Hair-raising
October 27, 2004 3:47 PM   Subscribe

I turn 30 in two weeks. About two years ago, I went from only having to shave a couple of times a week, to shaving every day (or I look like a mountain man). I've also started growing great amounts of hair on my back (ick!), where there was none before.

Is this sudden burst of hormones (I almost want to call it "second puberty") normal for guys going through middle age? I'm just much harier than I was two years ago, and nothing else has changed.
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total)
 
It hasn't been so dramatic in my case, but it's quite noticeable. Upper arms, chest and shoulders are all markedly hairier at 34 than they were at 29. Head unfortunately the reverse ;-)

I also noticed that my ability to gain muscle after weight training is much improved over my 20's, but that might be a slower metabolism rather than hormonal. Many posters in misc.fitness.weights observe the same thing.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:01 PM on October 27, 2004


Just wait till it starts coming out from your nose and ears. ;)

And "turning 30 in two weeks" is emphatically not middle-aged.
posted by LairBob at 4:11 PM on October 27, 2004


This is very common when men reach their late twenties. I'm visibly harrier than I was a year or two ago also. Ask around, everyone has pretty much the same story to tell. Scare teens by showing them all your hair and saying, "Someday!" or "I was just like you until last week!"

The down side is you have more hair. The upside is you're probably healthy as this is pretty normal. I would be concerned about how a 20-something man could get away with shaving only twice a week. That might be a sign of hormonal problems.
posted by skallas at 4:18 PM on October 27, 2004


I would be concerned about how a 20-something man could get away with shaving only twice a week. That might be a sign of hormonal problems.


That or being Asian.
posted by gyc at 4:54 PM on October 27, 2004


I am getting hairier as well, but damn if I still can't grow a respectable amount of facial hair. If I let my face grow for even a couple weeks all I get is a bad 15 year old's moustache and a patchy framework of thin black hairs in other parts of my face that don't link up.

I really hate shaving because of it. I mean, it'd kind of be worth it if I could have a real beard, as if all the work was to keep that from forming, but in reality I would look worse if I didn't shave.
posted by mathowie at 4:56 PM on October 27, 2004


I was just lamenting to mrs. richat the other day that my upper arms, shoulders and back seem out of control...I am 34. I started with the lovely "kidney warmers" in university, maybe around 22 or so, but nothing cuckoo until the last few years.

Good to know that my recent swarthiness is just a normal part of aging. I, too, would struggle to grow an actual moustache. Although I really don't want one, the idea of the eccentric "chinstrap" beard does not appeal at all!

Um, can I be anonymous now? Please Matt?
posted by Richat at 5:13 PM on October 27, 2004


Happening slowly to me too. A shaved head is the new combover. Reminds me of a line from Osmosis Jones when the Mayor of the body is being harrased by reporters. Paraphrasing badly:
Reporter: What do you say to all the hairs on the head that have lost their jobs?
Mayor: Don't worry, there's plenty of opportunities on the back!
posted by Flat Feet Pete at 5:16 PM on October 27, 2004


I'm 26 and my wife and I have both noticed me getting progressively more hairy in the last few years. I think that's just called "life as a man". At least we don't have to bleed every month.
posted by McBain at 5:17 PM on October 27, 2004


"I would be concerned about how a 20-something man could get away with shaving only twice a week."

Until I was past 31, I shaved my face once a week. Now I have to shave 2 or 3 times in a week. Up to the point of turning 22 or so, it was completely pointless for me to shave at all. This isn't all that uncommon in men with some Asian heritage, and I don't think it's hormonal.

I definitely now grow somewhat more hair than I did in my late 20s. It can't be uncommon to undergo a bit of change in the early 30s.
posted by majick at 5:24 PM on October 27, 2004


I second LairBob--wait til it comes out the ears and nose, and 30 is definitely not middle-aged, unless you're planning on dying at 60. I think i got hairier gradually, but it's totally leveled off bodywise, definitely (except for the ear and nose grossness), and disappearing from the head. i'm actually going to BE middle-aged (40) in a month, so shut up! : >
posted by amberglow at 5:45 PM on October 27, 2004


More hair, easier at the gym? Sounds like extra testosterone to me.
posted by filmgeek at 7:10 PM on October 27, 2004


Any chance you've been thinning in the usual Male Pattern Baldness areas on your noggin? Men do crank up their production of DHT (a derivative of testosterone, from what I gather) in the late 20s which paradoxically increases body hair growth while causing the hair on your head to begin to fall out.
posted by 4easypayments at 7:49 PM on October 27, 2004


That's the easy explanation, 4easypayments. The truth is gravity takes its toll on men over time, but instead of making their boobs fall and their hips fill out, it actually sucks the hair down through the head and distributes it out to other various places/orifices. True story.

Also, watching a mid-20s man grow into a mid-30s man is one of the. sexiest. things. EVAR.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:20 PM on October 27, 2004 [1 favorite]


Just wait till isolated tufts start appearing in random locations on your body. Eventaully they all join up and thicken as your devolvution into a hairy caveman progresses. Its like being covered in pubic hair.
posted by Meridian at 4:32 AM on October 28, 2004


What WolfDaddy said! And it gets better in your 40's and 50's! Mmm, older men, rrowr! ♥ ♥ ♥
posted by Lynsey at 3:05 PM on October 28, 2004


WTF is so sexy about turning 30, WolfDaddy?
posted by five fresh fish at 3:14 PM on October 28, 2004


Well, first of all, your palm-crystal blinks and you get to go on Carousel, fff. Renew!

Seriously, it's not just the physical changes, but the changes that one's life experiences brings to bear upon the person in question. Since I'm gay, watching this happen to a male happens to be my favorite, but it applies equally to both genders: From mid-20s (out of college/first shit career path/the closet/whatever) to mid-30s (into life) as many changes are wrought upon many people emotionally/spiritually as puberty on one's body in one's teens. It's fascinating to observe (yay Lynsey!), at least to me. And it makes me a little horny, baby.

Of course, I didn't think any of these things before I turned 30, at which point I began to say that 30 was the age at which life truly began. Now I'm ready to say it doesn't start til 40, but amber's a bit ahead of me, so I'll see how things turn out for him first before I do. Heh heh heh.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:50 PM on October 28, 2004


How is a shaved head the new comb-over? When you shave your head, you're embracing baldness and your new reality, whereas with a comb-over you're trying to hang on to what is obviously going away. Shaving the head can be a big step for some men - it's definitely an unmistakable gesture that the hair is now gone.
posted by spslsausse at 2:24 AM on October 29, 2004


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