Female Facial Hair and How to Deal With It
Approximately 40% of Irish women naturally have some sort hair on their faces. For the majority, this amounts to what you could call a facial fuzz – or what our American friends call ‘peach fuzz’.
There are those of us whose facial hair growth is more substantial than the average ‘face fuzz’ level and for some, this can cause a lot of embarrassment and pain (while trying to get rid of it and otherwise!), it’s time to take a closer look at what exactly causes excessive facial hair and look at the 3 most popular methods currently available on the Irish market to remove it, yay!
Excessive hair growth for women actually happens in areas that men usually have hair like the face, chest, neck, or tummy. You can take some comfort in the fact that this is a common problem and affects between 5 and 10 percent of Irish ladies – you’re certainly not alone so let us help you turn that frown upside down with a series of informative tips and tricks on how to approach your facial hair removal predicament!
The Causes of Excess Facial Hair
In order to help determine a strategy to tackle the scourge of the nation when it comes to hair-related beauty concerns, first we must understand what are the common causes for and triggers of unsightly follicles that can heavily impact on our general health and day-today confidence levels.
The most common cause of excessive hair or hirsutism to give its medical name, in women is a hormonal imbalance. A tiny bit of background science will help us understand this better.
Male hormones are called androgens, the most well-known of which is testosterone (FYI -the two main female hormones are oestrogen and progesterone). In men, testosterone is involved in the development of deepening of the voice, the production of sperm and hair growth.
All women produce some testosterone too, with higher than normal levels causing an increase in your sex drive, an irregular menstrual cycle and you guessed it, excess facial and body hair. The excess hair normally shows up in areas such as the chin, upper lip, sideburns, chest and inner thighs.
Superstar vocalist Adele famously reported experiencing the affliction of excessive hair growth due to increased androgens during the pregnancy of her son Angelo in 2012.
“When I got pregnant, I had so much testosterone in me that I grew a beard” – Adele
She even went as far as naming her beard Larry but all joking aside, it can be a hugely frustrating experience for those at the receiving end of it and we, as women must be emotionally strong enough to be prepared for it and to take it in our stride should it affect us.
Importantly, we must also realise that help and support is on hand from a wide range of trusted professionals and that there are a range of effective solutions which can help put facial hair issues firmly in the rear-view mirror rather than the one we sneak a peak at each morning as we prepare to tackle in our daily lives.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
In premenopausal women, one of the main causes of high levels of testosterone is a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). As well as excess hair growth, PCOS can cause cysts to grow around the edge of the ovaries. If you have any concerns with regards to PCOS have a chat with your GP who can refer you to an endocrinologist if appropriate.
Beginning at perimenopause (FYI: The years before your menopause), your hormones start to fluctuate changing the ratio of oestrogen to testosterone in the body. This creates an imbalance in your body throughout the menopause that can result in an increase in facial hair.
Genetic or Ethnicity
Having excessive hair may just run in your family. We don’t get to choose our genes so it may simply be the that your family are follicly well-endowed! Studies have shown that women from the Indian sub-continent, Mediterranean countries and areas of South East Asia experience greater hair growth than their female counterparts in Europe, East Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
If your bloodline is the reason behind your excessive hair growth don’t fret! As we’re sure you’ve guessed by now, professional hair removal services are an area of aesthetic beauty treatment we specialise here at Araya Beauty and we’ll happily assist and advise you on how to best manage your unwanted facial hair safely and effectively.
Obesity, in particular excess abdominal fat, is associated with high levels of testosterone in women which, as we’ve already seen, can lead to the dreaded facial hair. With the worrying trend of Irish women set to be the second most obese in Europe by 2025, it’s high time we started taking affirmative action for ensuring we look after our health and well-being to ensure this foreboding endemic health issue doesn’t become a reality.
Sugary foods have a high glycaemic index, which means they release their energy quickly causing insulin resistance. As insulin becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar the body will produce more to compensate often resulting in growth factors which make the ovaries produce too much of the “male” hormone testosterone causing an increase in hair growth.
In short, if you can start looking after your waistline now, your chances of suffering from excessive hair growth in future will be dramatically reduced; easier said than done, of course!
Some medications like anabolic steroids and birth control pills with progesterone may mess with your hormone levels and trigger hirsutism. Again, always consult your GP if you have any concerns regarding these matters.
4 Ways to Tackle Those Pesky Hairs
Naturally, it’s our job as beauty professionals to provide the great Irish public on how to address this age-old and seemingly endlessly recurring issue of hair removal; it’s perhaps one of the most – if not the most – common theme we get inquiries for assistance with, so let’s help illustrate what options are available to you if you suffer from unwanted hair growth on your face or body.
Put simply, waxing is best done by a professional. The facial waxing procedure involves ripping the hair out at the root so obviously using the right technique is essential. It’s just not worth risking burns or causing scabs trying to do this at home. In our salon, for example, our ‘Waxperts’ select the particular formula to suit each individual client’s skin type thus ensuring minimal irritation and maximum results – after all, it is your lovely face we’re talking about here!
Depending on your pain threshold and the density of the hair to be removed, it can be a little unpleasant or you might just feel a quick tug – the results are absolutely worth it. Waxing gives clean hair removal for up to a month and if you make it a regular part of your beauty routine you can target the different stages of hair growth.
Hair Removal Creams
Hair removal creams, also known as depilatories, are a great option if you want to avoid the discomfort of waxing. The cream is applied to the facial hair and left for a number of minutes to act. Depilatories such as Immac, for example, work very well on the upper lip hair as this hair tends to be fine and is dissolved quickly by the cream.
Again, it’s best, if possible, to have this treatment done in a salon environment. While there are lots of hair removal products out there for home use, these chemicals can irritate and burn the skin if not applied correctly. If you do decide to use these creams at home always do a patch test first to check for any allergies and if it’s an important engagement that you’re keen to look your best for, it’s often not worth taking the risk with a DIY solution at short notice!
Threading is an ancient, totally natural method of hair removal that originated in the Middle East and has become increasingly popular here in Ireland over the past decade. Many of you will be more familiar with threading with respect to your eyebrows but it can also be very useful for removing hairs in the upper lip area and is something we’ve come to specialise in here at Araya Beauty with our dedicated threading specialists on hand if this is the route you choose.
Due to it’s highly specialised nature, threading is a hair removal method that requires training and lots of practice so it’s best advised to visit an accredited beauty therapist for this treatment.
Laser Hair Removal
Last, but not least, there’s a special place in most Irish girls’ hearts for the precision and longevity of a good ol’ laser session! We’ve seen a surge in the level laser bookings since introducing this service in our aesthetic clinic last year and it’s plain to see why; with the advancement in pin-point laser technology, we’re now able to zone-in on area as small as your upper lip or as large as your legs with guaranteed results in a matter of seconds.
Often, after a short course of 4-6 treatments, permanent hair removal has been achieved.
There’s a Solution Out There for You!
Whilst having facial hair can be annoying and for some ladies upsetting, it’s important to know that there are options out there to suit your particular needs and ensure there’s not a whisker among your group as you embark on a great night out!
As ever, the team at Araya Beauty are only too happy to be your personal hair removal advisors so please leave a comment below or get in touch via email, phone or indeed social media with any questions or concerns you may have – we’re here to help with this very common issue which almost all females suffer from at some point throughout our journey through life.