Depilatory sunshine

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Friday, March 10, 2006
By Yokota Fritz

I always wear sunscreen on my forays to the high country. When I spent three days at Winter Park, CO last week, however, I forgot the sunscreen. The result is that a week later the skin on my face is still peeling from the sunburn I have.

Because of the burn I haven't shaved all week. When I looked in the mirror this morning, though, I look like I only have about two days of growth. That makes me wonder: Does sunburn slow hair growth on men?

This might explain male pattern baldness. Should I rotate among bicycle helmets with different vent patterns to prevent embarrassing patterns of bald spots on my head?

The moderate sunshine that we all get might even explain facial hair patterns. Hair doesn't grow on the sun exposed regions of our faces: our cheekbones, top of the nose, or the outside of the ears. Beards and mustaches start at the relatively shaded areas. Hair thrives in the dark areas of our bodies: inside the nostrils and ears, underarms, and other nether regions.

My upper arms (which are almost always covered with shirt sleeves) are hairy; my lower arms and hands are almost bare. Ditto for my legs -- thighs are hairy, my shins have some good wisps of hair, and my calves (which I've sunburned) are bare. I'm looking right now at the area just beneath the protrusions of my bony knees -- that patch of skin is very hairy.

On my daily bicycle commute, the left side of my body is exposed to the morning sun while the right side gets the setting sun. My left arm and leg are noticeably more hairy than my right limbs. Is there a connection between this hair assymetry and my sunshine hypothesis?

My shoulders and back are mostly hair-free, but my belly (with my monster pecs shading my flat abs) is almost a bear rug.

I don't know how many of my male readers shave their legs for cycling, but leg shaving is not a pleasant task. Would it be easier to just get a sunburn a couple of times a year to kill the hair producing cells?

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Man, you gotta put up a warning on posts like this; "Warning- reading this post will make you snort and choke on what you are drinking."

Dude, you're killing me! I wish it was that easy. I'd be totally bald if that were the case. I've gotten too many sunburns over the years and I have no problem producing razor clogging hair growth. Left alone, my legs will produce a nice hair sheath in no time.
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