Excessive body hair growth is quite common. According to hirsutism.com, 15 percent of women experience unwanted excessive body hair growth. While hirsutism and unwanted body hair is generally associated with women, men can experience this condition as well because males are genetically able to produce high levels of testosterone. In fact, endocrinologist Dr. Geoffery Redmond and Columbia University report that nearly all cases of excessive body hair are caused by hormonal disorders--mainly from an overproduction of male androgenic hormones. Whether your body hair growth is excessive or you just want to make your hair grow slower, there are steps you can take to benefit you.
See your physician or endocrinologist if you are experiencing an abnormally high rate of body hair growth. Usually, excessive body hair growth is a symptom rather than an isolated condition. Excessive body hair growth caused by an overabundance of male androgen is particularly concerning for females.
Use a depilatory hair removal cream or a home waxing kit instead of shaving your body hair. This will likely keep hair off longer than shaving because it removes the root of the hair. Hair will return at a slower rate.
Dr. Redmond notes if you use a hair removal cream, you should not leave the cream on longer than is directed because it can severely irritate your skin. Dr. Redmond discourages patients from tweezing their body hair because it can damage the skin.
Ask your doctor or endocrinologist if there are dietary supplements that can naturally lower your androgen levels. Balancing your hormones, particularly testosterone, can significantly lower your hair growth rate. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 160mg of saw palmetto daily. The center also recommends chaste tree (vitex), black cohosh and spearmint tea.
Ask your doctor or endocrinologist about prescription hair removal creams. If you are unsuccessful with home remedies and dietary supplements, prescription treatments may be able to help you. For example, the treatment eflornithine prevents or slows hair growth by inhibiting the enzymes that create body hair growth.
Consider and ask your doctor about about electrolysis to permanently eliminate body hair growth if you are not able to slow it down. Electrolysis can permanently eliminate hair.
- Hirsutism.com: Prevalence of Hirsutism
- Hormone Help Center: Hormones and Unwanted Hair; Facial and Body Hair
- Hormone Help Center: Hormones and Unwanted Hair; Treatments For Increased Hair
- UpToDate: Hirsutism (Excess Hair Growth)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Hirsutism
- Columbia University; Go Ask Alice: I'm a Woman With a Hairy Chest