Hirsutism may not be a familiar word to most people. But talk about excessive facial hair, unwanted hair, superfluous hair growth due to hormones or obesity and you have an audience.
This is more of a problem for women as facial and chest hair, in particular, are considered to be unnatural, undesirable, and unacceptable.
Problematic Hair Growth
One “stray” hair may be normal and easy to get rid of even if it tends to grow back. It’s a different thing altogether when hair growth is excessive … out of control … and in less than desirable places. For most women this is the face (usually upper lip and chin) and chest.
A broader definition of hirsutism includes male-pattern hair growth due to an unusual amount of the androgen hormone. This hormone is dominant in men though present in women to a lesser degree.
Hair growth, in this case, is thicker and darker than the more normal downy-like (peach fuzz) hair, which is hardly noticeable … except for people who are bothered by and obsessed with the presence of any hair at all.
Is My Condition Hirsutism?
It is best to get proper diagnosis from an endocrinologist. You may be treating the symptom without knowing what the underlying cause is. At times hirsutism is due to a medical condition. Find the root cause and start treating that. Afterwards steps can be taken to eliminate the symptoms.
If the condition is caused by a hormonal imbalance, your endocrinologist will advise you about the necessary treatment. You will be in a better position to know when to focus on treating the outward appearance. And also which method best suits you.
Superfluous hair growth may occur during pregnancy, menstruation, puberty and menopause. These cases are not considered to be hirsutism. Things get back to normal once these occurrences have passed.
Live With Or Without the Outward Appearance
Excessive hair growth is not a problem to everyone, men or women. Some individuals and cultures actually embrace it. For others it is a stress point which can lead to other health issues, insecurity complexes, and antisocial behaviors. The best way to make a decision is to be informed.
There may not be a universally agreed on cure for hirsutism; however, there is no shortage of recommendations to alleviate the condition. In terms of the outward appearance, one or a combination of treatments may serve to bring peace of mind.
On the other hand, this could also be frustrating. Results are not usually apparent and may take several treatments before it is evident that a solution is found.
Regardless of social norms or as a result of social norms, your outward appearance will be controlled by you. You may be influenced or pressured to change, but the choice is yours. People who care about you may get involved in helping you to find a solution. Be open minded. This is beneficial and may have a positive end result.
Treat That Stubborn Hair
There are several methods used to treat unwanted or undesirable hair growth. From the point of view of an electrologist and laser hair removal specialist, electrolysis and laser would be suggestions.
Do your research and find what works for you. It may be a matter of affordability. Bear in mind that the long-term benefits will be the most cost effective.
Some methods are temporary and may not be expensive such as shaving. Hair will grow back more quickly but is less stimulating. Hair is cut off at whatever point it protrudes above the surface of the skin.
Hair is tapered, thicker at the root and pointed at the end. When hair that has been shaved continues to push through the skin, it would have already lost the tapered tip. This is why it is assumed that hair grows back thicker after shaving. It does not!
Some methods, though very common, may enhance the problem. These tend to stimulate the blood flow which supplies nourishment to hair follicles. When hair is tweezed (plucked) or waxed, extra blood is supplied to the area as a means of protection. This results in stronger, thicker hair being produced.
Other temporary methods may include products of some kind: creams and manual or electronic devices.
Naturally, the permanent or long-term treatment methods will be more expensive initially. Decide what is right for you and get started.
Stay on Course – Finish the Race!
So, here’s the thing: You now have a better understanding of what hirsutism is, in short superfluous hair growth caused by hormonal imbalance. You or someone you know have symptoms. Some people are not bothered by it while others worry themselves to death.
Have an endocrinologist diagnose the condition. Get the necessary medical and “cosmetic” treatment. Some considerations in treating symptoms are:
- Permanent or temporary results
- Timeframe and frequency
- No cost, low cost or outrageously expensive
- Acceptable or unacceptable by you or society
Enjoy better health, self-image if this is problematic for you, and peace of mind. Be informed. You have a decision to make for yourself or help someone through the process.
I hope this short article has helped you in some way. There is a vast amount of information on the subject and related matter. This is only an introduction especially for those who are at a loss and need to be pointed in the right direction. This site is primarily about problematic hair growth.
Feel free to leave your questions and comments below. I will do my best to address them.