Facial hair

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File:Modern Beard.JPG
One kind of modern beard.

Facial hair is a secondary sex characteristic in human males. Many men develop facial hair in the later years of puberty, approximately between 15-18 years old. This can vary, however, and males as young as 11 have been known to develop facial hair that require routine shaving. Further, many women also have some facial hair, especially after menopause, though typically much less than men. Eyebrows and eyelashes are also grown by both sexes of all ages.

File:Abraham Lincoln head on shoulders photo portrait.jpg
Abraham Lincoln was said to have grown a beard because an 11-year-old girl named Grace Bedell wrote to him, saying that he would look better with one.

Male pogonotrophy (the growing of facial hair; i.e, beardedness) is often culturally associated with wisdom and virility. Many men style their facial hair into beards, moustaches, goatees or sideburns. However, many others completely shave their facial hair. Although only certain nonhuman mammals have true sensory whiskers, a man's facial hair, especially short hairs that were missed in shaving, is often referred to as whiskers.

Women typically have little hair on their faces, apart from eyebrows and the fine fuzz nearly all people have covering most of their bodies. However, a few women have noticeable facial hair growth. Excessive hairiness (especially facially) is known as hirsutism, and is usually an indication of abnormal hormonal variation. In contemporary western culture, almost all women shave, tweeze or otherwise depilate facial hair which does appear, as there is considerable social stigma associated with facial hair in women. Freak shows and circuses once displayed (usually fake) bearded women.

The amount of facial hair on a man's face varies from individual to individual, and also between ethnic groups. For example, men from many East Asian, Southeast Asian or West African, backgrounds typically have much less facial hair than those of Western European, Middle Eastern, East African, or South Asian descent, with Native Americans typically having little to none at all.

Topics about facial hair

See also

External links

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