What causes female facial hair and what to do about it

It’s not a comfortable subject however up to 15 per cent of women experience unwanted hair growth on their chin, upper lip, or cheeks after menopause or due to health issues.

Female facial hair, especially on your chin, can make you feel very self conscious.

So that you can understand a little more about this condition, we’ve researched it for you, as well as your options.


Coarse dark hairs on the lips, chin, chest, abdomen or back are called hirsutism and are caused by your body making too much androgen hormone.

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While the exact cause is not always clear, the condition often runs in families, and can often be associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS and other hormone conditions that cause unwanted hair growth may also have acne, trouble losing weight, and diabetes.

Use of certain medicines, including testosterone, danazol, anabolic steroids, DHEA, glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, minoxidil, and phenytoin may also cause unwanted hairs.

If you’re concerned about your new hairs, you can see your doctor and they may ask you to have a series of tests on your hormone levels.

While hirsutism is generally a long-term problem, there are many ways to remove or treat unwanted hair:

Tweezing, bleaching and waxing

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If you have only a couple of stray hairs, doing one of these three things can be effective. The downside is they can be painful and temporary, plus you have to let the hair grow out a bit between treatments, which can heighten embarrassment. Waxing also can irritate the skin, particularly on your face. Creams can be better to remove hair but you do still need to wait a while between applications.

Shave it off

There are razors specifically made for shaving your face, and they are a quick way to get rid of a hair in a flash. The only problem is that it is a very temporary fix and you will need to constantly shave if you have multiple hairs.

Get a prescription

Aside from your HRT, you can ask your doctor for something that can help to act against the hormonal changes in your body. A topical cream such as eflornithine can slow the growth of facial hair but can take four to eight weeks to see results.

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Laser treatment

By far the most effective treatment, laser hair removal damages the hair follicle to slow down hair growth. The problem is that if you have grey or light hairs, the treatments won’t be effective. Dark hairs on fair skin are optimal.


This can be performed in beauty salons and involves inserting a needle into the hair follicle and passing an electric current through it to destroy the hair. It can be fairly uncomfortable and time-consuming but will work well on all types of hairs.

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