairy face,” this is far from true. Everyone has vellus hair. Some people just have finer hair than others. But if you’re really struggling with your fuzz, you can always look into dermaplaning.
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