You asked, we answered: Why do ear and nose hair grow more as you age, but head hair grows less? – Nebraska Medicine


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Published November 3, 2022

Published November 2, 2022
picture of a man shaving
As a middle-aged guy, why does my hair stop growing on my head and start growing in my ears? 
It can be discouraging to lose our hair, only to see it appear somewhere else on our body where we don’t want it. Although frustrating, it’s a natural part of the aging process for men and women alike.
Hair on the scalp, under the arms, groin, eyebrows, ears, and nostrils are called terminal hairs. They are controlled and regulated by hormones called androgens. Receptors that bind to androgens are unique in different areas of your body. 
When it comes to terminal hairs, the most important androgen is testosterone.
As we age, testosterone levels begin to decrease. While testosterone levels decrease, the hormone-binding globulins (groups of proteins in the blood) increase. This process alters the signals to the hair, leading to less hair on the scalp and more growth on the brows, ears and nostrils.
This process is also why patients undergoing testosterone therapy will often note hair loss or loss of hair thickness on their scalp.
Hair loss is quite common in females, affecting more than 50% of women at some point in their lives and approximately 80% of women by age 80. Learn more.
Male baldness is one of those facts of life that men dread.
Some of these symptoms are normal and similar to what we see with other types of infections, while others are not.
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