Readers who have stumbled on articles in this space before, whether by hitting a wrong link or mistakenly thinking they could learn about sailboat parts, may have noticed a pattern. First a description of the various indignities baby boomers may experience, and then the explanation for what is going on.
But when it comes to the day hair starts poking out of your ears and nose (a problem mainly for men) there’s plenty of indignity, but not so much explanation.
“I wish there was a good answer,” said Dr. Jeffrey Benabio of Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, Calif., a member of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Oddly enough, more research seems to have been done on why men lose their hair (treatment: expensive scalp creams) than on why they get too much of it (treatment: dime-store trimmers).
What is known, Dr. Benabio said, is that there are two kinds of hair: vellus, which is short and fine in texture, and terminal. Terminal hair is heavier, a characteristic that intensifies at puberty in the pubic area, the underarms and, in men, on the face. It also grows in the nose and ears. As people reach late middle age, more terminal hairs appear. “It is normal and unclear why this occurs,” Dr. Benabio said in an e-mail.
One explanation, Scientific American has reported, is that as men age, the hair follicles in the nose and ear become more sensitive to testosterone and also become bigger, producing larger hairs.
Women, too, experience changes in hair growth as a result of hormonal changes as they get older. After years of shaving, some are happy to find that they now have less hair on their legs and underarms. Others, though, have more hair, including on the face.
Even women who do not see changes in themselves may still have to contend with the issue. “Women ask me about the hair growing out of their husband’s ears, while the husband is sitting right there,” Dr. Benabio said. “He usually adds: ‘We’ve been married 40 years. What’s the difference?’ ”
Hair News Network