What is Unwanted Facial Hair?

Many women suffer from unwanted facial hair that may be embarrassing and may cause self-consciousness in some patients. Various treatments are available that have helped others overcome unwanted facial hair by removing it permanently or temporarily, or by making it much less noticeable.

Vellus vs. Terminal Hair

Vellus hair is described as fine, lightly colored hair. It is commonly referred to as peach fuzz and may adorn the upper lip, cheeks or chin of many women. Some women decide that they are not bothered by vellus hair and do not seek treatment, while others are extremely bothered by it and explore their options for removing it.

Terminal hair affects many women who are going through menopause or who have a condition called hirsutism, which is characterized by excessive facial and body hair growth. Terminal hair is thick and coarse and most women consider it to be very embarrassing. Seeking treatment for terminal hair is much more common.

What Causes Unwanted Facial Hair?

During menopause, as estrogen levels are reduced, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels may increase. DHT is the hormone that affects hair growth; higher levels may lead to terminal hair where there was once vellus hair.

Women with higher levels of androgen may also experience terminal hair growth. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, Cushing's disease and other conditions associated with high androgen levels may experience hirsutism.

Risk Factors of Unwanted Facial Hair

Women who have a family history of unwanted facial hair on females may be at greater risk for facial hair growth. Also, women who are of Mediterranean, Jewish, Eastern European or sub-continental Asian ancestry may be at greater risk as well. Obese women may also be at a greater risk.

Getting Rid of Unwanted Facial Hair

Women who decide to seek treatment often have several options. Treatment may range from inexpensive do it yourself options such as waxing, tweezing or shaving to more expensive treatments such as laser hair removal or electrolysis.

Results from cosmetic solutions such as laser hair removal and electrolysis are typically longer-lasting and may be permanent. Hair that grows back after these treatments is finer and lighter in color, making it much less noticeable.

SkinCareGuide.com features several articles pertaining to unwanted facial hair, its causes and treatments. A skincare professional is the best resource for further information and should be consulted before receiving treatment.

Have specific questions?

All Article Categories

Before & After Photos

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions