Why do humans have butt hair?

Why do humans have butt hair?
Photo: Shutterstock

You’re not the only one to ponder this question. Scientists have tried to answer, and like many of life’s biggest mysteries, no one knows for sure. However, there have been many attempts at hypothesizing, and plenty of theories regarding the evolutionary basis behind the phenomenon of human butt hair. The most convincing one is that there is simply no reason not to have it.

Genes are propagated by their ability to offer an evolutionary advantage. This essentially means that if a gene expresses itself in a way that leads to the survival and reproductive success of its host, then it will be passed on to future descendants.

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So why do we have butt hair? Well, it could be because that fuzz on our derrieres did not hinder our ancestors from mating.

While butt hair may not have offered any significant pros with regard to our reproductive success, it also hasn’t interfered with it. Essentially, the process of natural selection had no reason to get rid of it. This is great news if your bum fluff has been concerning you. Firstly, because everyone has it, and secondly because it has never been a barrier to mating success.

Unfortunately, the scientific community has not pooled their collective resources together and vigorously studied the field of human butt hair, and the research on this area is still scarce. Therefore, we can only speculate and theorize.

Other compelling explanations have been put forward. One of these suggests that we have butt hair because it strengthens our natural scent. Yes, butt hair causes us to smell by accentuating our anal aroma. This may seem counterintuitive; how did smelling like ass aid our reproductive success? Well, you can’t look at this from the lens of a 21st-century human, because you need to put yourself in the shoes of your evolutionary ancestors.

Butt hair and its ability to trap smells may have aided our ancestors to mark their territory, find mates, and communicate with each other. These are behaviors observed in other animals, take dogs for instance (with all due respect to our ancestors). The hair between our cheeks not only traps smelly oils but also makes for an ideal habitat for bacteria, which consume these oils and produce more odors. The gentle breeze would then find its way to the nostrils of a potential partner. The idea certainly isn’t romantic, but these odors may be the reason you’re reading this today.

It may also serve more practical purposes. Similar to armpit hair, butt hair helps prevent chafing. Remember those oils we talked about? Well, they are the ideal lubricant, and because butt hair helps trap them, there is less friction between the skin. Butt hair could also have prevented early humans from getting sick. See, clothing is a luxury that some of our ancestors did not have, as such, sitting down with a hairy crevice would have been a better alternative to direct skin contact.

There are no definite answers when it comes to the question of whether you should get rid of your butt hair. Choosing to keep or get rid of it has no major bearing on your health. It is largely an aesthetic decision and depends on your individual preference. It is quite a tricky area to groom, so removing it should be done carefully.

You could shave it off with a razor, as long as you’re slow and gentle. Prop your leg up for easy access and wash with some warm water and mild soap. However, waxing is a better alternative if you’re looking for a long-term solution. It lasts longer than shaving because the entire follicles of hair are uprooted. Leave that to professional estheticians and grooming experts if you’re serious about grooming your booty hair.

“Seek a professional who is trained in the most efficient hair removal techniques. Do your research to make sure you like, connect with, and trust your waxer. That is very important to help calm your nerves and make the appointment go smoothly,” according to Page Buldini, an esthetician and the founder of Page Aesthetics Skincare. “Also gently exfoliate the area before and after to ensure the hair is prepped to be removed or will assist in a clear surface when the hair is growing back in.”

Permanent fixes are also an option! The most popular one is laser hair removal, and it can pretty much treat butt hair. But it’s also important to remind you that butt hair is natural.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with body hair. It’s something that many of us have,” Buldini said. “If it’s something that doesn’t feel aligned with us, then there are many great professionals that can very quickly and easily remove it.”

And yes it’s possible to get rid of butt hair without waxing, shaving and lasers.

“You could add sugaring, threading, and epilation – other forms of hair removal,” Buldini said.

Here’s the thing! We might not know the exact reason why we have it and that’s okay. It’s up to us whether we’d like to leave or lose it. What matters is that our choice to groom it or not makes us feel our best at the end of the day.

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