As women we’re very familiar with the light, fine hairs that show up all over our bodies. Peach fuzz. We get rid of them when we shave or if we have dermaplaning, but they’re not a big deal since they’re light, fine, and mostly invisible.
That’s not the case, however, with the dark coarse hairs that have been showing up in, uh, not the most feminine of places: the upper lip, chin, chest, stomach, or back. Come on, that’s where men grow hair!
What’s the deal? Hirsutism is the name, and you can blame it on your hormones, your genes, or certain medications you’re taking.
At Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal we can keep those unwanted hairs in line by zapping them with laser energy. Laser hair removal is the best way to deal with these unwanted dark, coarse hairs.
What’s behind those unwanted hairs?
Hirsutism is thought to affect around 5 percent of women. The growth pattern of these unwanted hairs is associated with virilization. That means the hairs have characteristics and locations commonly associated with men because they are fueled by androgens, which are male hormones. That’s also why these yucky hairs are dark and coarse.
Women develop these unwanted hairs on the face and body due to higher-than-normal levels of androgens, including testosterone. All women produce androgens, but they are typically at very low levels. But certain medical conditions can cause an increase in production of androgens, and with it those pesky, ugly dark hairs. Here’s what’s behind the increased androgen production:
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) — PCOS causes a woman to form benign cysts on the ovaries, which can affect hormone production. This leads to irregular periods and decreased fertility. And it is behind about three quarters of hirsutism cases.
Adrenal gland disorders — Your adrenal glands are located just above your kidneys and they are responsible for hormone production. Different conditions affecting the adrenal glands, such as Cushing’s disease, can also affect the way your body produces androgens.
Medications — If you’re taking testosterone to correct a deficiency, Minoxidil for thinning hair, or anabolic steroids, these can all cause androgen elevation and hair growth.
What should do about it?
Lasers are very effective at permanently removing these hairs. Why? Because they are very dark and larger than your other body hair. Their dark color contrasts well with the color of your skin, so it’s easy to set the laser wavelength to match the melanin in the dark hairs. Although we’re experts at handling all colors of hair and all colors of skin, laser hair removal is still the most effective when there is good contrast between dark hair and lighter skin tone.
If your hormone issues continue, you may create more of these hairs in new places, but laser hair removal can keep up with them and permanently remove them.
If you’ve been finding some of these dark, coarse hairs on places like your chin or lower abdomen, come see us at Romeo & Juliette. Call us at (217) 750-2000 to schedule a consultation.