For many women, unwanted facial hair is a constant battle. But understanding the condition is the first step to overcoming it.

It’s perfectly natural for women to grow body hair, even on the face. In fact, an estimated 40% of all women naturally grow facial hair. This facial hair is usually fine and light. For some women however, they experience thicker, coarser, darker hair growing on their face, particularly around the cheeks, chin and jawline. This is referred to as unwanted facial hair, or hirsutism.

For some women, this may not be something that particularly bothers them, but for others unwanted facial hair can have a real impact on self-esteem and overall happiness. A campaign was launched several years ago called We Can Face It, which aimed to help women deal with the emotional impact of hirsutism.

A survey by the campaign found that almost all respondents felt negative about their facial hair. Another study found that women spend an average of 104 minutes a week managing their facial hair, while 40% of those with hirsutism felt uncomfortable in social situations.

What’s more, 30% of women with unwanted facial hair suffer with depression. 25% believe it has held them back from a promotion and over 40% say it has affected their ability to form relationships.

So it’s clear that, for many women, unwanted facial hair is an issue that they want to resolve. If you would include yourself in this number, we would recommend understanding a bit more about what’s causing the condition in order to make an informed decision about the best treatment available. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to getting to grips with the causes of unwanted facial hair, and how to treat it.

What causes unwanted facial hair in women?

There are several possible factors that may be causing your hirsutism. One of the most common causes is an increased level of male hormones in the body.

Male hormones are known as androgens, of which testosterone is the best known. Testosterone is responsible for the production of sperm and the deepening of the voice as men get older. All women produce a small amount of testosterone, but if this level becomes higher than normal, the consequences can include an increased sex drive, changes to your menstrual cycle and excess body and facial hair.

In premenopausal women, a common cause of increased male hormones is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition which affects up to 20% of women, occurring when cysts grow around the edge of the ovaries. For other women, excess hair can be the result of a sensitivity to male hormones rather than higher levels of them. This means the hormones have a greater effect on your body.

For women who have already been through the menopause, unwanted hair growth is usually the result of a hormone imbalance caused by the menopause itself. As your body adjusts to its hormones, you may be left with a higher level of testosterone.

Unwanted facial hair may also be the result of medication, such as minoxidil which is taken for blood pressure. It can also come about due to rarer hormonal conditions like Cushing’s Syndrome or Acromegaly, or in even rarer cases an ovarian tumour. Being overweight or obese can also be a contributing factor.

Treating unwanted facial hair

Some women resort to shaving as a way to deal with facial hair, as it is quick and easy. However, it also results in an unpleasant stubble and requires daily repetition. Other women use waxing instead, which lasts longer but can be painful and cause redness.

Effective treatment for unwanted facial hair is available from Express Pharmacy. Vaniqa is a prescription medication which can help women see results in as little as 4-8 weeks if used twice a day at least 8 hours apart.

Contact Express Pharmacy today to find out more by calling 0208 123 07 03.