Why Do We Have Leg Hair? (7 Reasons Why)

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Isabelle O'Gallagher

Isabelle O'Gallagher is a personal development and relationship expert who has consulted for some of the biggest companies in America.

Love it or hate it, leg hair is part of life. From childhood to old age, most people have leg hair. Though it is an assumed part of our bodies, it is normal to wonder why.

There has been a lot of discussion on the best ways to remove leg hair, but few people talk about why we have it in the first place. Keep reading to learn more about leg hair.

Why Do We Have Leg Hair?

1. It Is Meant To Regulate Body Temperature

As humans have evolved over time, we have certain characteristics that perform functions that allow us to live and be more comfortable in our environments.

Leg hair is one of these functions. Though it might not seem like much, it is actually meant to regulate our body temperatures so that we stay warm.

Especially in cooler climates, human leg hair has come about as a way to help keep the skin warm.

This can explain why people with ancestors from colder regions often have denser leg hair than people with ancestors from warmer regions.

2. It Protects The Skin

Humans have had to endure a lot over the years, and the body has adapted to keep itself safe in a lot of circumstances.

In particular, leg hair can serve as an important protector of the skin. It keeps the skin safe from the following things:

  • Insects
  • Toxic plants
  • Other irritants, such as sand or dust
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Although leg hair might seem feeble, it can really do a lot for us. In the modern age, this protection is typically replaced just by wearing pants but it made a difference in the past.

3. It Regulates Skin Oils

Our skin produces oils that are an integral part of staying healthy. Oils are secreted by openings in the skin called pores, and these are often surrounded by hairs.

It is theorized that leg hair and the hair on the rest of our body can help distribute skin oils, prompt oil production and keep us healthy overall.

When our skin does not have oil, it is easier to develop dry skin or other skin conditions such as rashes.

4. It Detects Irritants

It Detects Irritants

Not only does leg hair prevent irritating things from landing on our skin, but it also notifies us when there is something on our legs that could potentially harm us.

Leg hair is extremely sensitive, and it can feel when there is something on it. For instance, if a bug lands on you, you will feel this and move so that the bug leaves.

This may seem simple, but it is actually an important adaptation that keeps us safe from things like insect bites and stings, potentially preventing injury or harm.

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5. It Is An Evolutionary Leftover

Humans are technically a species of ape, and over time our bodies have adapted and evolved from our wild origins.

Leg hair is something that we have had for thousands of years, and remains with us even though we do not especially need it any more.

Sometimes the body takes a while to catch up, and we see vestigial signs of evolution. This is true for things such as:

  • Body hair
  • Canine teeth
  • Tailbones

Though it is impossible to know what the future looks like, we can see leg hair as a reminder of our origins.

6. It Stops Us From Chafing

Chafing happens when the skin rubs against another patch of skin or fabric, and it has the potential to be very uncomfortable for people.

Anyone who has experienced chafing knows that it can cause injury, discomfort, and even skin abrasions if it goes on long enough.

Fortunately, leg hair plays an important role in preventing chafing. Leg hair provides a surface that protects against direct skin rubbing.

Not only does this prevent chafing against skin, but can also stop chafing against fabrics, such as pants.

If you notice you are having problems with chafing on your legs, you might want to try letting your leg hair grow out. It is a simple solution that could make a big difference.

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7. It Is A Sign Of Good Health

Leg hair is regulated by hair growth hormones, and especially in men can be a sign of health and virility.

People who grow leg hair are regarded to be healthy, even if societal beauty standards often affects how women are perceived.

If someone has balanced hormones and a healthy lifestyle, their hair usually grows more fully than those who do not.

However, sometimes people do not have leg hair due to genetic or cultural reasons, and this does not mean they are unhealthy. Everyone is different, but as a rule, body hair is normal.


Many people, especially women, dedicate a significant part of their grooming routine to dealing with their leg hair. However, we often do not wonder why it is there.

Leg hair is an important adaptation that has helped humans for thousands of years. Though its purpose now is a little less clear, it is still a normal thing that has benefits in our lives.


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