The hairy horror of hirsutism

This is the next chapter in The Beauty BrainsCosmetic Diseases and Disorder Series, which is intended to help our community understand conditions that can make it impossible for some people to enjoy the same beauty experiences that most of us take for granted. This chapter covers Hirsutism, which is what happens when hair starts growing in places it`s not supposed to.

What is Hirsutism

Hirsutism is the medical term for excess body or facial hair in women. If you`ve ever seen pictures of the legendary Bearded Ladies from the turn of the century circuses, then you have a good idea of what Hirsutism looks like. This condition occurs when hormones run amok, causing women to experience male hair growth patterns and it`s estimated that Hirsutism affects between 5% to 10% of all women.

FYI, be careful not to confuse Hirsutism with Hypertrichosis. Hypertrichosis is a condition that causes excessive hair growth on normal parts of your body. For example, it`s normal for a man to have chest hair. But if a man`s chest looks like a bear skin rug, then he might be producing TOO much hair “ this is hypertrichosis. On the other hand, if a woman has hair in places she`s not supposed to, like on her chest (or in the case of the bearded lady mentioned above, on her face) then she has Hirsutism.

What Causes Hirsutism

It`s all about the balance of Androgens, a type of male hormone, in the female body. Specifically, Hirsutism can be caused by either an increase in production of testosterone and androstenedione, or an increased sensitivity of the skin to these hormones. In some cases, it may be a symptom of a more serious condition such as adrenal hyperplasia or ovarian tumors, particularly. If your hair growth patterns have changed dramatically, it couldn’t hurt to consult with your physician.

What Are The Symptoms of Hirsutism

Luckily, the symptoms are limited to the hair growth examples describe above. By itself, hirsutism is embarrassing but harmless.

What Does Hirsutism Look Like

Click the links below for examples of Hairs Gone Wild.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

How To Treat Hirsutism

There are several effective ways to treat this condition. If hair growth is light, you may be able to just bleach the hair to make it less noticeable. (Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used for bleaching.) For more serious growth you can get rid of it by mechanical and chemical hair removal. (Depilatories and shaving are the most common methods.) You can also use temporary epilation which involves removing the hair at the root level. (Plucking, tweezing, and waxing are popular methods.) Finally, you can use permanent epilicaton method like electrolysis, thermolysis, or laser removal.

Blond shiny hairy male arms pictures
July 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm

{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

andy April 24, 2007 at 7:12 am

I can’t believe 5-10% of women have this problem. surely very mild in most cases

Nina Cooke April 29, 2007 at 5:13 pm

There is an interesting new product for hairy people who are tired of the relatively short-term effects of waxing, plucking, depilatories. It’s by Skin Doctors and is called HairNoMore. It’s a two-step system: first you use the cream to remove the hairs, and then you spray the area with a growth inhibitor which promises to slow down hair re-growth until it (eventually) permanently disappears.

I know, the claims sound pretty outrageous, but it’s much cheaper than laser hair removal which can give patchy results.

I wonder if the growth inhibitor spray is just as effective after other creams and other methods of hair removal. Luckily, it can be brought separately.

Good luck it you decide to try it. If it works, it could be the answer to our hairy prayers.

thebeautybrains April 29, 2007 at 8:34 pm

It’s an interesting concept but if the growth inhibitor actually does work, it would be a drug because it interferes with the body’s natural metabolism. And you should be wary of using any drug that hasn’t been properly tested.

And if it doesn’t work, you’re just wasting your money.

tash June 15, 2007 at 12:17 pm

im 17 and im pretty sure i have hirsutism. do you think taking the oral contraceptive levlen will hell cure it as i think the cause of my hirsutism is from to much androgens???

Jessie January 4, 2008 at 1:03 am

I have been doing research for such a long time and have come to the conclusion that i will try anything to get this hair off my face, i saw that more caucasian women suffer form facial hair than any other, which is shocking to me becuae almost every african american i see have this problem, i wish i wasone of those that didnt. if anyone have any real and permanent solution please do me the honor of writing to my emial. i have tried electrolisis, lazer, tweezing, creams, shaving, shol growing agentd, even bleach creams. im desperae.

RK July 13, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I have a very mild problem and I started electrolysis a few months ago. The hair has definitely become finer and more sparse. I think it might be the best option available.

teju August 2, 2008 at 5:00 am

Hi, I m teju..from India. I’ve been suffering from mild hirsutism for 4 years. I have consulted doctor but he could not diagonise any malady.Everything, my ovaries, uterus, etc were all fine. But i am over weight, and my age is 21. What can i do to get rid of this. I’m desperate and suffer psychologically about this. I’m panic and sometimes i thought of suicide. I cannot afford more and cannot opt expensive laser treatments. So what can i do???????

teju August 2, 2008 at 5:04 am

Please understand my feelings and can anybody help me regarding this??? This Hirsutism has created havoc in my life… My Boy friend has left me alone and i cold not concentrate on my studies and this prevents me from leading a healthy and happy life. I got frustrated and i can say ITS ONE OF THE WORST DISEASES THAT A wOMEN COULD SUFFER. IT MAY NOT HARM PHYSICALLY…BUT HURTS WOMAN”S FEELINGS PSYCHOLOGICALLY….PLEASE HELP…Immediately

jess August 26, 2008 at 7:14 am

I totally understand how you feel teju,the hair is becoming so much more noticable on my face now and im scared my boyfriend will leave me :-( my whole life is ruined and compromised as a result of this disease

Tanya September 21, 2008 at 8:36 am

I’m 99% sure I have this or something very similar. I’m fair skinned with dark hair and if I do nothing, I have a beard. Thick, dark, and very noticable, mostly under my chin and such.

I just go ahead and shave it off. There’s no shame in it just as there’s no shame in shaving your legs. Basic cosmetic procedure… only you have to do more of it. Doesn’t make you less of a woman or make you less sexy or anything.

Hirsutism is a medical condition that happens. No one’s to blame and if anyone – friends or lovers – try to make you feel awful about it, well, they never deserved you to begin with.

Lola October 8, 2008 at 3:18 pm

I fully understand your pain. I have been suffering in silence for 11+ years. I have one of the worst cases my doctors and electrologists have ever seen. My hair growth is on my face, neck, back, breasts, stomach, and is now showing up as excess hair on my arms and tops of my hands. It is my opinion that it is near impossible to get most doctors to take you seriously. Much less get them to refer you to an endocrinologist. They seem much more likely to shove medication at you such as glucocorticoids to treat the superficial symptoms instead of the underlying problem. I believe that since signs of hirsutism can begin to show up as early as 5th grade (as in my case) we need to start educating our young women about what to watch for as their bodies change. As I understand it, if most of the various causes of hirsutism are caught early enough, via an endocrinological work up, they have a greater chance of being treated successfully. As for the rest of us that have already descended into this lonely, black abyss of shame & secrecy, not to mention a lack of intimacy with our romantic partners; all we can do is band together. I think part of the problem is the isolation we all suffer from. We wonder if anyone else we know suffers from hirsutism but, we’re afraid to ask. Ladies, we need to start talking. I know how terrifying this sounds. But, if we don’t start talking about it to our friends, co-workers, daughters, sisters, mothers, doctors, etc., then we are simply maintaining the silence that has surrounded this issue from the beginning of time. As I’m sure we all know, the only way to rid anything of stigma is to take away it’s novelty. In other words the more we talk about it, the more women we’ll encounter who have it, the less we’ll feel alone and shameful, and ultimately through word of mouth, the more normal it will become. There’s power in numbers. And there is power in knowledge. So, let’s start a grass roots movement around the globe! If we can’t change our bodies, then lets start trying to change how the world views our condition.

aisha November 22, 2008 at 7:18 am

hi, ive just been doing some research and realised i hav hirutism i am now 28 :-( sincei was about 10 ive had very hairy arms and legs, i started my periods at 9 still in yr 5 at primary school, started wearing a bra in yr 4 :-( it wos bad at the time, even on very hot days i would keep my jumper on, and in PE when the teacher wud insist on us wearing shorts and no jumpers in summer, i would cry myself to sleep on a regular basis,i have suffered sooo much coz of this i hate it sooo much :-( my face was next on te menu, i got very bushy eyebrows, a moustache, heavy sideburns, turing into a beard, i started bleacing my face and arms in high school, all my years of high school were terrible, i got picked on pple saying ugh when they saw my uncovered arms, my PE teacher saying she was so lucky she was blonde that no1 can see her hairs and that she felt sorry for us indian ple with dark hair :-( and then i reached my gcse years, i hated summer, wud still keep on my jumper and stretched the sleeves so i could cover the hair on my hands and fingers, :-( i was doing art for gcse, i had an evil boy who wud pik on me evry lesson “omg, ur a gorilla, have u never heard of nair or veet? u gorilla, ur arms are sooo hairy imagine what its like down thre? u must have a bush” because of him i went from a predicted A* to a rubbish B in art, i hated him sooo much :-( i hated being in the sun, everyone wud see my bleeched long facial hair verrrry clearly. i noticed i was extremely hairy, when in class started wearing low cut tops etc and i saw i had a hairy back, hairy stomach, my breasts were covered in hair, dark long hair all over :-( i had a bf who saw my breasts and stomach and was shocked at how hairy i was, arent u allowed to wax, i sed no. :-( the most humiliating experience of my life, it was my mission in life to stay as covered as possible, no1 allowed to see my hair, i wanted to be invisible, this affected me in everything i only wore black hoping no one wud notice me. i had another bf then who sed the next time he meets me he wants to see all the hair on me gone, esp on my hands and fingers :-( well, none of my relationships lasted more than a few wks :-( then came marriage :-( i was terrified, wot to do, where wud i hide :-( made my mum bleach my whole front and back soooo embarrassing :-( waxed arms and legs, bikini etc, after marriage 2 wk nhoneymoon, came home, hubby noticed dark spikey hairs on arms and asked wat is this? i told him i needed to wax again, but i had to wait till it all grew bk, then the bleach was wearing off, he was shocked, why are u soo hairy? ur hair on face is so long? ive never met a girl with hair sticking out of her nose etc etc, he left me at dads, made excuses etc, i knew it wos coz he didnt find me attractive anymore, already not even a mnth of marriage, i was sooo upset, went to gp, she sed she cudnt give me birth control pills coz i had a family history of blood clots, i went to the beauticians and got everything waxed, whole body, it killed, my face and eyebrows, breasts, stomach, back, butt, arms, legs, hands, fingers, feet, toes :-( i went back to hubby he loved me again:-) now, i cnt afford to be waxed every 4 wks, and although my hairs are thinner they all still exist, and they are still black and visible, everywhere. i went to gp here and didnt tell them bout family histry of blood clots, they put me on yasmin the pill, i also suffered from terrible acne on my face and have horrible scars on sheeks and chin :-( now, ive been on yasmin the pill for 1 wk, my hair on breasts is looking less visible, y skin is feeling softer, my facial acne is reducing :-) my husband is saying tings like u look gorgeous as opposed to what he used to call me: cute :-(
anyways just thought id share experience,
and now i think i mite have hirutism, im gonna go bk to doc and ask for moremeds specifically for this condition, hope it works :-)
thanks for reading lol, and sorry if i bored u to death :-)

Kristina December 2, 2008 at 10:26 pm

I have hirutism. And of course I hate it. I wish I would wake up in the morning with smooth hairless skin, like when I was a little girl, but course that is a dream. I am from America and people stare at me everyday. I have a beard that is now connecting to my moustache, under my chin is covered, my breast and chest are covered and my stomach. I am a hairy girl from head to toe. Sometimes I feel like crap, but I have to remind myself that I cant control it, this is the way GOD wanted me, for whatever reason. I am tired of having to hide who I am just because society says that i am “abnormal”. I will be joyus when it’s okay to be hairy. When we have women who look like us looked upon as beautiful. I am married and my husband said he knew I had hair on my face the first day he met me and it wasnt a problem. I have lots of beautiful friends and they remind me that I am pretty too, especially because of my flaw. All the ladies that are hairy remember this, REAL WOMEN HAVE FUR!!!

Hairy Lover December 26, 2008 at 2:14 am

Rose December 26, 2008 at 8:54 pm

I just wanted to say how can u call this illness “harmless” ? It is not at all harmless to me it makes me horrible! No one who hasn’t this illness does not know how we feel, I always hide my self ! I never had a boyfriend because I hate myself ! Who wants to kiss someone hairy or make love? I don’t ….. How dare u to call it harmless I hate all the doctors who treat me like I would over react and think there is no problem with hair in my face . Of course it so not as important as heart surgery but it us impotant to me! To everyone who say’s that this is harmless : F..k you

Delilah December 29, 2008 at 2:30 am

I’ve been struggling with hirsutism 36 yrs and it doesn’t get any easier with time. My hirsutism is severe and seems to be getting worse with time. The stares, the talking behind your back when you’re 2 feet away and coworkers asking if you’re male or female, and the constant self criticsm is too difficult to even put into words. No one can fully express what a person goes through and feels on a daily basis due to PCOS. I’ve missed a lot because of this disease: dating, marriage, children, a normal existence. It would be nice to wake up in the morning and not have to have to pluck for 15 minutes and apply heavy makeup before setting foot out the door. It would be nice to wear fashionable clothes without worrying the clevage might be too low for hair to show. It would be nice not to constantly have to watch everything that goes into your mouth because you’ll easily gain weight. I can’t take the pill because it increases my bp. And every year, it seems to get worse. This is not living, this is hanging on and surviving.

Taylor March 15, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Im a 21 female. I think I’m in the early stages of this. I get random dark hair on my chin and neck, around nipples, and my bikini area seems to me absolutly untreatable. I cant wear a cute swimsuite because of so many red spots from trying to shave. Im going to ask my doctor if theres something wrong with me like ovarian tumors like it says in the article. This is such a sad condition. =/

Sonia May 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Hi everyone

I am 22 years old and I have been suffering from hirsutism since i was about 14. I have been to the doctor and had blood tests and scans to show that i have PCOS. I am now going to my GP to get medication which i believe will be contraceptive pills or maybe something else he suggests.

I am sick and tired of the hair on my face, this is one of the worst diseases any woman can suffer from and no one would ever understand the pain it causes except by those that have it.

I am really hoping that the drugs can stop the hair from growing even further and will also make the hair finer. I am generally a very confident person, but there are times when i become very insecure and paranoid as im sure you all have felt.

Anyways i just want to say that there IS treatment out there, just go to your GP and tell he/she that you are suffering. You are not supposed to have hair on your face if you are a woman so dont sit in silence and suffer on your own. Do something about it like I am.

I have a boyfriend who is very supporting of me and understands what i am going through- hes the one that actually took me to the doctors in the first place!

Just remember women, you can have a great life still, dont let hirsutism win.

reemie May 2, 2009 at 8:28 am

All this time I thought i was alone. my heart goes out to everyone with this horrible condition. inner beauty is nothing to consider to ppl who see us and stare. believe it or not there is s god.I still beleive

Renea May 9, 2009 at 1:23 am

It is so sad to see that so many women suffer from this. I am a black woman and it is very hard to cover up the facial hair since it is black and and I am not very dark. I have tried shaving and using nair and things like that and it doesn’t completely take the hair away or make it invisible. It doesn’t matter how much makeup you put on, everyone can still see it. I have been keeping to myself more and don’t want to really date anyone because of this, I feel I can’t be accepted totally for who I am. You always feel like people focus on the hair when you are face to face with them and it is a horrible feeling. I tried laser hair removal before and didn’t get to get all of the treatments because they are so expensive but I am hoping to go back really soon to be done with this embarassing condition. Good luck and I wish everyone success with whatever method they try because I do feel your pain and even though some accept it and understand we can’t control it, it still makes you feel insecure and distant.

Mel May 25, 2009 at 8:36 am

I have hirsutism. hair everywhere from head 2 toe. I shave since I don’t have enough money to other treatment, now is getting worse I have to shave twice a day. More than men does i feel so bad I want to kill myself.

thebeautybrains May 26, 2009 at 6:57 am

We’re so sorry you have to go through this. If you can, see a doctor about the condition. Maybe she can recommend a better solution.

raven May 31, 2009 at 12:53 am

I’ve had a visible beard for 15 years. I admit, it was shocking to me at first. My doc diagnosed me with PCOD.

At first I did everything to try to hide it. But after a year or so of feeling ashamed of myself, I realized that this was a good opportunity (albeit extremely challenging) to practice self-acceptance. I’ve been letting my beard grow ever since.

Yes, I take a lot of crap for it. I’ve also learned a plethora of snappy comebacks for the ignorant and mean-spirited.

One of the reasons I thought it was important to let it grow and show, as it were, was that I found a couple of friends who were in the same boat, and were also mortified. We decided to support each other, and to see if there were other women who we could be an example for. Our example being: women can be happy, sexy, brilliant, and bearded. Since I regained my self-confidence, I’ve had very little problem finding a date. Further, if your peers aren’t supportive, that’s just toxic— get the hell out and meet people that are supportive.

As much crap as I’ve taken, I’ve had amazing experiences too; many times women will approach me and thank me, and tell me that they wished they had the courage to do the same. Once, a young woman at approached me at a festival I attend annually, and she told me that she’d noticed me for the last few years, and she wanted me to know that I was her hero.

The hell with fascist beauty standards. This is your life to live without apology.

afterglow_salon June 10, 2009 at 7:55 am

Hey ladies!
I am 25, and have tried everything to get rid of my hirsutism. waxing is the worst, especially under the chin, as my whole chin becomes inflamed and bumpy for at least a month afterward. The pill does work, it lessens the ammount and thickness of the growth. For those of us girls who have Pcos, I had had enough of all of the crap that comes along with this disease and have taken drastic measures. Two weeks ago I had a gastric bypass in hopes to loose excess weight, re-boot my biological clock, and get rid of this stupid hair growth. There are some medical research studies posted on the internet that conclude, gastric bypass helps over 80% of women with pcos and hirsutism.

Mary June 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I’m seventeen years old and I’ve been suffering with hirsutism since I was six. The hair is spread everywhere from upper lip to the base of my ankles and I’ve always felt so horribly monstrous and I still do. There’s just something so unnatural to me and it bothers me so much. I’m always pressured to take off my long sleeved jackets when it’s hot or in the summer, but I always decline and leave everything on. I’m always wishing it’ll stay winter for that reason and every time I wax or tweeze everywhere, the hair always comes back. It’s so hard for me to be or feel “natural” because of this genetic disease. The fact that it’s called a “disease” makes me feel even worse. I’m still underdeveloped and my period is abnormally irregular where I have it for a week very heavily then not have it for 4 or so months after, even though I’m not on any pills or anything. I weigh less than 130 lbs. and I wish I could show at least my arms and wear shorts without being looked at or talked about. Why does every girl or woman have to live up to bald expectations? It makes me feel so left out but I totally appreciate the fact that these brave women here aren’t afraid to speak out what’s been going on with them. To those who have mild and less severe hirsutism or feel uncomfortable with little hair: know that you are not alone and lucky you don’t suffer as much as some of us do. :)

Lily July 6, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I cried as I was reading these posts. For the first time in my life, I actually feel that other people understand what I’m going through.
For those of you that can’t take the pill maybe you can take Spironalactone? My doctor just prescribed it to me so I don’t know how well it works, but anything’s worth a try.

ps Raven you’re so brave, i wish there were more people like you.

Mary July 21, 2009 at 2:13 am

Lily, how is the Spironalactone working for you? I did some research and heard its main purpose is not for hirsutism, although it helps. One thing I found disconcerting is that there are quite a lot of side effects that don’t seem to be very great… Either way, I do hope life is working out at least a bit better for you now! :)

Arleen July 26, 2009 at 4:33 am

Reading this made me feel a little better, but not really. I hate having hirsutism. I’ve never had a boyfriend or really mingle with guys because of this. It makes me depressed and angry. I have thoughts of suicide more often these days. I don’t think I’ll be able to have a normal life or a relationship with a guy. Sometimes I don’t see the point in living. This tortures me everyday. I’m sick of plucking my chin everyday to appear normal. I have scars from plucking. I don’t really get rid of body hair except my legs and armpits. I just try to avoid looking at myself. I just want to feel normal…for once. ::Sigh::

Delilah July 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Someone asked about makeup. After years of plucking, some women get dark skin around the area they pluck. I’ve found that using a cover stick followed by liquid foundation helps hide the hair that’s just below the skin but visible as well as hide the darker skin patches. To keep the makeup from caking or smuding, use a translucent powder. I used to get makeup all over papers, doors, clothes, etc. when I would touch my face and then touched something else. The powder solved the problem.

glory August 6, 2009 at 5:49 pm

I believe i have Hirsutism i have hair on my face neck chin breasts stomach legs my back my butt i can’t stand it i am 21 years old and haven’t been to the beach since i was 9. I don’t no how to swim never went in a date or had a boyfriend or even got close enough to a guy to let him touch me i hate it so much i have to cover myself always and forever

Deena August 19, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Ive had hirsutism since I was about 12 years old. Didnt have insurance during middle/high school so i never got a “diagnosis” until after college. Been treated for PCOS which means taking daily OC, 100 mg of spironolactone and 1000 mg of metformin. Been on this regimen for almost three years now and have seen only minimal improvement. I am a little overweight but not obese and have tried losing weight only to regain it just as quickly. I have noticed that when I regain the weight, the hair becomes darker and more of it grows. While my case is probably on the mild to mid scale, it still makes me feel uncomfortable especially in intimate moments. I generally wax my face – sideburns, chin and neck which are probably the worst about once per month as it makes me break out and have rash every time i do it. Ive tried nair and other depilatories but it only leaves my face burning and red/rash. I generally shave the hair on my stomach, but it grows back so quickly and so dark. I nair the hair on my lower back about once per month but it also grows back quickly and much thicker. I hate feeling like a freak. I cant allow myself to be in an intimate relationship for fear that the guy will comment on it and/or make me feel like I am less of a woman…which i generally do already. I havent been intimate with a guy in over 4 years (yes a long time!) and Im afraid Ill never be able to let myself get back on the horse. Ive met many wonderful and handsome men in the last few years, but something is always stopping me from getting too close – physically and emotionally. I dont talk about my “issue” with any of my girlfriends (Ive mentioned it to a few close friends) for fear that they will think I am abnormal. I dont know what to do. I dont really have the money to spend on electrolosis or laser removal. Im glad to know that there are others out there in my position and who feel the same. Its a very terrible and awful “disease” and I wish my doctor took it more seriously. I am considering revisiting the issue with my PC instead of going back to my OBGYN. I am going to directly tell her to refer me to an endocrinologist or other specialist. Something’s got to give, right? Its just unbearable to feel this awful all the time.

Bobbi August 21, 2009 at 8:33 am

I feel for all the women on this post. I have felt alone for so long. After being called Sasquatch throughout school I finally did something about it. Someone told me about Jolene Facial Cream Bleach. During my adolescence this really helped my self esteem (even though some people started calling me bush-wacker). I could finally start wearing short sleeve shirts, so I was happier, at least. I continued bleaching my facial hair, sometimes arm hair, and shaving my sideburns, and the hair on my hands and feet. But a couple of years ago I decided to confront my greatest fear and stopped bleaching and shaving all together. It was really tough, my self-esteem plummeted. I really felt like a freak of nature. But now that I’ve lived in this skin for a while, I rarely think about it. I know that “people talking about me, making fun of me” is mostly in my head, and reflects more on my self-esteem than other people. Besides, why do I want to please them anyway? And what really got to me was, what am I going to tell my daughter? To be ashamed of herself, that she has to change herself to really be somebody, to be worthy of respect and love? I couldn’t do that.
It’s not to say that I don’t still have issues, I still pluck my sideburns to make them less thick and I still pluck the darkest hairs around my nipples. But there is love out there to be found. Do you really want to be with a guy who is hung up on looks anyway? You want a guy who will love you for you, no matter what the outside looks like. ANYONE could get in a car accident tomorrow and be completely deformed for life. Do you really want to be with someone who would leave you after that? Love is longterm, beauty is short.

Angeles Godinez September 8, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Did you guys know that you can model your arm/body hair and get payed for it? I know, it sounds like a big lie right? Well I thought it was until I actually went to the site and noticed a lot of girls modeling their arm hair & they get payed for it. I say you guys try it.

I’m currently an arm hair model on there and get payed once a month to show off natural beauty:)

Shaving,waxing, laser treatments are a thing in the past; go to and check it out:)

Bobbi September 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Wow! Thank you so much Angeles! I just took a quick look. I’m waiting for a banner or something to pop up to tell me this is a joke. I almost can’t believe my eyes! The media told me that there weren’t ANY women out there who looked like me. Thank you for showing me (and others) the truth. :)

stubble85 October 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I feel relieved and saddened that I have found other young ladies with this issue but am pretty fed up that none of you much like myself has found a cure all treatment for this. I have been suffering , yes suffering with the hairs on my chin and upper lip since age 15 . Between the hair and my overweight it is a constant struggle to find the beauty in me. At 24 I get really depressed about seeing all the fresh faced hairless beautiful girl prancing around NYC with flawless skin. I can’t afford as a graduate student to wax and shave and wax and all the other procedures very often so at times I just hide for the day. Please help.

Delilah October 11, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Some women could care less and aren’t afraid to show off their body hair. Others haven’t gotten to that point yet. During winter it’s easier not to shave and no one notices. Pants and long blouses are usually the norm. No one will notice you haven’t shaved. During the summer, I love to wear long dresses and that hides the hair on my legs. I shave when I feel it’s gotten to a certain length and no longer feel feminine. It’s such a chore to shave every day and who wants to do it. Facial hair you can bleach if it’s fine. But once you start plucking or shaving it off, it gets thicker and it’s hard to bleach it. Once you start tweezing, foundation helps to hide the hair. Once it becomes coarse that you can see the hair underneath the skin, then buy a cover stick, use foundation, and finish it off with transluscent powder. How long does it take to get ready? I would say 15 minutes to pluck my facial hair and about 5-7 minutes to do my makeup. It’s not that long. Some women take longer to get their hair done in the morning. It’s gotten to be routine with me as I do it every day for about 20+ yrs now and don’t think about it twice anymore. While on a tight budget, tweezeing, bleaching, trimming, and makeup will be the cheapest route to go. Oh, get yourself one of those 10X magnifying mirrors. You’ll be able to tweeze that chin in no time flat as it shows every little bit of dark hair. Magnifying mirrors are a GREAT investment and a good pair of tweezers. No one noticed my hair in college. I’ve been good at hiding it all these years and I’m now in my 40s.

darkrider October 28, 2009 at 11:13 am

hi evry one..
causes of hirsutism are polycystic ovarian syndrome, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, androgen adminstation, familial, meditrrn or asian bckgrnd, cushings syndrome.
ur doctor may advice for random blood sample checking to know the levels of testosterone, lh, fsh and prolactin or overnight dexamethosone suppression test or acth stimulation test, ct and mri for adrenal tumours..

treatment depends on the cause… so, be sure you have been tested with the above tests which diagnose ur cause. antiandrogens and cosmetic measures are the mainstay of treatment.

Lily October 30, 2009 at 11:30 am

Mary, the Spironalactone is actually somewhat working. The hair is growing back finer, but there’s no reduction in the amount.

A lot of these stories above sound like the story of my life. It’s so sad that we cannot do things that everyone else takes for granted. This condition has done more than just force me to cover up physically. I have also become a sad, introverted, bitter, mentally ill person. Younger girls reading this, try not to torture yourself like I have. You may not have control over your hirsiutism, but don’t let it take over your life. You are still human and have every right to exist.

dunya November 1, 2009 at 1:50 am

im 20, and i used to have hirsutism. I started having this when i was 6 years ov age. I agree school was terrible, kids can be soo mean :( .

last year my mom took me to do an IPL hairremoval on my face and neck. I couldnt do laser treatment because i hav olive skin and very dark hair. after 5 sessions, all of the hair disapeared!!!!

I Then went into my GP and she gave me Estelle-35 ED. This contraception pill really works. I needed this to get rid ov the hair on my body. After a year of taking this medication, i have no hair on my body and my skin is very smooth and clear.:)

Ladies, u are all beautiful!!
Dont let this get in your way, give it a shot!!!!
live your life and i wish this helps you :)

leah November 25, 2009 at 7:39 pm

i am about to turn 16 and i have noticed hair on my stomach getting darker after i shaved it a few time and i have sideburns but i bleach them, i also have hair around my nipples but i shave that everyday. i dont have that hairy of legs or arms. i have started to notice that some hairs on my face are getting longer and i was just wondering if i have the same thing as you guys? i have felt so loney and ugly and i feel so much better now knowing that im not the only one out there. i have a boyfriend and weve been together for about a year but i dont think he realizes it and im so scared that one day it will get worse and he will leave me, i dont know how to tell him and i really want this hair gone :(

Carrie November 26, 2009 at 11:03 am

Some body and facial hair is completely normal. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Treating this problem is painful and expensive. Don’t put yourself through it if it isn’t imapcting your quality of life.

That said, I shelled out the money for laser hair removal on my upper lip, chin and neck and plan to get my chest and abdomen done. It cost $125 per session and I needed six sessions. It hurt! My skin was burned, swollen and bruised bad enough that I would only go for appointments on Fridays. My skin needed two days to recover so I wouldn’t look like a freak when I went back to work. After the six sessions I was completely hairless. I felt beautiful for the first time in my life. It’s been almost two years since then and the hair is starting to grow back.

Lullah December 2, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Hi, I have severe hirsutism. It has ruined my life completely. I am even worried about going to the doctors. Most doctors have never seen anyone like me.

I have no sexual/intimate relationship. I’ve tried shaving, but it hasn’t worked that well (since I have coarse hair and big visible pores).

Summer is the most embarrassing time for me. While everyone else can show off their skin, and feel feminine, and sexy. Not me.

I’ve tried a little laser removal and it hasn’t worked as plan. Almost $500 down the drained.

There is not one inch of my body with no hair. It is like a curse.

I would really appreciate some suppport, I am suicidal at times.

Pink December 4, 2009 at 3:33 am

Hi girls,
WOW i have been reading these comments for the past hour and I can not believe what I am reading. I think I have a mild case of hirsutism. I actually just learned what this word means (because I was looking it up for my medical terminology test). I never knew they had a word for this. I thought i was pretty hairy, but after reading these comments (and actually witnessing worst cases in my relatives) :[ I actually dont feel like i am over reacting. I hope i am not offending anybody, cuz i do not mean to. I guess i am now more accepting about it. In a way I feel better knowing that there are other women who go through the same problems i go through.
All i can say is that this is life, an we need to get on with it.

I know i dont live in your shoes, but y are some of u guys wasting you life feeling sorry for yourselves? START LIVING. One of the reasons I am saying this is because I am an Indian and I know what the mentality of most traditional indian women is. Growing up, i noticed that appearance has a big emphasis on indian women. I know I am slightly over weight, and i get a lot of crap from people (and the worst part is they are not even my family- they are other random indian people with these f*%@! old mentalities)! They make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.
Ladies, quite feeling sorry for yourselve and the situation you are in. Dont let someone else be the judge of your success and happiness. Break free from the norm and let yourself be known because your personality and character is what matters period. That is all that matters.

As for being in relationships and marriage…I would never want to be in a relationship where I am not accepted for who and what I really am. If my partner can not accept the real me, then he does not deserve to be with me. Girls, the world is full of good and bad people. Ditch the bad and go find yourself a good man(or women) who accepts you for what you are inside, not outside. :)

And dont forget… beauty is only skin deep. Good Luck Girls! :)

Delilah December 14, 2009 at 1:50 am

Once you find a doctor you like, stick with him/her. You’ll feel less self conscious and more at ease once you build a rapore with the doctor. Due to my ethnic backgrounds, the doctors would immediately say it was due to that but I knew something was wrong because as time would go on, I noticed I would get it in new places. I went to several gynecologists and endocrinologists who would run many tests and they all came back normal. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I had to have ovarian surgery and the doctor saw all these cysts that a diagnosis of PCOS was made. I did notice a pattern though, there would be a window of time where I would notice my hair really growing fast right before my period. Maybe what the doctors needed to do was do my blood work during that time. At any other time, I had normal hair growth.

Modern medicine and technology have made strides in permanenent hair removal. If bleaching, tweezing, and shaving are no longer options, there are other ways to remove the hair. Talk it over with your doctor. There is the pill and other hormonal medication to stop new hair growth. Electrolysis is introducing electricity into the hair follicle and permanently killing the hair by the root. Laser hair removal also another option. I’ve had friends with extreme hair on their faces who said they needed 7 or more treatments before the hair was permanetly gone. There is also medication to help remove the hair. Most of these methods are somewhat expensive but I know of women who medicaid and insurance companies have paid for laser treatments because it’s not “cosmetic.” Cosmetic is getting rid of a couple of stray hairs. It’s not cosmetic when tests come back indicating PCOS and a woman has quite a bit offacial hair. Sorry, I’ve only heard of them paying for facial laser treatments not on other parts of thebody.A person previously posted she had laser and was hair free for two years and it started coming back. One thing we have to keep in mind is that women are different and what might work on one person might not work on another. Keep trying until you find something that works for you.

If money is tight, then try the makeup, tweezing, shaving, bleaching option(s).

Now about self esteem. One wonderful thing about the 21st century is computers. Look up PCOS and notice how many women are married or in relationships. Don’t do what I did and and pull back emotionally if I found some guy remotely liked me. What finally made me date was that I was feeling lonely and I was seeing people happily married with spouses who were blind, in wheelchairs,deaf, mute, you name it. I remember two brothers who were badly burned in a fire and there faces were badly scarred. Now they’re both married. Another friend has cerebral palsy and got married two years ago. They took a chance. It takes all kinds to make a world. Some are shallow and some are not. You’re pretty special and the man who asks you out is pretty special tooGive him a chance.

And if it doesn’t work out, don’t say you’ll never date again. It just wasn’t meant to be between you two. News flash, hairless women get dumped all the time but they keep on trying to find their prince charming. I’m sure they had to kiss a lot of toads before they found their prince charming. :)

bobbi December 15, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Here’s a little tip for anyone searching for a new method of “hair removal”. This one feels a little more natural. See hairs have a life span, and some are ready to come out, they just happen to be sticking around. So I’ve started using a pomace stone (not too hard) and it seems to take some away, at least the ones that were waiting to go anyway. I use it on my face, and though it might be a little red for a couple of minutes, it quickly goes away, and it almost gives me the look I get after bleaching the hair.

Sarah December 25, 2009 at 1:20 am

iI’m so young and I am pretty sure I have hirsutism. I’m just barely starting the 6th grade and its tough. I started noticing the hairs in 5th grade, but back then they were just thin, short hairs. Now, their not so innocent. I’m getting hair everywhere. Every,single, place! Hirsutsm doesn’t cause medical harm, but it does cause emotional harm. It hurts to hide my face. I don’t talk that much anymore. I’m just the girl that sits with her flawless friends and doesn’t say a thing! I tell my parents about hirsutism and they laugh at me. I’m crying just writing this. They say we should be proud, or we can’t help it, or that GOD made us that way. But I can’t look a single person straight in the eye, how am I supposed to be proud? Right now the hair is growing even more. So until I find help, I’ll cry in the dark just like I have been.

Britt December 29, 2009 at 3:41 am


I know its hard. I am 22 and I think I have hirsutism too. But I just wanted to tell you that alot of times parents just can’t see that you are really hurting.. If I could go back to when I was a teen and I was going through depession.. I would just cry and tell my mom that it IS serious, and my feelings ARE real.. and if they cared ANYTHING about me.. to get me some help. They just don’t understand.. But don’t let that make you feel like you’re feelings aren’t real. Just talk to them again… do some research on it. And make them take you to the doctor. Remember, you are not the only one going through this :) If I could take away your pain, I would. There is still hope.

Sending my love,

Amy Wallace January 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Guess what! My hirsutism went away completely with age: but in the meantime, I had a few boyfriends who appreciated it — one who LOVED and ADORED it, and cried over the permanent hair removal I’d had done before I met him. There are such guys out there, BELIEVE ME!

Jonni January 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I have had excess hair since i was about 11 or 12. I have it on my chest breast, neck, and majority on my abdomen. I’m 18 right now. I’ve never told anyone, it makes me very self conscious and i was wondering if I should seek medical attention. I have anxiety issues and get upset very easily when put into awkward situations. I do not think my doctor would understand and would rather go to a specialist. what kind of doctor should I see?

bobbi January 6, 2010 at 8:44 am


I felt the same way when I was younger. I’ve gone to see an Endocronologist. They put me on a medication (can’t remember the name now), and my regular doctor had put me on the pill as well. The hormones in it is supposed to stop or at least slow down the growth. I’ve also gone to see another specialist who told me that it was just my genetics, that my ancestors were probably from the mediteranean area, and that it was normal. Media tells us that it’s not, but hopefully you can read the other posts here, and go to the arm-hair modeling site to see that it is much more common than we are all led to believe. The media also tells us that everyone should be thin, but if you look around when going to a mall, 80% of the people are NOT thin. So, who’s to say that they are correct on the whole hairless thing?
I have hair on all the same places as you, plus more. I have felt unworthy for most of my life. Finding a life partner who accepts me for who I am, inside and out, has definitely helped me to realize that looks are temporary, anyone could get into an accident or get burned tomorrow. When looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with, there are MANY more things to consider besides looks.
We are all here to support you, whatever decision you make.