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Health

Chin Hair Is Normal. Here’s How To Deal With It

WIth age comes wisdom, and often a few unwanted guests.
Chin Hair Is Normal. Here’s How To Deal With It

If you’ve noticed some newfound hair on your chin and other areas of your face, you’re not alone. The sudden appearance of these undesirable hair follicles is courtesy of changes in hormone levels, which is why many women notice new hair growth around menopause.

The good news: Chin hair is normal, often minimal and easily dealt with at home, in a dermatologist’s office or under the practiced hand of a trusted esthetician. 

To get to the bottom of this facial hair phenomenon, we asked Toronto-based dermatologists Dr. Geeta Yadav and Dr. Renée A. Beach, as well as Vancouver-based menopause clinician Dr. Bal Pawa, to explain exactly what’s happening and offer advice on how to deal with it. 

What causes chin hair in women?

The culprit behind those pesky little chin hairs is the shift in the balance of hormones that comes with menopause. As women age and enter the menopausal transition, the ovaries stop producing estrogen but testosterone levels off more slowly. That hormonal imbalance can cause “an increase in male secondary sex characteristics, including facial hair growth and acne,” says Yadav, a dermatologist and founder of Facet Dermatology in Toronto.

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Is chin hair inevitable?

Not necessarily. But if your mom and grandmother had them, it’s likely you may experience them as well. And just how much hair might sprout up on your chin varies, too. 

“Around 40 percent of women report excessive facial hair growth [during menopause], particularly on the chin,” says Bal Pawa, co-founder of the Westcoast Women’s Clinic in Vancouver and the author of The Mind-Body Cure, a book about the connection between stress hormones and health. 

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Some menopausal women will also complain of fine, light hair, a.k.a. “peach fuzz” all over their face and jawline. Women who experience polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are also more prone to excess facial hair growth, says Yadav. 

What does chin hair look and feel like?

It depends on the individual. The hair could be fuzzy and fairer than your natural hair colour or you could experience dark, coarse hairs, similar to leg or pubic hair. 

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How do you tame chin hair?

There’s more than one way to tackle unwanted facial hair, depending on your time, inclination and budget. In terms of hair removal options, tweezing, waxing, sugaring, threading, laser hair removal or electrolysis all work on chin hairs. (You could also try a depilatory cream, but do a patch test first to ensure it doesn’t cause irritation.)  

Before you get started, consider your skin’s sensitivity, the amount of chin hair you’re dealing with and your skin tone, says Yadav. These are all factors that may affect the overall success of your hair removal method. 

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The pros and cons of laser hair removal and electrolysis

If you have significant hair to tame, consider a longer-lasting method of hair removal at a dermatology clinic or reputable medi-spa, says Yadav. 

Laser hair removal uses amplified light to target the follicle and can be more comfortable for some women, says Beach. It's ideal for dark hair, as the melanin will best absorb the light of the laser.

If you're dealing with grey, blond or pesky individual hairs, try electrolysis, says Yadav. It uses an electric current to destroy the hair root, and though it’s also an effective method for taming sprouts, some people may experience slight tingling during the procedure. 

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While no one looks forward to gaining more facial hair as they age, Beach points out that some of her patients have been dealing with excess hair growth for their entire lives.

So, take it in stride. You may be getting hairier, but you’re not alone.

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