Facial and Body Hair Facts

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About excess female facial and body hair – all you wanted to know

Even though women all have at least some extra hair somewhere, society has grown phobic about it. We take tweezing a light chin hair occasionally in our stride. But see more than a few hairs, or extra dark and stiff hair, and we run for cover.
Luckily, a campaign called We Can Face It was launched in June to support the estimated 40% of all women who naturally grow excess facial hair. As part of the campaign, a survey of 1,000 women revealed 30% whose excess facial hair caused clinical depression, a quarter who believed it held them back from promotion and over 40% who felt it prevented them from forming relationships. More than half felt ‘anxious’ to ‘very anxious’ when the hair was visible and they couldn’t immediately remove it. Two thirds said it made them feel ‘unfeminine’.
About how much face and body hair is normal?
There is actually no strict dividing line between normal and abnormal amounts of hair – it truly is in the eye of the beholder. However, in extreme cases ‘hirsutism’ may be present, in which case medical evaluation could be called for.
In women, hirsutism is defined as excessive growth of long, stiff and occasionally curly hair in a pattern and in places commonly observed in men. It can lead to acne, a deep voice and more serious issues, but it’s all caused by abnormally high levels of the male-type hormone testosterone.
Testosterone levels in both sexes rise at puberty, with underarm and pubic hair sprouting vigorously. We might think the only places women have body hair are the lower legs, upper thighs, between the navel and pubic area, around the nipples, on the chin, plus on and around the corners of the upper lip. Some women also experience hair growth on their chest and abdomen, lower back, neck and cheeks. Testosterone again.
Testosterone can be manufactured in both the ovaries and in fatty tissue. High levels may also be caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a strange disease that presents itself over a huge spectrum of ways. It can be diagnosed using a test for ‘leutenising hormone’ (LH) early in the menstrual cycle or by measuring testosterone levels. It’s usual to find characteristic small cysts around the ovaries, commonly detected by internal (transvaginal) scan. Diabetes can be another factor in PCOS, as can family history.
Too much face and body hair can be hereditary. About conditions associated with excessive facial hair growth
• Type 2 Diabetes – you feel hungry, tired or thirsty, need the loo more than normal and have blurred vision;
• Sleep apnea – you stop and restart breathing many times while asleep;
• Overeating – we all know what this is;
• Lack of exercise – you feel tired, gain weight and lose muscle tone
• Obesity – marked by having a BMI of 30 or higher;
• Testosterone supplement use (female) – you develop a male pattern of hair loss, acne and more related symptoms;
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – you feel pain and stiffness in hips, shoulders, arms and upper legs;
• Cushing’s syndrome –caused by being exposed to high levels of a hormone called cortisol over a period of six months or longer;
• Hypothyroidism (adult) – your body functions slow down, you gain weight and feel tired all the time;
• Metabolic syndrome – a group of risk factors that, considered together, increase the likelihood of developing serious health problems.
About unwanted hair on men
We’ve seen the gender stereotype break down with the arrival of the cool and hip ‘metrosexual’ male. Now men can be just as driven as women, some even more so, in the pursuit of hairless, smooth skin. Despite the fact that beards appear to be making a comeback, women have become increasingly attracted to smooth-faced, smooth-skinned males. No hairy chests, please, or hairy backs and bottoms thank you. Men haven’t just found their feminine side, they’re showing it. The androgynous male seems to be fashion’s darling.
While the good old razor remains men’s best friend, many are shunning it for regular trips to the beauty salon for treatments like waxing, laser, threading and electrolysis to match the new image of the ‘modern male.’ The taboo around men’s grooming has lifted, witnessed by a whopping 66% increase in the number of men visiting UK salons.
About hair removal methods – the good, the bad and the ugly
  • Waxing. Easy, inexpensive, long lasting. Waxing can cause allergies, acne or infected hair follicles, plus skin darkening in some places. Pinching out in-growth makes it worse. Don’t do it.
  • Close shave. Easy, inexpensive, no expertise required, no reactions or allergies. But injuries are common, you must shave often and you can get in-growth and pseudo folliculitis if not done correctly.
  • By a thread. Threading is inexpensive, eco-friendly, inexpensive, sanitary, long-lasting, quick to do, very precise and embraces an ancient cultural tradition. Involving just the hands and two threads that pull out hair from the root it’s a method best done by qualified beauticians.
  • Epilate, epilate! An advanced version of ‘threading’ this involves a hand-held device that pulls hair up from the root. It’s safer than razors, inexpensive, easily mastered and lessens the risk of skin damage. Not appropriate for eyebrows and doesn’t remove small hair quite like waxing (88% v. 98%). Best choice and value: Epicare®wands, available from (list).
  • Easy, cheap, available all over, for home use. Works superficially and needs applying often more than once a week. Can cause allergies, irritation, skin darkening. Only use creams specifically made for use on your face.
  • Like IPL hair remover, uses pulsed light to reduce hair but won’t remove it permanently. No chance of in-growth, causes no marks or infections and can be used to shape hair. Expensive however, also unsuccessful on people with hormonal imbalance; less effective on light hair, doesn’t work on white hair. Can be painful with risk of burns. Requires multiple sittings at short intervals initially, annual maintenance subsequently.
  • Electrolysis- the only method to remove hair permanently, approved by the FDA. Uses an electric current and you don’t need certain hair or skin colour to attain results. Very expensive.
When you really love your skin, want to build your confidence and look your best easily, reliably and economically in the comfort of home, Epicare® is the stand-out product for the modern woman (and man). You can order yours now at (web address).