What Causes Facial Hair in Women?

There is no definite standard of amount of body hair that is considered normal for a woman. Mostly, there is only a peach fuzz or a fine crop of hair on a woman’s chin, back, abdomen, chest and above her lips. However, if the hair growth in these areas resembles that of men and is of a dark and coarse nature, then it is indicative of a condition called hirsutism. This condition is characterized by excessive or unwanted hair in women.  

What Causes Facial Hair in Women?

You will become vulnerable to growing excess hair on your face and body if the level of male hormones rises above the normal level in your body. Your body produces male hormones called androgens in a small quantity. However, if you start producing excess amounts of these androgens due to a medical condition then you can end up having unwanted male characteristics like excess facial hair and a deep voice.

Common Cause of Facial Hair in Women

One of the medical conditions that causes hirsutism is known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In this condition, benign cysts form on your ovaries and disturb the production of hormones. This results in a decrease in your fertility and also affects the regularity of your menstrual cycles. According to National Institute of Health, if you are a patient of PCOS, then you can develop severe acne, weight gain and diabetes.

Hirsutism is a hereditary condition, so if anyone in your family suffers from it, then there is a high chance that you are going to end up having it as well. Moreover, you can also develop excessive facial hair if you take medications like cyclosporine, anabolic steroids, minoxidil and testosterone.     

Rare Causes of Facial Hair in Women

Adrenal gland disorders can also cause hormonal imbalances that can lead to excessive growth of facial hair in women. Adrenal cancer, Cushing’s disease, congenital adrenal hyperplasia and adrenal tumors can all affect your hormone production system and cause excessive facial hair.

How to Treat Excess Facial Hair in Women

Having understood the causes of excess facial hair in women, you must be wondering how to treat them. The following are some treatment methods that you can use for treating excess facial hair.

1. Home Care

Home care methods that can help in removing the unwanted facial hair in women include:

  • Using tweezers. You can make use of tweezers to pull the unwanted hair from your face. However, this method is only useful if you have a few of excess hair on your face. If you have facial hair on a larger area, then this method will notwork out so well.
  • Pruning. You can prune or shave the excess facial hair by using a razor or an electric shaver. It is an inexpensive method, but it has to be performed regularly since it only cuts the hair down to your skin’s surface.
  • Waxing. You can use waxing for removing excess hair from a large area. It involves use of wax as a means of getting rid of the unwanted hair for a long period of time, but it can be very painful and can cause skin irritation. 
  • Hair removing creams. Using hair removing creams perhaps is the most commonly used method to get rid of the excess facial hair in women. These creams are chemical depilatories that breakdown the hair shaft’s protein structure, thus destroying the hair. Make sure that you are not allergic to them before use.
  • Bleaching. If you find removing excess hair too taxing, then you can change their color by bleaching to make them less visible to the naked eye. However, bleaching can cause skin irritation, so testing it on a smaller area first is a good idea. 

2. Medical Treatments

Medical treatments that can help you in removing excess facial hair include:

  • Medications

Medications can take time to start producing results, but you will find them quite effective in stopping excess facial hair growth.



Oral Contraceptives

You can use birth control pills to contain the production of androgens in your body and stop the growth of unwanted facial hair. These contraceptives contain progestin and estrogen and can help you in getting rid of this issue. You might feel dizziness, stomach ache, nausea and headache because of using these medications. 



Anti-androgens like Spironolactone can be used to stop the growth of excess facial hair in women as well. These drugs prevent the androgens from attaching to their receptors and thus help you in controlling their affects on your body. Make sure that you make use of contraceptives when using these drugs to prevent any chance of pregnancy since these pills can result in birth defects.   

Topical Cream

You can make use of a topical cream like Eflornithine for getting rid of the excess facial hair. It is a prescription cream that can slow down the production of new facial hair but it is not going to have any effect on the unwanted hair that you currently have on your face.

  • Procedures

The following procedures can help in putting an end to unwanted growth of facial hair in women.




It is a process used for excess hair removal on a permanent basis. It involves insertion of a pin and subsequently passing electric current into each of the hair follicles. This damages the follicles and destroys them completely. Although it’s an effective method, electrolysis can be very painful and the use of a topical anesthetic is made prior to the procedure to reduce the pain.  

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy makes use of a highly concentrated beam of light or laser to destroy the hair follicles. It involves passing the laser beam over the skin that has excess hair. It is an effective but expensive treatment method for hair removal and can end up causing burns and skin redness.