Facial hair in women, also known as hirsutism, refers to the growth of excessive or coarse hair on areas of the face where it is not typically expected, such as the chin, upper lip, cheeks, and jawline. Hirsutism can be caused by various factors, including hormonal imbalances, genetics, medication side effects, or certain medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder primarily affecting individuals with female reproductive systems. It manifests with irregular menstrual cycles, ovulatory dysfunction, excess androgen hormones leading to symptoms like hirsutism and acne, and polycystic ovaries on ultrasound. Its exact cause is not fully understood but is believed to involve genetic and environmental factors.
Characteristics of Facial Hair:
Symptoms of facial hair growth, particularly in women, can include:
- Excessive Hair: An increase in the amount of hair on the face, particularly in areas like the chin, upper lip, cheeks, and jawline.
- Coarse or Dark Hair: The appearance of facial hair that is thicker, coarser, or darker than the fine vellus hair that is typically present on the face.
- Hirsutism: Hirsutism is a medical term used to describe excessive and unwanted male-pattern hair growth in women. This can manifest as a beard-like growth, a mustache, or sideburns.
- Acne: Hormonal imbalances that can lead to facial hair growth are often associated with acne breakouts.
- Scalp Hair Thinning: In some cases, excessive facial hair growth may be accompanied by thinning of hair on the scalp, resembling male-pattern baldness.
- Irregular Menstrual Cycles: Hormonal imbalances associated with facial hair growth can also cause irregular or absent menstrual periods.
- Scalp Hair Loss: Some individuals with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may experience scalp hair loss in addition to facial hair growth.
What Causes Facial Hair with PCOS?
Hairy nipples, or excessive hair growth on and around the nipples, can be a symptom of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in some individuals. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects people with ovaries and is characterized by imbalances in various hormones, including elevated levels of androgens, such as testosterone. These elevated androgen levels can lead to a range of symptoms, including hirsutism, which is the medical term for excessive hair growth in areas where it is typically more common in males.
Here’s how PCOS can be related to hairy nipples:
- Hormonal Imbalance: In individuals with PCOS, the ovaries may produce excess androgens, which are male hormones. This hormonal imbalance can lead to an increase in hair growth in places where women typically have fine, vellus hair, such as the nipples, face, chest, back, and abdomen.
- Increased Sensitivity of Hair Follicles: The hair follicles in these areas may also become more sensitive to androgens, leading to thicker and darker hair growth.
- Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance is often associated with PCOS. Insulin resistance can lead to higher levels of insulin in the body, which, in turn, can contribute to increased androgen production by the ovaries. This can exacerbate the hirsutism seen in PCOS.
How to Naturally Maintain Facial Hair with PCOS?
Reducing facial hair naturally can be a gradual process, and it’s important to remember that the effectiveness of these methods can vary from person to person. Here are some natural approaches to help manage facial hair growth:
- Turmeric Paste: Mix turmeric powder with water or milk to form a thick paste. Apply this paste to the areas with unwanted facial hair and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing. Turmeric has been traditionally used for its hair-thinning properties.
- Papaya and Turmeric Mask: Blend papaya and turmeric to create a mask. Apply it to your face, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which may help inhibit hair growth.
- Sugar Waxing: Sugar waxing, also known as sugaring, is a natural hair removal method. It involves heating a mixture of sugar, lemon juice, and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the unwanted hair, place a cloth strip over it, and then quickly pull the strip in the opposite direction of hair growth.
- Spearmint Tea: Some studies suggest that drinking spearmint tea may help reduce excessive hair growth by lowering androgen (male hormone) levels in the body. You can typically find spearmint tea bags at health food stores.
- Lemon Juice and Honey: Mix lemon juice, honey, and water to create a facial mask. Apply it to the areas with facial hair and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing. Lemon juice may have a mild bleaching effect on hair.
- Exfoliation: Regularly exfoliating your skin can help reduce the appearance of facial hair. It won’t remove hair permanently but can make it less noticeable.
- Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help maintain hormonal balance.
The ten modern lifestyle root causes for hormonal imbalance related to PCOS that may on some level lead to problems with PCOS breasts are:
- Food Related Causes– Inflammation, toxicity, acidity, excess male hormones, insulin resistance.
- Exercise Related Causes: Sedentary lifestyle, lack of muscle strength, excess ovarian fat.
- Sleep Related Causes: Poor sleep quality (Lack of Deep Sleep).
- Stress Related Causes: Chronic Stress. Addressing these triggers through an integrated approach can naturally restore hormonal balance.
How can the Five Pillars Integrated Lifestyle Approach Help You to Have Hormonal Balance and Help With Taking Care of PCOS Breasts?
- Eat Right: Embrace living, water-rich, whole, plant-based foods that nurture our genetic potential. By opting for local and seasonal choices, we honor nature’s wisdom. Eliminating packaged and processed foods liberates us from epigenetic imprints, elevating our hormonal health.
- Move More: Embark on a journey of holistic lifestyle changes, where staying active transcends mere exercise. Embracing constant movement throughout the day optimizes epigenetic expression, igniting hormonal balance. Engage in pleasurable physical activities, dance, or even mindful walks to unlock the power of epigenetic triggers.
- Breathe Aware: As we deepen our understanding of Pranayama, the science of breath, we access a profound gateway to support gland function and harmonize hormones. Harnessing the breath’s epigenetic influence, we transcend the ordinary and elevate our hormonal well-being.
- Sleep Better: Unlock the secrets of deep sleep, a transformative practice for healing and regeneration. With the art of Yog Nidra to avoid being sleep deprived, we embrace epigenetic potential, unearthing hormonal harmony in the realm of dreams. Rejuvenate your entire being through this exquisite dance with the epigenetic clock to stop feeling sleep deprived.
- Mind Free: Journey into the realm of emotions, thoughts, and stress resilience, where journaling, gratitude, and emotional practices become our guiding compass. Embracing epigenetic intelligence, we shift our narrative from stress to serenity, empowering our hormonal landscape.