What the Yuck: Why would I get facial hair?
December 31st, 2010
10:43 AM ET

What the Yuck: Why would I get facial hair?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: Why would I suddenly start getting facial hair?

As we get older, it's normal to get more facial hair, which is darker and coarser than those fine hairs many of us have when we're younger. But if this change is sudden and dramatic, there is probably a hormonal imbalance going on (more androgens, which are male hormones, than estrogen).

You should visit your doc to be checked for hormone changes that could be related to menopause, medicines (e.g. steroids, oral contraceptives), polycystic ovarian syndrome, or, in rare cases, a hormone-secreting tumor.

Assuming there's nothing major going on, you may just be genetically predisposed to having facial hair (thanks, Grandma!). But no need to live with it. Here's a quickie guide to how you can deal with unwanted hair:

Pluck away. It's cheap, it's DIY... but it's a lot of work, depending on how many hairs you have and how quickly they grow back. If you go this route, invest in a good sturdy pair of slanted-tip tweezers and a magnifying mirror.

Bleach them. If it's just the darkness of that hair you can't stand, try a bleaching cream. Caveat: Avoid this method if you have very sensitive skin.
Remove 'em at home. Depilatory creams - which work by dissolving the hair at the base of the follicle - are cheap and easy to buy at the drugstore, but they can be irritating. Other cons: They typically don't remove all the hair, and the results last only one to two weeks.

Wax 'em off. Find a good aesthetician, and book a standing waxing appointment every few weeks.

Laser 'em off. After three treatments, you should notice a 50 to 70% decrease in those pesky dark hairs. The downside, of course, is the price: A single laser treatment can run as much as $350. To find a qualified doc in your area, ask your derm if she does it or, if not, if she can recommend a colleague. Don't trust your face to anyone but a board-certified dermatologist who owns her own equipment and does laser treatments regularly.

Slow their growth. You can also ask your doc about Vaniqa, a prescription drug that slows facial-hair growth.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Donna

    Another option is threading. I just had some baby blonde hairs threaded over my whole face. They were getting too long.

    December 31, 2010 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BeardFace

      Ouch, threading hurts

      March 12, 2011 at 05:05 | Report abuse |
  2. Shannon

    What about thyroid problems, can't they cause this too?

    December 31, 2010 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. kelly

    does shaving it off make it really grow in faster and darker for woman?

    December 31, 2010 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheri

      Shaving will NOT make it grow darker, faster, etc. That's a myth. I have my eyebrows waxed by a professional bi-weekly. However, my skin breaks out if I wax my lip, chin, etc. I clean my face well, use an electric razor in just the needed areas and moisturize my face. I've never had any problems, and my skin never breaks out anymore. Regarding Sarah (who goes once per week), that's great if you're able to do that. I did until I moved away from my mom (a professional stylist) who did it all free. Waxing numerous areas can be costly. I had never paid for a haircut, until I went away to college twenty-two years ago. To this day, I still can't stand paying a lot for a haircut.

      January 1, 2011 at 23:53 | Report abuse |
  4. melinda

    Tried Laser hair removal and after 6 sessions and a ton of money i saw no results.

    plucking made it worse. now i have to shave!

    30 years old, no hormonal problems, what the hell?!

    January 1, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • shawn L romarine blumenfeld

      Hi melinda, I noticed in your answers you did not put waxing. I had to wax to finally thin out the hair where I
      wanted the ahir to finally thin out. brows upper lip etc,Hot waxing should only be done by certified folks so I do
      look them up at spys etc. The wax will burn u if done worng and scar you badly. never do this by yoursef!
      I suggest waxing once a week ,whether it be there or not . the reason is this the more you wax the less pain in waxing
      and chances are you are killing folicles as you go too. After a while you will need to go about 1nc a month.
      Good luck ** Shawn in Washington State 🙂

      January 1, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Don't shave! Wax. Trust me. My sister is a stylist and i go in once a week for cheeks, chin, lip, the works and after 5/6 times of each, the difference is dramatic. ONce things thin out, bleach.

      January 1, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
  5. Kirstin

    I trim my jawline with scissors everyday, and I shave the bottom part. I never tried waxing though, I was always worried about irritation bumps. However my brother told me to put a warm damp rag over the face after. Does it really work?

    January 3, 2011 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LOL

      That must feel great as a woman getting shaving tips from your brother...

      January 3, 2011 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
  6. Pull my finger

    The damp rag doesnt remove the hair, honey. Wax is better and it feels really good.

    January 5, 2011 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Tenal

    Electrolysis Hair Removal
    Electrolysis can be said as method of removing unwanted hair from body and face, and the best part is its permanent hair removal method.

    February 22, 2011 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Forever

    I'm a total advocate for laser hair removal! It sure beats shaving everyday or having to grow hair out for weeks in order to wax. Especially if it is on the face. Yes, the cost is fairly expensive, but definitely worth the investment in my opinion.


    August 25, 2011 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Hyun Jameson

    Hair typically grows all over the human body. Hair can become more visible during and after puberty and men tend to have thicker, more visible body hair than women. Both men and women have visible hair on the head, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, pubic region, arms, and legs; and men also have thicker hair on their face, abdomen, back and chest. Hair does not generally grow on the palms of the hands, the lips, certain areas of the genital structure, or the soles of the feet.[-*

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    May 13, 2013 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. sarah

    from my personal experience i have been suffering from sleep problems because of reasons related to not being comfortable with my body or hair so make sure you take a warm shower and shaver your beard befor you sleep here's something that can help


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    October 13, 2016 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Scotty Vaccarello

    In order to determine the best trimmer for balls, you will have to decide how much of the area you would like to trim, and what style of blades best suites you. There are three main styles of pubic shavers. Each offers different options in trimming pubes.


    April 30, 2021 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Euna Waddill

    These are only a few suggestions about the best trimmers for balls. There are many more styles, types and brands on the market today that can make trimming your pubic hair easy and enjoyable. When you decide which trimmer is best suited for you and your pubic area, make sure to look for products that are designed for daily use.


    April 30, 2021 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply

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