Arm Hair

Hair can grow on two main surfaces of the arm– the upper arm and the forearm. 

 

 

UPPER ARM

Nearly 70% of men will have hair on the upper arm.[i]  Hair extending down from the armpits can often be found spreading onto the very upper and under portions of the biceps, but this is considered and extension of axillary (armpit hair) rather than true upper arm hair.  Also, hair on the deltoids and shoulders is considered an extension of back hair. 

Upper arm hair tends to grow mostly above the crease of the elbow and onto the triceps as it spreads up from the forearms.  This often leaves the biceps either bald or at the very least, significantly less hairy (or covered with finer hair) than the triceps.  There are three main extents of upper arm hair growth. 

Bare Upper Arm

This involves no hair growing above the elbow; however, hair can still grow on the lower arm.  Nearly 30% of men will have little to no hair on the upper arm.  This can often correspond with men that have less hairy forearms, see image below.

shutterstock_451036849 - bare.jpg

Above Elbow & Triceps  

 

In this pattern, men will have hair that grows above the elbow crease, but the spread is confined only to the lower portions of the triceps.  The biceps and upper portions of the tricep are either bare or covered in finer, less coarse hair (see area shaded below).  This often corresponds with men that have a fairly hairy forearm.

shutterstock_451036849 - lower portion o

Extensive Upper Arm & Triceps

This pattern sees coarser hair grow up the triceps to almost the shoulder with some hair spreading into the biceps (see area shaded in image below).   This is almost always associated with men that have a nearly entirely haired forearm.

shutterstock_451036849 - whole tricep.jp

FOREARM

Over 99% of men will grow hair on the back of the forearm (the portion facing up when the hands are placed downwards on a table). 

The underside of the forearm is typically less hairy and often has areas that are bald or only have fine hairs.  The underside of the forearm typically has more hair on the thumb-side compared to the pinky side.  There are five main extents of hair growth on the lower arm ranging from bald to almost completely covered in hair.

 

Bare

 

This pattern involves the 1% of men that have little to no hair growth on the forearms.

shutterstock_190171256 BARE.jpg

Minimal

This pattern involves hair growth mainly on the thumb side of the forearm that is concentrated on the back of the forearm with only a small amount of hair wrapping around to the underside of the forearm.

shutterstock_190171256 MINIMAL.jpg

Moderate

In this type, hair spreads across the back of the forearm.  On the underside, the hair remains concentrated on the thumb side and moves further towards the center and up towards the elbow.

shutterstock_190171256 Moderate.jpg

Majority

In this type, hair covers the majority of the back of the forearm.  The underside of the forearm has hair beginning to wrap around on the pinky side, but there is still a line of bald skin separating the hair on either side.

shutterstock_190171256 Majority.jpg

Maximal

 

This is the most extensive arm hair.  The entire back of the forearm is covered in hair.  The elbow may or may not be covered in hair.  On the underside of the arm, a bridge of hair extends from the pinky side over to the thumb side.  In some men this bridge can be extensive making the underside of the forearm covered almost completely with hair other than at the crease of the elbow.

shutterstock_190171256 Maximum.jpg

[i] Am J Phys Anthropol. 1964 Jun;22:143-8.  THE DISTRIBUTION OF HAIR OF THE UPPER LIMB IN CAUCASOID MALES.  SETTY LR.

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