There is a reason that smooth, hairless skin is every woman’s dream: precisely because it can only be a dream.
The reality of female facial hair is something else entirely. If you think about it, considering how normal hair is, even if it is facial hair, it strikes you how strange it is that female facial hair is treated like an abnormal abomination that needs to be gotten rid of immediately.
This matter is the ridiculously unnecessary cause of severe anxiety and lack of confidence in many women, if only because of society’s strict and unrealistic boundaries between what masculine and feminine facial hair should and shouldn’t look like.
While there are cases where facial hair is a telling sign of an underlying condition (more on this later), it is a commonplace for women to misjudge the amount of facial hair that is normal. The best way to diagnose abnormal hair growth is by using the Ferriman-Gallwey scale, which assesses hair growth in nine body areas of women, scores them on a scale of 0 to 4, and diagnosis them based on the total score. Yet, even this clinical assessment is inaccurate for women of different races.
We will debunk a few widespread myths and misconceptions in the hopes to reveal which facts are true about female facial hair, and which are all in your head.
1: Women don’t have facial hair
What nonsense! This is the biggest misconception about female facial hair and the cause of thousands of women around the world to question their looks and natural selves on a day-to-day basis.
Any woman ever born knows that this is not true. The fact is that it is a very natural phenomenon for women to have facial hair, although it is usually lighter than that of men.
2: Facial hair is thick and bristly
Thick, dark hair may grow on the face, but this isn’t the only type of facial hair.
Vellus hair, or peach fuzz, is the common name for the short, fine, lightly pigmented hair that grows on the face, neck, and other areas of the body of many women. It is much more common than you think. Even though these are barely visible, they are still often removed by most women.
3: All facial hair is abnormal
This cannot be farther from the truth. While studies show that one in 14 women have hirsutism, a medical condition where hormone imbalances or underlying conditions cause an excess of thick hair to grow on women’s bodies or visages, usually in a male pattern. In the UK alone, hirsutism affects around 10% of the women, with variations seen in women of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean descent.
However, many women who don’t come under this category regard their facial hair as ‘ugly’ and ‘abnormal’ when it is actually normal and can be because of hereditary factors.
Having light hair is completely all right. Thicker, darker hair covering the cheeks, forehead and upper lip is also commonplace and nothing to worry about. That being said, if you see excessive growth of extremely thick hair on your face and neck, then perhaps a medical checkup will help clear any doubts you may have about the cause.
4: Facial hair only grows on women with dark hair
This would only be possible if someone programmed the genes of every female that ever existed to exhibit this trait under stringent parameters. In other words, this is yet another false assumption.
While women with dark hair usually have facial hair that is more visible, especially when they are light-skinned, almost all women have facial hair. It just might not be too noticeable in some cases, while it is more evident in others.
5: Female facial hair is a lifelong constant
Our body is continuously changing as we age, and facial hair is no exception to this.
Some women experience a reduction in facial and body hair as they age, due to follicles weakening, hair thinning and hair fall. However, depending on genetic makeup, some find that the remaining facial hair around the mouth and on the chin often becomes thicker and coarser; some may even notice more unwanted facial hair, particularly after menopause.
6: Removing facial hair is asking for trouble
While we are all about embracing your natural self (in fact, some celebrities have taken it upon themselves to stop removing their whiskers, which is revolutionizing the self-image of many women out there), it is also okay to want to remove any hair you feel uncomfortable with.
This is at odds with many old wives tales, forced upon general after generation, that enumerate countless reasons never to pluck, shave or bleach hair, especially on the face. These claim that facial hair will grow back thicker and denser if removed. This is not true, and anyone who wants to get rid of excess hair can do so without worrying about their face suddenly sprouting a bushy beard.
7: Waxing, shaving and threading are the only options for facial hair removal
While these are the easiest to do at home and give the most immediate results, the outcome is usually not long-lasting, with some women having to remove their facial hair almost every day.
There are a couple of other treatment options that can be considered after consulting with a physician or dermatologist.
Two permanent hair removal treatments that have shown some recent success are electrolysis and laser hair removal, both of which require several sessions and have their pros and cons.
A budget friendly, effective permanent treatment option to diminish hair growth for those with hirsutism is a topical cream. Topical creams like Vaniqa, which contains the ingredient Eflornithine, reduce the growth of hair over consistent applications. Get an online consultation with the medical experts at Click Pharmacy to receive a prescription and purchase this cream, all from the comfort from your home.
Having flawless, velvety skin with no facial hair is still the gold standard of beauty these days, not to mention, every woman’s desire. Nevertheless, sometimes, nature has other plans. With the myriad of solutions available for women struggling with unwanted hair on their faces and bodies, it is advisable to consult a professional to choose the one that is best suited to your particular needs.