Unwanted Hair & How to handle them

22 yr Megha, had irregular menstruation with a thick growth of hair on the upper lip. On investigations she was found to have a hormonal disturbance called PCOD. Proper treatment with required hormones brought back normal menstruation minus the hair.

Mrs Asha was terror stricken when she started noticing abnormal growth hair growth on her 15yr old daughter's lip and chest. She refused to understand that she also had a similar growth. Her only argument was that 'it was okay in her times but today which boy will accept her?'. It was pointed to her that with changing time nowadays much more and better treatment options are available. Sweet Ayesha after going through Electrolysis has virtually forgotten the panic her mother went through.

Do you know that a woman has an average of 11,000 hair on her legs and 2500 under her armpits?


Hirsutism is a medical condition, wherein a woman's body hair grows in excessive amounts and in places where it's not normally expected. The excess hair appear in a masculine distribution, including the upper lip, chin, chest, upper thighs, arms and back.


Hirsutism is the result of excessive hair growth stimulated by naturally occurring male sex hormones, called androgens, which are active at the hair root. This excessive growth may be the result of over-active hormones or over-sensitive hair follicles.


Hirsutism may be associated with one's family background. It may also be the side effect of a number of prescribed drugs for a range of unrelated medical conditions, including high blood pressure, convulsions and endometriosis

Sometimes, hirsutism is associated with an underlying medical condition, such as polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), which may require special treatment.

Hirsutism can also be linked to the normal hormonal changes of a woman's life cycle. During puberty, pregnancy or menopause increased hair growth is common. This is sometimes the result of a temporary hormonal imbalance and in the case of puberty or pregnancy, the unwanted hair will eventually disappear.

If unwanted hair, in a given case, cannot be linked with life cycle changes, or continues to be of concern, one is advised to seek professional assistance.


Many women can effectively rid themselves of unwanted hair through cosmetic treatments available from a trained beautician. The therapist that is best for you are ones familiar with hirsutism and who understands the distress a patient feels. The therapist should ideally discuss a number of possible cosmetic treatments and better if you have first hand knowledge of these. These include:

  1. ELECTROLYSIS: This is the most effective cosmetic method of hair removal and is often used in combination with drug therapy. Electrolysis works by inserting a fine needle, which disperses a small current of electricity into the hair root. When successful, the hair root is destroyed and the hair can be removed with ease. Skilled, continuous electrolysis can result in effective hair removal.

  2. WAXING: Hot waxing is a form of mass plucking. The wax is applied to the area for hair removal and removed in strips. Whilst results are instantaneous, it is not a permanent method of hair removal. If fresh wax is not used, folliculitis - infection of hair root follicles can occur that is more distressing than hair itself.

  3. TWEEZING: This is the most common method women use to remove individual hairs from the face and chest. As with waxing, this is a temporary method of hair removal, lasting from one to six weeks.

  4. DEPILATORY CREAMS: These creams cause the hair to break off at skin level. The hair root is unaffected and the hair will grow back within a few days.

  5. SHAVING: This is the most common, popular, quick, easy & painless method women use to remove unwanted body hair. Shaving cuts hair at the skin level, allowing the stubble to grow back. It's a myth that shaving can toughen the skin. Shaving does not alter the quantity, thickness or color of hair in any way. Hair regrowth will be noticeable within a few days, with only a temporary change in the feel. Proper method of shaving ensures smooth, soft skin minus the hair.


If unwanted hair is increasing or concerns you, you may need to consult your family doctor. It may be difficult at first, but tell her or him that you want to know more about hirsutism and its treatment options.

Your doctor may offer you counseling to help you come to terms with unwanted hair, and discuss cosmetic and medical alternatives available to you. The doctor may refer you to a specialist physician or an endocrinologist who has an interest in treating this condition.