There are hair follicles all over the body. Within the follicles there are stem cells, blood vessels, sebaceous glands and, of course, hair. The follicle lies within the second layer of the skin: the dermis. This is the living part of the hair. The outer hair – that is, the hair you can see – is actually dead.
There are basically two types of hair growth on the human body, which includes of course the face.
The first type is a very fine hair, soft, colorless, downy fuzz on the side of the face or for that matter anywhere in the body, called Vellus Hair. It is not undesirable, for it gives the skin a soft look, rather than the hard, shiny appearance the skin would have without it.
Vellus hair does not have a deep follicle, it grows out of a very shallow follicle with a very small dermal papilla. All our body, with the exceptions of our lips, palms and soles of our feet, is covered in vellus hair. Vellus hair, for various reasons, may or may not turn into thicker pigmented ones. But if it does, it is not considered vellus anymore.
Vellus hair is normal in women and it may or may not be treated with permanent hair removal techniques depending on preference.
Terminal hairs are the ones that have a well developed follicle, a papilla and pigmentation, usually coarse –but maybe thin, medium, or heavy textured.
Terminal hair begins its development as the peach fuzz type, and later, has greater length than its neighbors (accelerated vellus stage), and finally begins to develop color and some degree of coarseness. At this point, the hair is of a terminal type. Terminal hair grows from the scalp, eyebrows, underarms, pubic area, and other parts of the body.
Most often terminal hair develops from normal bodily changes. During puberty, the increase in androgenic hormone levels causes vellus hair to be replaced with terminal hair in certain parts of the human body. Beard growth and excess body hair in males is the result of puberty, as well as pubic and underarm hair in men and women. In the course of our life there may be other reasons for the vellus hair to turn terminal too.
Terminal hair never retrogresses to vellus hair, except in male pattern baldness. Generally speaking, original terminal hair always remain terminal hair.
It is this type of hair one attempts to remove in unwanted areas –hence Electrolysis the only permanent hair removal method.