Hairiness in Women

All through the ages women and men have groomed, styled and even adorned their hair. Body hair however is treated somewhat differently. In some cultures body hair is associated with virility and strength among males. With respect to females, facial hair is not always frowned upon or camouflaged. In some cultures it is admired, painted and deified.

Times have certainly changed in our modern world as the influence of Western civilization has far reaches to cultures all over the globe. More and more men and women are spending a lot of money to reduce the appearance of hairiness. Society is more forgiving of hairiness on men although they can sometimes become the subject of ridicule and comedy.

Excessive Body Hair in Women

In today’s western, fashion-conscious world any visible body hair on a woman is considered socially unacceptable. At the same time hair salons have been increasingly doing more business as there is a great demand to process, weave, style and shave the head in keeping with the current trends among the world’s most fashionable women.

Women spend a hefty sum to rid themselves of excessive body hair. The areas of the body targeted for hair removal are:

  • Face (eyebrow, sideburns, upper lip, chin)
  • Underarm
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Chest
  • Around the nipples
  • Abdomen
  • Pubic area

Luckily for some females the hair is thin and barely visible. Excessive body hair usually begins in puberty and progressively becomes more prominent with age.

What causes Hirsutism?

Excessive growth of coarse black hair especially on a woman’s face is called hirsutism. In extreme cases a female could grow a full mustache and a long beard. The common cause is attributed to the male hormone testosterone and other androgens. Women who have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome tend to have a group of symptoms which include hirsutism, obesity and infertility.

Causes of Hairiness in Women

When the tendency runs in families for the females to be hairy this is a genetic characteristic. Hormone imbalances (which result in higher levels of the male hormones in females) contribute to the excessive growth of hair where hair would not normally grow in females.

There are medications which can produce the side effects of unusual hair growth. It is important to observe whether a particular medication is associated with the appearance of hair on the body.

Types of Treatment for Hair Removal

Professionals in salons and spas offer a menu of procedures to remove unwanted body hair. In many of the procedures the hair will regrow in a few weeks. Some of the salon procedures are:

  • Waxing

Warmed wax is applied to the skin where it cools and forms a hardened layer which is removed quickly. The procedure is painful.

  • Hair removal cream

Creams which soften and denature hair follicles are applied on the area where there is excessive body hair. This is the wiped away and along with it is the body hair.

  • Tweezing

Using tweezers hair follicles are pulled from the skin. It is advisable to do this in the direction of the hair growth. This method is not practical for extensive areas of body hair. The procedure causes pain and redness of the skin.

  • Threading

The method of removal is similar to the tweezer but is done using thread

  • Electrolysis

Applying mild electrical stimulation to the hair follicle gives a permanent solution for hair removal. The procedure may have to be repeated a few time to prevent hair regrowth

  • Laser treatment

Lase application can stunt hair growth but runs the risk of damaging the skin around the hair follicles

There are ‘do it yourself’ home devices for hair removal which are safe to use. This has become the more popular hair removal solution

Natural Homemade Remedies

Bleaching solutions: essentially only lighten the appearance of the body hair

Application of mixtures of:

  • Lemon juice
  • Rose water
  • Sugar
  • Oatmeal
  • Flour

Some of these ingredients are mixed and applied as a masque for hair removal

A Word of Caution

You should exercise care when using hair removal creams on the skin. Follow the instructions carefully and do the skin sensitivity tests before application. All hair removal procedures can result in different degrees of irritation of the skin. As far as possible try to have the hair removal procedure done professionally.


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