Q: This might sound like a stupid question, but why do we have hair on our head? What is the purpose of hair on your head? Is it only there to keep our head warm? A: As with the traits of any animal, we have evolved in certain ways based on our environment and the need to adapt to that environment. The hair on our heads provides warmth for cooler seasons (since we lose
approximately 25% of our body heat through our scalp). The hair on the head also provides protection from UV rays, and from minor injuries. Our earlier ancestors (evolutionally speaking) had much more hair on all parts of their bodies. But with technological advancements (learning to make and tend fires, finding or
making shelter, etc. ) we became better able to withstand our environment and the need for the excess of hair began to decrease. Those individuals who were born with less hair were just as able to survive, and
therefore their subsequent generations had less hair. Hair remained in specific locations because it served other purposes.
The armpits and groin retained hair because those areas are key heat-release zones (as evidenced by the
practice of using tepid compresses at these areas to reduce fever quickly). The hair in these areas serves as a lubricant for the joining points of the body and prevents chafing of the skin because of the friction of the areas rubbing together. The scalp also may have kept hair because it helped the body retain heat, but there is also the likelihood that the hair of the scalp was seen as esthetically pleasing and therefore
attracted a mate more readily. Hairfinder. com
Related posts: Hair is great for running your fingers through and growing make-a-statement goatees, but having hair was once far more purposeful than simply serving as bodily ornamentation. For early humans, hair kept them warm, protected them from cuts and scrapes, provided camouflage, and even served as a nice handhold for the young.
They were much hairier than modern humans, and the reason that we lost a lot of body hair over time isn t because we invented heaters and parkas. More likely, our ancestors started hunting in hot, tropical areas — and bare skin adds to the efficiency of our cooling system. The reason why we kept the tuft at the top? Many experts agree that it had to do with a mating ritual that went a little something like this: The male with the most impressive hair — or he who could make it look that way — frightened away his rivals, got his girl, and fathered the next generation. Hence, head hair played a major role in obtaining a partner and successfully producing offspring. Today, our hair still performs many useful functions, in addition to keeping barbers employed. The hair on our scalps protects us against the sun, and our eyelashes act as our first defense against bugs, dust, and other irritating objects. In the phase of human development when our ancestors had lost their full-body follicular coverage but clothes were still as scarce as skyscrapers, the hair in our nether regions camouflaged our reproductive parts from generation-threatening spears.
And by lining our armpits — we docs call this the axilla — and groins, our dry hair actually acts as a lubricant, allowing our arms and legs to move without chafing. Also, both then and now, our body hair serves as a protector against malaria. The Anopheles mosquito — a low-flying bug that likes the legs — hates hair, in part because hair warns its victim to start swatting. While their bite is painless, our hair signals the presence of mosquitoes before they bite (it s why kids are at greater risk — they have less hair on their legs). That s most likely the original purpose of hair: it served as an early warning system of bodily threats. We seem to ignore the armor function of our hair today, removing it every chance we get, except on our heads and eyes.