I tend to lose a lot of pubic hairs and I was wondering when they will grow back. I think I'm between stage 3 and 4 of puberty. I was also wondering how long it will take to grow the rest of my pubic hair and my armpit hair. I don't have a lot of armpit hair but I have a considerable amount of pubic hair about 3 inches above my penis.
Sam (age 14)
While it is normal to lose a hair here and there on your groin due to breakage, it is not typical for a man to lose any significant or noticeable amounts of pubic hair after gaining it. I'm assuming that by "lose" you don't mean that you shaved your groin, but rather hair is falling out. A loss of pubic hair indicates that you have something wrong with your body.
The most common reason for pubic hair loss is having lice. Lice are little critters that feed through the hair follicles, thus damaging the hair. Pubic lice, also called "crabs" because the insects look like microscopic crabs, is almost always picked up through sexual contact with a person who already has pubic lice. However, it is sometimes possible to pick it up by reusing towels or clothing of someone with lice which haven't been washed, or to sleep in a bed of someone who has lice without the sheets being washed between use. Pubic lice is very itchy. To see pubic lice, you need a good magnifying glass and you need to examine your groin region very carefully. Not only will you see the lice, but you might also see egg clusters along the base of some of your hairs. There are two kinds: one is a grey-white color and the other is a brownish color. Depending on your own skin color they will be easily seen or hard to see.
The lice themselves look like this under a magnifying glass. Lice is readily treatable, though it takes a bit of time. If you believe this is what you have, let me know and I'll write out the treatment instructions.
Pubic hair loss can also be caused by your adrenal glands, pituitary gland, or liver not functioning correctly. These problems are accompanied by other symptoms; the loss of pubic hair is just one. If any of these are suspected, you need to see a doctor real soon. This is not something to be ignored.
The Tanner stages are described at the end of chapter 1. See "Tanner Stages" for more information. The hair above your penis that extends in a strip to the navel (belly button) is very typical for men. It is not really pubic hair, but the first of your body hair. Depending on your genetic "race," it might constitute all the body hair that you might gain.
As far as timing goes, taking your description, you probably have six to twelve months to go before you have all your armpit hair developed and for your pubic hair to cover the area from thigh to thigh. There is a timing chart that you can look as for roughly when each change occurs. It is not exact because each individual is different.