Unwanted facial hair is probably one of the most distressing conditions a woman can have. It can have a detrimental effect on self-esteem and confidence. Approximately 40% of women are affected by unwanted facial hair. Underlying medical conditions such as polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can cause unnatural hair growth. There are a variety of ways to treat unwanted facial hair including; waxing, threading, shaving, laser treatment and creams. Many sufferers choose a method of hair removal that causes the least pain and stress.
Unwanted facial hair is a condition that affects women in all walks of life. According to the Sun, Adele reportedly said, “I actually have a beard, but I’m proud of it. I only cropped it last night. I call it Larry.” Apparently, ‘Larry’, started growing when she was pregnant and continues to do so. Not all women are as confident as Adele so it is important to find a way to accept the condition and treat it in the way that suits you the best.
Also known as hirsutism, unwanted hair growth can also occur on the; neck, chest, stomach, lower back, buttocks and thighs. Hormonal imbalance caused by; the menopause, pregnancy and PCOS can trigger unwanted facial hair. Medical conditions such as; Cushing's syndrome, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, obesity, acromegaly, anabolic steroids and tumours can cause hirsutism. Some women are predisposed to having excessive hair growth with no underlying medical condition. (Source: NHS Choices).
Treating Unwanted Facial Hair
There isn’t a magic pill that you can take to eradicate unwanted facial hair.
- Treatment of underlying health conditions may reduce hair growth.
- Losing weight, if you are obese or have PCOS also decreases unwanted facial hair.
- The contraceptive pill can be used to help hormone imbalance and hopefully solve the problem.
- Hair removal cream (depilatory cream) is good for removing large areas of hair and smells much nicer now than years ago.
- Bleaching only lightens the hair and doesn’t reduce hair growth.
- Shaving is effective but can leave rashes.
- Waxing can cause the delicate skin on the face to become sore.
- Threading and plucking are time-consuming and only removes a small amount of hair at a time.
- laser treatment and electrolysis is quite expensive and requires many appointments.
- Vaniqa cream is an easy to apply cream that contains the active ingredient Eflornithine, which slows down hair growth. It is only available on prescription and you should consult your doctor if there is no change after 4 months. It is not a depilatory cream so you will have to use a hair removal method until it starts working.
Where unwanted facial hair is concerned treatment is generally restricted to removing the offending hair. How you choose to control hair growth depends on time, effort, cost and the side effects of the treatment. If you do find that your self-esteem and confidence are badly affected by the way you look you may need to discuss your negative feeling with your doctor.