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Why do males with baldness have shiny skin on their head, whereas we don't experience such "shiny skin" in other parts of body without hair.

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    $\begingroup$ There are products to put on your head to make it more shiny. $\endgroup$ – skymningen Jul 6 '16 at 11:10
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Think of what happens when you don't wash your hair for days. It gets oily and greasy. This oil-like substance on your hair is called sebum and mainly works as a lubricant . The Sebaceous glands responsible for excreting sebum don't stop working when the hair follicles attached to them do. The result is a "shiny" head.

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually people "shine" there heads on purpose. There are products sold for this. $\endgroup$ – AMR Jul 7 '16 at 0:16
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    $\begingroup$ Some do. Their bodies either doesn't produce enough sebum or they want a more "shiny" look. A slight shiness is natural in any bald head though. $\endgroup$ – Ria Jul 7 '16 at 6:57
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    $\begingroup$ Do bald people not wash their heads frequently? And why is my chin not shiny if I shave regularly? $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Aug 24 '17 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf Well you have made an excellent point and it has really made me reopen this question. This sebum theory is good but incompletely explains the question. $\endgroup$ – Failed Scientist Oct 18 '17 at 14:06
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    $\begingroup$ Washing your head every single day dries it out, hence triggering the excessive production of sebum instead of hindering it. $\endgroup$ – Ria May 14 '18 at 4:36
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It’s due to fibrosis. Men with androgenic allopecia suffer from chronic inflammation of the scalp. Male pattern baldness is a poorly understood disease, but what most people don’t know is that it’s an auto immune skin condition. The hormone DHT appears to trigger a cascade of events leading to inflammation and fibrosis This results in a build up of scar tissue, I.e. fibrosis that gives a swollen and shiny look to the scalp. Scalp fibrosis results in reduced blood flow and hair follicles shrinkage and eventual death. https://perfecthairhealth.com/the-ultimate-hair-loss-flowchart-why-we-lose-our-hair/ You may not realize it, but claims that bald men’s heads are shiny due to sweat and grease is quite insulting to people suffering from an embarassing and irritating auto immune disease. It’s just an uneducated guess in the truest sense. An attempt to explain something without having done any research into the subject. Armpits are usually sweaty and produce oils but are never shiny.

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting answer. Can you please add some references to it? $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 10 '18 at 7:01
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome. Please refrain from shooting at other answers and focus on writing a good answer by providing sources to your claims. I've toned down your answer a bit. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Sep 10 '18 at 9:13
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Skin is naturally shiny thanys the waxes and oils on its surface, provided it is smooth. The skin over the top of the head is very smooth and if fairly taunt because the skin does not undergo much flexion. Note how people in with uncommonly smooth and hairless skin any large smooth taunt patch (like the thigh or cheek) will also be shiny unless they use makeup.

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