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What Causes Facial Hair to Grow?

by
author image Dustin Bogle
Dustin Bogle is an experienced personal trainer, group fitness instructor, nutritionist and fitness article writer. His articles have been featured in "Daily Press" newspaper and "Fresh Ink" newspaper.
What Causes Facial Hair to Grow?
Facial hair and where it comes from Photo Credit Pain image by MAXFX from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Many factors contribute to facial hair growth. You may have experienced some or all of these factors. Facial hair is determined by your genetic makeup and hereditary genes. People will experience facial hair growth at different stages of life, and some might experience worse cases then others.

Hereditary

Facial hair is determined by your hereditary genes. If your parents have facial hair, you’re most likely going to also. Young boys begin to develop facial hair when they hit puberty. And women begin to develop more facial hair when they are older and have started menopause, and in some cases woman may develop facial hair at a younger age if they have a hormone imbalance.

Testosterone

Before puberty, facial hair is a fine, thin type known as vellus, says CNN.com. In men, the main source of the increase in facial hair is from the production of testosterone in their bodies. When boys hit puberty, the fine hair changes and becomes dark and coarse; these hairs are known as terminal. This terminal hair increases all over the body, but mostly it grows more rapidly under the arms, on the face and near the sexual organs.

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Normal vs. Abnormal

When considering whether or your facial hair growth is normal, you must seek the medical advice of your doctor. Your family history and various tests, such as your testosterone levels, will indicate what is causing the facial hair to grow. If a woman has grown an excessive amount of facial hair, she most likely will be diagnosed with hirsutism. Hirsutism may arise from excess male hormones called androgens, the key hormone being testosterone, or it may be due to an ethnic or family trait, says Mayoclinic.com.

Ethnic Background and Society

In the United States, facial hair is more likely than in other parts of the world. For example, Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Italy are far more likely to have large amounts of facial hair. Asians, Latin Americans and Native Americans are less likely to have facial hair than any other ethnic groups. Women in the United States work very hard to keep the facial hair off and go to extreme lengths to remove it.

Treatments

Electrolysis is a common treatment to remove unwanted facial hair. This process involves a tiny needle being placed inside the hair follicle. Electricity is then sent through, damaging the hair follicle. Another procedure is laser surgery, in which a beam of concentrated light is scanned upon the part of the skin from which you want the excess hair removed. The beam will destroy the hair follicle. These are both very painful and costly methods and may need repeat treatment. Other common methods are to take anti-androgen-producing drugs and to apply topical creams.

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