I generally like to write blog posts about subjects that affect me personally or that I am currently studying in school that I want to do a deep dive into. In this case, the subject of excess hair facial growth checked both boxes. Also, it had been a busy couple of weeks and I thought that an article on annoying facial hair would be a quick thing to write.
Girl was I wrong.
Hirsutism is when women suffer from male-pattern hair growth. Less on top, more on the face. And not just that adorable peach fuzz we had when we were kids. Nope. It’s the thick, black spider leg kind that can even show up on the chest, back and nipples.
Tell me how to get rid of it!!!
Well, it turns out that it’s just not as simple as taking a tincture or popping a pill. That chin stubble isn’t just annoying, it’s also pointing to a sign of something far more serious that is going on in your body. It’s an encoded message your body is trying to make you aware of.
So what exactly is your bod trying to tell you by loosing hair on your head and gaining it on your jaw?
Before we dive in, you need to take your genetics into account. There is a wide range of “normal” hair distribution and if you’ve always had sidies (female sideburns), then that’s not really Hirsutism. If you suddenly develop coarse dark hair on the face, neck, chest or back, then that probably is.
Hirsutism is usually caused by an increase of male hormones (androgens), such as testosterone and is exacerbated by being overweight, since fat increases androgen production. Hold on to your hats now, because high androgens and excess weight around the stomach can also be a sign of PCOS. And PCOS affects 1 in 6 women.
If we take it a step further, we see that excess hair can also be related to insulin resistance, which is a condition where the body does not respond to normal levels of insulin. As a result, the body secretes more insulin into the bloodstream to try to reduce blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance is also connected to PCOS and researchers have found that high levels of insulin could also increase androgen production.
I’m starting to feel like Russell Crowe in a Beautiful Mind (minus the allegations).
What do I do now?
What is really important, is that you figure out and treat the underlying symptoms. You can wax and shave and epilate until the cows come home, but if you don’t take steps to fix what is causing your stubble-buddies, then you may find yourself experiencing more and more symptoms as your body continues to deal with the imbalance.
So how do I fix it?
Get down to the root cause! Speak to your functional therapist, do some research, get some tests done! Instead of taking random nutritional supplements and herbs, hoping to see a result and spending a ton of cash along the way, focus on your overall health. Eat more veg. Cut the sugar. Exercise. All that good stuff.
Don’t let those chin hairs get you down.
Even once you have created a plan of action, talked to your naturopath and are taking the right supplements, it’s still going to take about 9 – 12 months to see an improvement. So why not take a page from Harnaam Kaur’s book? A body confidence and anti-bullying activist who was diagnosed with PCOS when she was just 12 years old, Harnaam has completely accepted her full beard and is a self-love advocate teaching woman around the world to accept and love themselves as they are and, most importantly, to not suffer in silence or shame!