5 Evolutionary Advantages We’re Trashing With Our Grooming Habits

We’re covered in various hairs for a reason
5 Evolutionary Advantages We’re Trashing With Our Grooming Habits

As someone whos played in a Magic: The Gathering tournament before, Im acutely aware of the need for good personal hygiene. Its generally something Id recommend going above and beyond on, since very few people have ever been asked to move seats for smelling too good. Sometimes, though, our pursuit of vanity and presentability might have our ancestors slapping their hands against their prominent, elongated brows.

Here are five evolutionary features we undo for the sake of looking good…

Trimming Nose Hair


You know that mustache doesnt stop at the nostril.

For the presence of hair in and on a lot of parts of the body, it can be a matter of personal preference. Some prefer a partner with body hair, others prefer a smooth, aerodynamic beau. One place thats pretty much universally preferred to be hair-free, though? The nostril. At least visibly. Nobody wants their nose looking like a duplex that houses a pair of daddy longlegs. But those hairs do serve an important purpose. Theyre a sort of an anatomical air filter, filtering out dust and other particulates from being express-mailed into your body. Sure, get them to a less noticeable length, but try not to clear-cut the entirety of those entryways.

Covering Up Body Odor

Now, I want to tread lightly around the idea of pheromones, because it feels like were getting dangerously close to alpha male territory. I dont want to end up getting featured by some angry YouTuber who recommends a raw meat diet and cultivating a strong animalistic odor as a way to reclaim manhood. Im also not going to say that every evolutionary recommendation on this list is something I personally want in my immediate radius. The fact is, though, that the natural body odor that we carefully mask with all manner of unguents is a central part of human attraction. If you decide to ride with science here, however, I wouldnt expect many compliments.

Washing Our Hair Too Often

Claiming that everyone shouldnt be washing their hair every day seems like an attempt at contrarian click-baiting, but the science is surprisingly sound. It ties in with something I generally find to be true: I intrinsically trust strange magazine advice more if its decreasing the amount of goods I consume. You know LOreal and the like isnt putting money behind articles telling you to use less shampoo. The problem is, your body is already producing its own substances to keep your hair healthy, namely sebum. It might sound like something a young child misheard while walking past a sex-ed class, but its the natural oil that keeps your hair from becoming brittle and scalp from becoming irritated. Washing too often can strip it all away, even causing dandruff.

Removing Pubic Hair


He looks entirely too pleased about this.

Now, this is at least something that, ideally, very few people are aware of your decision on. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a fierce debate about the aesthetic benefits of its existence or lack thereof. What doesn’t usually enter the equation is the evolutionary purpose of pubes, probably because people assume it’s nothing more than a memory of our monkey forebears. It does, though, have multiple purposes. First is a little more obvious, in that it can serve as a bit of a buffer for bacteria and the like, not unlike nose hair. The second might seem almost counterintuitive, but it can reduce friction during sexual activity as compared to, ahem, repetitive skin-to-skin contact.

Clipping Fingernails

God gave us claws! And were meant to regularly de-weaponize ourselves? Sure, you might have a harder time using your phone and get them caught on your bedsheets once in a while. But if you ever find yourself in hand-to-hand combat to the death, Im betting on the human with the baby knives on each finger. 

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