Beauty & Fashion

Why You're Growing Hair On Your Chin & What You Can Do About It

Growing chin hair can be a stressful experience for women. Beauty standards tell us we should maintain smooth, hairless, silky blemish-free skin, especially on our faces. Hair popping up in 'unusual' places may make us feel self-conscious or insecure about our appearance. But growing a hair or two on your face is common. As we age, we can expect it to happen more frequently, and here's why.

Two types of hair follicles can be found under the skin, vellus hair and terminal hair. Vellus hair is fine in texture and feels like fuzz. Terminal hair is long, thick, and deeply rooted. Most women have vellus follicles on their faces and chin.

When women grow chin hair, it's usually due to hormonal imbalance. Women experience hormonal imbalances throughout life, especially as they near menopause. While men and women produce testosterone, women typically have smaller amounts. When a woman's testosterone levels are outside what would be considered the normal range, it can cause an increase in facial and body hair growth because testosterone changes vellus follicles into terminal follicles. This male-like patterned hair growth in women is called Hirtuism.

Hirtuism impacts 5-10% of women around the world. It can be caused by various health issues that lead to hormone imbalances. If you experience a sudden change in hair growth or you’ve noticed that the hair has become dark and coarse, speak with your doctor. Excess facial hair that’s dark in color can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), menopause, adrenal gland disorders, and thyroid disorders. Certain medications that contain androgen or testosterone, such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, can also cause changes in facial hair.

Once you speak to your doctor and rule out potential health conditions requiring treatment of the underlying medical condition, you can create a regimen to get rid of the chin hair. Here are a few methods you can try:

1.Use a depilatory cream.

Depilatory creams are hair removal products containing chemicals that dissolve the hair. They are typically very effective at removing hair but can also be harsh on the skin. If you use a depilatory cream, test it on a small area of skin first to ensure you don't have an allergic reaction or experience a skin burn.

2.Use a razor.

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Shaving is a quick and easy way to remove chin hair, but the process can also irritate the skin. If you decide to shave, use a sharp razor and use after-shave products, to reduce your chances of razor burn. Shaving also doesn’t remove hair from the root, so the hair will grow back faster tempting you to shave more often.

3.Use tweezers.

Tweezing is another quick and easy way to remove chin hair, but it can be pretty painful. If you decide to tweeze your chin hair, sterilize the tweezers first by boiling them in water for five minutes, and use a numbing cream in the area before you start to reduce pain.

4.Use wax.

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Waxing your chin hair is a great way to temporarily get rid of unwanted facial hair. With waxing, there's no need for painful tweezing or expensive laser treatments. It's an effective method with visible results that will last up to 6 weeks. You can also do it yourself in the comfort of your home with an at-home wax kit.

5.Use threading.

Threading originated in Central Asia and India. It involves using a piece of thread to remove hair from the root. Since the hair is pulled from the root, the results last longer than shaving. Since the hair is removed in small sections, the process can be painful, but if you have sensitive skin, threading is a great option because no chemicals or heat is used in the process.

6.Use laser hair removal.

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Laser hair removal uses pulses of laser light to destroy the hair follicle. It is considered to be permanent, but some people may experience growth after the recommended number of sessions. Additionally, laser hair removal may not be suitable for all skin types. People with darker skin may be at risk of changes in skin pigmentation.

7.Use electrolysis.

Electrolysis is a hair removal method using an electrical current or heat to destroy the hair follicle. While it can be expensive and time-consuming—requiring multiple sessions for a year for the best results—"electrolysis is the only FDA-approved method for permanent hair removal."

There are three different methods of electrolysis: thermolysis—the fastest and simpler option, galvanic—the least common method and the most painful, and a mix of both methods which is typically used for people that have thick or curly hair. It’s also effective and safe for dark skin.

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