The scientific name is hirsutism and it has a number of causes. The result is a lot of hair in a variety of places on the body. It affects certain women and in this article we will tell you more about excessive hair: why it appears and how can you eliminate it. Do not miss out!
Abundant hair versus excessive hair
In some women, their hair grows more than “normal” in their legs, back, face and extremities. This is not a health problem but it does affect aesthetics and beauty, and is a condition that requires more care and attention.
Recently we gave you the definition of abundant hair, but did you know that there is also such a thing as “excessive hair?” In this case, the hair grows in a variety of different areas of the body, such as: the neck, the chin, the chest, the legs, the back, the limbs, below the bellybutton, etc.
This condition is related to other male conditions such as male pattern baldness (lack of hair on the scalp). It is called hirsutism and is a condition that affects women. It can appear as a slight problem. Or in very rare cases, it is a serious disorder that prevents normal enjoyment of life.
This is the hair on our body
Even when women shave, wax or use any other method to remove unwanted hair, especially on the legs, groin and armpits, it is certain that hair is present on a large percentage of our body (except the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and in the mucous membranes).
The hair does not have sebaceous glands and is made up of very short and thin (not more than 2 mm) fibrous capillaries. When the size increases and becomes thicker due to action of the hormone androgen, the hair becomes dryer. The production of this hormone is great in men, and for this reason they have more body hair than women. However, certain women can have an increased production of androgens and thus they will have longer, thicker and darker hair in more places on their body.
Another factor that determines whether a woman will have hirsutism is their hereditary makeup. Hair follicles react to various hormones, for example testosterone (another of the “male” type). The area with the greatest proportion of reaction to these hormones is in the pubic area. Therefore, it grows in greater quantity here, in both men and women. The same occurs in the armpits, which is also thick and dense.
Men tend to have thicker and longer hair in these “typical” areas, the chest, back and abdomen, than women do. Most women also have hair in these areas, but it is short, soft and fine, barely visible or palpable. When there is increased production of androgens, however, the hair becomes thicker and longer and in many cases gives the appearance of a man.
Why do the levels of androgen increase in some women? It could be due to different pathologies such as, for example, Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (a genetic disease that affects the adrenal glands and produces more of certain hormones such as cortisol or the “sex hormones”) or polycystic ovaries.
Hirsutism can also be caused by tension or mental stress, overweight and infertility.
Methods to remove unwanted hair
Due to the existence of many different techniques to remove body hair and treatments to reduce to the production of certain hormones, hirsutism is no longer considered a medical problem. In addition, it is now among the “aesthetic” segment for most professionals. However, the increase of body hair can cause problems with a woman’s self-esteem, and make her feel depressed, without self-confidence, etc.
If hair begins to grow uncontrollably perhaps it is due to stress which could be causing an increase in the production of hormones, for example. There are other hormones that can counteract this situation (prescribed by a doctor). If the patient does not wish to take any medication to treat hirsutism then it is necessary to resort to the traditional methods of hair removal that exist.
This is one of the most popular methods in Spain and a few American countries. It can be done at home (for those that wish) or by visiting a beauty salon. Hair removal with wax has advantages that the other techniques cannot offer such as, for example, the hair is much slower in growing back (between 4 and 5 weeks, depending on the woman). As time passes and you keep applying wax, the hair root is weakened and becomes less dense and thinner. The disadvantage is that it is a painful method, most of all if there is a lot of hair or it is in certain areas such as the crotch. There are subcategories of waxing that use, for example, a few strips at a time to make the job easier.
This method has a variety of names, such as shaving with a hand razor or electronic razor. These are the same as men use (and in some stores the only difference is that they are pink, nothing more). There is a belief that by using this technique the hair will grow back thicker and blacker, but this has not been proven. The good thing about this method is that it does not hurt, but the bad thing about it, and especially for those suffering from hirsutism, is that it must be done quite often, at least each week. It is not suggested to use this method in sensitive areas of the body either, for example, the face. It is best to do it in the shower because the hot water will open the pores.
This type of hair removal is not recommended for women with hirsutism because it is for occasional use to remove just a few hairs.
Laser hair removal
This option, which is done in specialized clinics, can be a solution for women with excessive hair. The downside is that it is very expensive and it does not have a 100% success rate.
Hair removal cream
This is a simple and painless alternative for body hair removal. However, in some woman it may cause some skin irritation. Before using this method it is recommended to test it by applying a little bit to an area of the leg. If the area becomes red, begins to itch or “burn,” then remove the cream immediately and do not use it again.