Over the past few years (I just turned 26), I've been getting pretty severe facial hair. I have to pluck over 250 black hairs from my chin alone every 3 days. From pluck to 3 days later, they grow about 2-3 mm above the skin, plus another 4-5mm below the skin at least.
It seems like it grows so much faster than the hair anywhere else on my body! I know the amount because I was curious since it seems so many! These are very dark thick hairs and very noticeable. They grow so quickly that 3 days is even pushing it. Sometimes I use nair but it isn't as good as plucking.
I also have upper lip hair which I have to nair. I can't pluck it because the hairs are so fine and there are too many. These hairs are about 3mm long and also fairly dark but not as coarse as the chin hairs.
It started when I was in late teans or early twenties with only a few hairs. Now it's just so many and it seems like I notice more every month.
I also have extremely long, dark and fast-growing arm hair. It's about 1cm long or about 1/3 inch long. I have paler skin and black hair, and this is extremely devastating to my self-esteem.
What can I do? I have heard about electrolysis but I heard it wasn't really permanent. Nair and waxing burns my skin more than helps. This is a socially-crushing issue, and I feel like my plucking and nair-ing just isn't able to keep up.
This was actually a very embarrassing post to write, every time I think about it I just feel so horrible about the way I look. this has made my life very difficult, so any help is truly appreciated.
You should see an endocrinologist and discuss the possiblilities of PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. You should also be tested for insulin resistance and iodine deficiency. I doubt birth control pills alone will help.
Electrolysis is permanent, as well as laser hair removal. The degree of permancy depends on what is going on in your body, if you are continuing to produce new hairs, and the training and skill of the person doing the treatments.
My mom has polycystic ovarian syndrome, and my sister has some small cysts. But they both have terrible, absolutely painful and unable to walk cramps... I have almost no cramps at all, never have. I always considered that a blessing. I figured, I guess, that since that was different, I took after my dad's side of the family in terms of that area.
I haven't talked to an endocrinologist though. Should I not talk to a dermatologist and just go right for an endocrinologist? Does a dermatologist do electrolysis?
An endo specialist can test you for various hormonal imbalances and may put you on Aldactone. If you have dark hair and light skin, I would suggest laser. Choose a laser facility that is reputable and has a nurse or doctor working the machine. Don't go to a corner, cheapo laser place; unless they really know what they are doing, you could have some scarring or burning.
There are many symptoms of PCOS, and you only have to have a few to be considered to have it. The main one is the cysts and scar tissue on the ovaries.
An endocrinologist is the best option. Gynocologist is #2 option. Aldactone is rarely prescribed any more for PCOS. There are too many side effects and more effective medications such as Glucophage.
Dermatologists don't do electrolysis. At a national average rate of $60/hour it isn't profitable for them. Electrologists that have had 30+ hours in laser training provide the most complete permanency. At best, even with the darkest, coarest hair, lasers will destroy about 85% of the hair. Electrolysis can clean up what the laser can't get.
I have have the same problem as you, my facial hair was so bad that plucking the hair caused ingrown hair on my chin as well as extremely coarse chin hair this all caused scaring on my chin.
I did go & have lazer hair removal done, it did help with the ingrown & coarse hair growth & I would be hair free for two to three weeks BUT the treatments are expensive and it never did get rid of my facial hair. It just became to expensive plus I felt that @ $150 a treatment it wasn't worth it for me to go once every two or three months for the rest of my life. I never considered electrolisis as I'm afraid of the possible scaring.
What I go & have done now is threading. Women from the middleast have done this for centuries ( not as painful as waxing,elect.,or lazer) and I don't get ingrown hair.
I do know how you feel At it seems like your the only one. I try hide my face with my hair (on my head),I tend not to tie my hair back I'm always paranoid that that's all one can see when they look at me so therefore I don't like to go out either.
I hope that I helped you out with what I have to say about our predicament.
I have just tried to accept my hairiness & I figure if someone asks me what happened to my face (has hapened I was mortified/embarassed) Iwiill reply what happed to theirs.
Thanks for the advice. I've never heard of threading so maybe I will look into it also. $150 a treatment for electrolysis is terribly expensive for me right now and I doubt my health insurance would cover it. Maybe I will talk to an endocrinologist first though. Thanks for the help, I feel better. My family doctor basically just told me to keep plucking forever so I was pretty upset.
I have a similar problem as you... except I have hair growth ALL over my body. Although they're not thick dark hairs, they're like 1cm long, fairly light in color, but extremely noticable in light. It's awful.
I went to a doctor and got checked for PCOS, testosterone, androgens etcetc...
I suggest the same as everyone else- see a doctor before you make major decisions about laser/electrolysis, etc.
Unfortunately for me when they tested my blood and urine they found nothing in the results. The doctor basically told me that it's a "personal problem" and there's nothing I can do about it but laser eventually. He didn't even take a look at the hair growth though because he's a family doctor and not an endocrinologist. From what I've read about abnormal hair growth doctors are supposed to examine the growth patterns and the amounts of hair on certain body parts.
My doctor, however, didn't seem to know much about abnormal hair growth at all since he had to consult his medical books before suggesting additional blood and urine testing two weeks later.
Oh, and BC pills won't help. I've been taking them for over a year and it's made no difference at all. I wouldn't bother wasting money on those (unless you're already taking them).
I hope you have more luck than I did.
Definitely go to a good doctor (or endocrinologist) and get tested.
I should do the same.
Yea, I've heard of people say it's normal and everything. But I don't think it is completely normal. I mean, I know everyone's body is covered in hair which tends to be unnoticable because it's so light and short... but the hair that my body is covered in is longer than average. I'm assuming that average hair length covering the body is a couple of millimeters, mine are like centimeter long hairs. They're very soft but unfortunately really noticable in sunlight especially. It looks like I've got fur in certain areas, which is icky.
I guess the main issue are the back of my neck and my lower back which have the longest and most noticable hair...the hairs appear to be the darkest there also even though they're not extremely dark... they just appear that way in bright lighting.
I guess my follicles must just be extremely sensitive to hormones. I heard that that's one of the reasons why some people have more hair than others... follicle sensitivity.
I guess I should be happy that I don't have any hormonal imbalances or PCOS.
I also have this problem, and it developed in my early twenties...and I'm now 28. My friend and former college roommate also had the problem, so I at least have someone to talk to about it with. She was always an avid plucker, but her hair has grown so thick that she needs to pluck in the morning and before bed, and it takes her over an hour a day in plucking alone! When my chin hair came in, she advised me not to even start plucking, because it makes the hair grow in wirey and coarse. She said to trim it with a small pair of scissors (like the kind used to trim babies' fingernails). She tried electrolysis, and the lady who performed the treatments told her to stop plucking, which was why she advised me not to pluck.
I must admit, I still plucked every so often (often enough for the hair to get wirey). I have had 4 laser hair removal treatments, and I have not noticed a big difference, but it has been 8 months since I've been able to go back for my 3 additional treatments. The lady who performed the treatments told me NOT to pluck between treatments (because plucking removes the hair at the root, and the root of the hair is what the laser burns). She said it would be best to shave it between treatments (I didn't like the idea - but I did it). The laser removal helped for a month or two, but the hair managed to grow back. It worked very well on my underarms, because now my underarm hair is not coarse, its actually very fine! I will go back for my remaining treatments, because I am a good candidate due to my fair skin and dark hair.
Oh....have you ever had any menstral problems? Just because my friend and I both had a long period of time when we did not have a period. My friend's period went away for about 9 months, and mine went away for 6 months. We were not sexually active at the time, so we definitely were not pregnant. They have returned and we are fine now. Just curious...because thats when our problem began.
I just wanted to let you know that I think this problem is more common than anyone cares to admit. I do have a lot of friends who claim to have one or two chin hairs, and they think it started when they began birth control. I am lucky that a close friend is going through the same thing, and we can make light of the issue together. I am sure that nobody notices! If you have any questions, please leave a post. If you go tanning - it will not be as noticable, and you might be able to play them off as blackheads. As much as it sucks, it is nice to know that we're not the only ones plagued with this problem!
I totally agree with "Happiness is". You should go to the doc because you are too young to have that problem, it nearly has to be hormonal. That said, I am 41 years old, and have noticed that all of my friends my age have to tweeze hairs on our chins! I remember my grandma having a "*****ly" face when I use to kiss her, and realize now that most women begin to accumulate facial hair after a certain age. One single friend had the money to have hers lasered, it cost several hundred dollars and required several trips because the hair has to go through cycles. You may shave but not tweeze during treatment. I hope to have this done too, when my kids get older and I go back to work. Till then I tweeze the chin every few days, and shave my face in the shower! It sounds creepy, but it keeps off those baby fine hairs around the cheekbones away and my makeup goes on much more nicely. I don't even use a mirror, and it doesn't show if I don't do it. I'm blondish/brown haired (blonde hair on my forearms and thighs, brown under arms and calves) but the little hairs on my chin are coarse and black! Yuck. Get 'em lasered if you can afford it. My friend said it is worth every penny.
Last edited by Texanne; 05-05-2006 at 05:19 PM.