Why don’t we get goosebumps on our faces?

Silly question, right? Well that’s me, I am silly enough to want to know the answer.

And the answer is we get goosebumps only on parts of our bodies that have hair. The purpose of body hair is to protect us from the cold. But when our hair doesn’t provide enough insulation, the small muscles at the bottom of each hair tighten so the hair stands up.

Animals are covered with fur, the risen strands form a protective nest of hairs. Cold air gets trapped in the hair instead of bouncing against the delicate skin, thus the hair insulates the animals against the cold.

Although evolution has caused humans to lose most of their body hair, the same muscular contractions occur to defend against the cold. Instead of a mat of hair, all we have to face the elements are a few wispy tufts and a multitude of mounds of skin, which used to support an erect hair and now must go it alone. When a male lion gets “goosebumps” his erect hair makes him look ferocious. Our “goosebumps” only serve to make us look vulnerable.


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