Why does the hair on the right part of my body grow faster than that on the left part?
September 14, 2006 3:10 AM   Subscribe

Why does the hair on the right part of my body grow faster than that on the left part?

When I wax, the hair on the right side of my body (legs, armpits, bikini line) grows slightly faster (amount and length) than that on the left side. I know that it may sound as a stupid question but is there a reason for that?

Some of my friends told me that it could have to do with me being a right-handed person. Is that right? If it is, then how does it work?
posted by celine to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Good question, I have no idea, but have been contemplating wasting a question on why my fingernails grow faster on my left hand than my right (I am right handed).
posted by scodger at 3:40 AM on September 14, 2006

IANAD, but we are only approximately bilaterally symmetrical. Our hearts, livers, pancreas, spleen and other internal organs are off center, not to mention that our gastrointestinal tract is entirely a map of its own without symmetry. Yet we function.

Many people preferentially form keloids on one side of their body, but not the other. Go figure.
posted by paulsc at 4:53 AM on September 14, 2006

I heard a doctor talking about this on a talkback show who agrees with paulsc. The caller was asking a question about sweating more on one side.

People aren't symmetrical, so, you might as well ask, why not?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:00 AM on September 14, 2006

My friend who is an esthetician said that they learned in cosmetology school that hair grows faster and thicker on one side of the body, but they were never given a scientific explaination for it.

I did see a study that suggested your dominant hand could impact which fingernails grew faster, but that it didn't seem to have an impact on scalp hair.
posted by thejanna at 6:46 AM on September 14, 2006

I can't comment on why, but one of my sideburns grows thicker than the other. And yes, its the one on my stronger side.
posted by whitebird at 8:03 AM on September 14, 2006

I don't know about the OP's hair, but I remember reading a "how to be a spy" book when I was little and one way to discern someone's handedness was to check their fingernail length. The theory was that the dominant hand should have shorter fingernails because they get worn more from use.
posted by j at 8:22 AM on September 14, 2006

I guess we will wait till someone who is left handed say that hair grows faster on his right side as well. Maybe it is how our body is wired. I noticed that the hair on my chest is a bit denser to the right than the left, unfortunately I am also right handed.
posted by convex at 9:23 AM on September 14, 2006

You might be a chimera. (Probably not, though.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:44 AM on September 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

There's a genetic switch during embryo development to make you asymmetrical. I can't remember what it is or how early in development it turns on, but if it doesn't then your heart doesn't develop properly leading to other difficulties (other organs are affected too but the heart is probably the most notable). Then differences in hormone fluxes across the womb or other environmental effects can add to the asymmetry during growth and development. So being asymmetrical is a good thing.

How it affects everyone seems to be diffferent. One of my feet is longer than the other, my hair grows at the same rate but there's twice as much on one side of my head. Handedness is part of the same phenomenom (but probably not linked in the way your friend is suggesting). A recent study showed the women with uneven breast sizes are slightly more likely to get breast cancer, although I didn't follow up the reasoning why for that one (figured there's nothing that can be done so why worry).
posted by shelleycat at 1:55 PM on September 14, 2006

This is not an answer but for some reason the hair on my thighs grows light and fine but from the kneeds down it grows back stubbly after I shave. I have no idea what's up with that.
posted by clairezulkey at 8:11 AM on September 18, 2006

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