The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hello,

Is it normal to be considerably hairier than one's father, especially at such a young age (18)? I have always felt that I was extremely hairy for my age, and it has always confused me considering how hairless my father is. I have a hairy chest, shoulders and back when my father has practically no upper body hair at all. You can see my chest, back and neck hair poking out of most of my shirts! Ironically, my hairline has also started receding in the last few months and is already noticeable. My father has a perfect hairline still. I am also considerably taller than he is and blonde, where he is darker haired. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with this. Is it normal to be so hairy and also balding while still in High School with limited family history of either?

Thanks for your help.


Answer

You have to remember that you have a blend of genes from both your mother and your father. The only set of genes that you have solely from your father is your Y chromosome but that chromosome does not control every aspect of your male characteristics.

Your description of yourself is that of a young man with a high testosterone level and you also inherited a gene that makes your hair follicles sensitive to testosterone by-products. The testosterone causes you to easily grow body hair, but that same hormone also makes it likely to lose hair on your head. Think of it as burning out the hair follicles -- it is not an accurate description of what is going on, but close enough for this discussion. It is more common than you might suspect. I have several relatives who started losing hair when they were in high school. Some guys hide it by always wearing ball caps. Others decide the shaved head look is for them. But most are content that it is just the way that they are -- besides people tend to assume they are older than they really are.