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What Causes Facial Hair After Menopause

Can Hair Turn Grey Overnight

Hair loss & facial hair during the menopause – The Menopause Minutes

Stress can cause the life cycles of different hair follicles to synchronize and enter their shedding phase together. This results in hundreds of older, more pigmented hairs falling out at the same time, to produce a rapid, noticeable thinning.

What remains are the finer, less pigmented hairs in the earlier stages of their current life cycle which suddenly become more noticeable.

This phenomenon, known as telogen effluvium, can cause someone to look noticeably greyer within a short period of time the source of tales about someone turning grey from shock overnight.

Here are 10 tips for improving your thinning or graying hair.

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Common Menopause Skin And Hair Changes

These are the most common changes people can expect in their skin and hair post-menopause.

Sagging and loss of plumpness

Collagen is a protein that holds the bodys tissues together. And when estrogen drops, your skins collagen production decreases, too. Loss of collagen means the skin loses its youthful volume and tightness.

To combat this problem, many people take collagen supplements or eat high-collagen foods like bone broth. But the jury is still out on this strategy. We dont have enough controlled studies to prove that consuming collagen will help post-menopausal skin, Dr. Williams says.

Dont give up, though. You can help fight collagen loss at home with a simple facial massage. Dr. Williams recommends taking your favorite moisturizer or facial oil and giving yourself a facial rubdown each night. The massaging motion stimulates your skins collagen production, she says.

Dryness, flakiness and itching

If you see redness or rashes, see your doctor. A dermatologist can rule out issues like eczema, rosacea or allergic reactions and help you find a solution.

Dark spots

Those pesky dark marks, sometimes called age spots, often appear after menopause and theyre hard to treat at home.

Unwanted facial hair

As hormones shift, you may notice hair on the upper lip or chin. If you want it gone, the tried-and-true methods of tweezing, waxing, hair removal creams and threading will get rid of it until it grows back.

Post-menopause acne breakouts

Hair loss and thinning

How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done

The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:

  • Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
  • Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
  • Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
  • Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.

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% Of Women Experience Excess Growth Of Facial Hairs

On the bright side, there are some treatment options to stop hair growth. If the facial hairs are excessive and disturbing, you might use a topical cream that slows hairs growth. Other treatments include waxing, electrolysis that destroys hairs follicles or laser hair removal. We say, get rid of the unwanted facial hair and dont think of them ever again!

Facial Hair In Menopause: Whats Happening

Hair loss after hysterectomy  Get to know the facts ...

There are two kinds of facial hair. Vellus hair is that short, soft, nearly not-there hair that children and women have. Terminal hair is longer, darker, thicker, and generally found on mens faces.

Estrogen keeps hair finer, softer, and lighter. Coarser, darker, thicker hair is the result of testosterone. In perimenopause and menopause, estrogen diminishes, but womens testosterone levels may not. The higher ratio of testosterone to estrogen can cause these annoying outcroppings of male-like hairs to sprout.

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Treatment Of Hirsutism In Women

Treatment and management will depend on the underlying cause. In addition to your usual doctor, you may need specialist doctors such as an endocrinologist and a gynaecologist.Treatment options may include:

  • medications to block the effects of androgens
  • anti-androgen medications to reduce your bodys ability to make androgens
  • medications to help block the manufacture of androgens in the ovaries, such as the oral contraceptive pill
  • insulin medications, if hyperinsulinaemia is present
  • surgical removal of an adrenal or ovarian tumour
  • for women who need contraception and help with menstrual cycle control, six months treatment with the oral contraceptive pill can significantly reduce excess hair growth.

Menopause And New Facial Hair: Oh Pluck This

Lets talk facial hair. We know you dont want to the sudden outcropping of chin foliage at menopause is one of the most taboo of subjects in an area thats pretty overrun with shame and stigma already.

So lets start with the science and ease our way in to the hairy stuff: there are two kinds of facial hair. Vellus hair is that short, soft, nearly not-there hair children and women have. Terminal hair is longer, darker, thicker, and generally worn on a mans face.

Except at menopause.

Who gets what re: facial hair is determined mostly by our hormones. More estrogen gets you the finer, softer, lighter stuff. More testosterone, the heavier kind. In perimenopause and menopause, estrogen diminishes, but the small amount of testosterone womens bodies produce may not.

Testosterone converts to dihydrotestosterone , which results in the coarser, darker hairs many menopausal women see suddenly sprouting on their upper lip, chin, and jaw line.

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Sun Protection Is A Must

No matter what your skin challenges are, sunscreen is your friend. Slather it on every day, all year round. Sun protection can ward off signs of aging and prevent skin cancer.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen thats SPF 30 or higher. Choose one you like so youll be more likely to apply it every morning. If youre going to be outside, reapply every two hours or after swimming, sweating or toweling off.

The suns rays age your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer, Dr. Williams says. Even in the winter, UV rays penetrate the clouds.

Permanent Hair Removal Methods

Facial Hair: Be Gone!

Nowadays youll find a wide range of devices and salon services for light-based hair removal. All methods will leave your skin smooth and hair-free, yet how do you decide between laser and IPL hair removal methods? IPL and Laser processes slowly weaken the follicles and in time the hair becomes thinner and eventually, it stops growing. The key difference between them is the type of light. IPL is a broadband pulsed light source, whereas laser is a monochromatic coherent light source. Both methods target the melanin in the hair follicle and permanent results can be expected from both. Professional laser treatment is working more selective and therefore the very high energy will focus on the hair follicle rather than the surrounding skin. Therefore Professional laser will lead to fast results as well as being suitable to darker skin tones. Energy, frequency and hair colour are all determining factors in the efficacy of the treatment, while the light source, whether it is a laser or an intense pulsed flashlight plays a minor role.

Although devices sold for at-home are quite popular, machines found in professional clinics can reach higher levels of intensity and are more effective. Facial hair has a different cycle of growth and multiple sessions are required to target all the follicles while theyre in a growing phase.

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Female Facial Hair And Acne Breakouts

Acne and facial hair are both caused by increases in the male hormone androgen during puberty. Women generally only experience acne as their bodies develop into adulthood, and the appearance of thick or dark hair on the chin may indicate an abnormally high level of androgen.

Most of these breakouts appearance on the face of some women may be hormonal, stress-induced or due to resistant bacteria. If you are a woman with excessive chin hair, this may also be a symptom of an underlying condition.

According to studies, underlying stress can make the general health of skin to decline and this may cause a heightened sensitivity to acne-producing bacteria or an excess of sebum, which clogs your pores and traps acne-causing bacteria under your skin.

Women in their 30s who have facial hair and acne may also have Cushings syndrome, in which their body makes too much cortisol, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Causes Of Hirsutism In Women

Some of the possible causes of hirsutism in women include:

  • polycystic ovary syndrome about nine in 10 women with hirsutism have PCOS
  • androgen-secreting tumour an abnormal growth on the ovary or the adrenal gland that produces androgens
  • Cushings syndrome the umbrella term for a collection of hormonal disorders characterised by high levels of the hormone cortisol
  • adrenal hyperplasia a group of disorders in which adrenal gland hormones are produced in the incorrect amounts
  • hyperinsulinaemia the overproduction of the hormone insulin, usually linked with diabetes
  • hyperprolactinaemia abnormally high levels of the hormone prolactin, which is normally associated with breastfeeding
  • certain medications for example, anabolic steroids cause unwanted hair growth as a side effect
  • uncommonly, anorexia nervosa, hypothyroidism and acromegaly.

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The Womens Health Network Approach

How much hair you choose to keep and where you keep it are personal decisions. Many studies have shown that natural hair growth ranges widely in amount and thickness, largely due to our genetic makeup, and where our ancestors came from. Whether you accept your natural hair growth or if you feel more confident without it, making the choice yourself can be liberating.

If you have a rapid amount of sudden hair growth, especially alongside other health concerns, speak with your healthcare practitioner about a possible underlying hormonal and chemical imbalance. Its another opportunity to improve your total health and to feel beautiful, inside and out.

1 Goodheart, H. 2008. eMedicine Hirsutism. URL: .

2Jankovic & Jankovic. 1998. The control of hair growth. Dermatol. Online J., 4 , 2. URL: .

3Angier, N. Woman: An Intimate Geography, 2022, 2324. NY: Houghton Mifflin.

4American Academy of Family Physicians. 2007. Hirsutism . URL: .

5 Barclay, L. 2006. Modified FerrimanGallwey score may define hirsutism. URL: .

6 Slater, W., & Dunne, N. 2007. Metformin for PCOS: Discover the benefits and side effects of Glucophage. URL: .

Menopause And Facial Hair Now Theres Help

Menopause: Embarrassing Questions Answered

I will never forget the first time I felt it a hair. Poking out from my chin. As if perimenopause had not visited enough indignities upon me, now I was growing a beard. I briefly thought about joining a circus, but thought better of it and plucked the offender with a pair of tweezers.

Another of our goddesses, petite and gorgeous, shared at an annual meeting that her son caught her plucking an errant menohair one day. Nice beard, Mom, he quipped. It felt like a new low.

After a couple of years, I no longer needed the tweezers. It just went away, like so many of the unwanted menopause symptoms. I am happy to report that there is now a product that just might help perimenopausal women past the bearded lady stage more easily. Enjoy this guest blog by the kind folks at Inhibitif. And be sure to enter to win a free bottle -details at the end of the post.

Menopause and Facial Hair Why Inhibitifs Face Serum Can Help For many menopausal women, an increase in unwanted facial hair is common. About 30 percent of women report unwanted hair on the face. This increase is typically called hypertrichosis, and is seen in areas where visible hair is usually seen in men. The hairs themselves have always been there, but as a result of hormonal changes related to menopause, they are brought up to the surface.

Inhibitifs Face Serum:

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And When Its On Your Face It Can Make You Feel Very Self Conscious

So if you find yourself reaching for the tweezers a little more often or are noticing hairs sprouting where hairs never sprouted before, youre certainly not alone. But that doesnt make you feel any better when youre sitting in a meeting absently feeling your chin for beard.

As with most menopausal symptoms, facial hair differs from woman to woman some might not get any, others just a few stray ones here and there, while others still can discover quite heavy growths.

What causes it?

As with most things menopause, your hormones are the culprit for this excess hair. Your facial hair is controlled by a hormone called dihydrotestosterone which in turn is kept in check by your oestrogen dominating your testosterone levels. However, when your oestrogen levels drop during menopause, your DHT levels can go up, increasing the presence of DHT in your hair follicles.

How can I get rid of it?

Dont panic, as there are plenty of options if you have facial hair thats bothering you.

Laser hair removal

Jo Martin, Aesthetic Consultant at Martin-Stapleton Consulting Ltd, explains:

Laser hair removal is not necessarily permanent and some people prefer to call it laser hair reduction, as you may need to continue the treatments in the long term.

The plucking rule

Lasers only work on hair which contains pigment, because it absorbs the laser light and allows the heat to build up and diffuse throughout the whole follicle to destroy it.

What Changes Will You Make

Now that you know what to expect, you also know theres a lot you can do to diminish these changes. If all this seems overwhelming, a board-certified dermatologist can create an effective treatment plan that delivers noticeable results.

ReferencesHall G and Phillips TJ. Estrogen and skin: The effects of estrogen, menopause, and hormone replacement therapy on the skin. J Am Acad Dermatol 2005 53:555-68.

Kunin A. Menopause and your skin: There is something you can do. In: Kunin A. DERMAdoctor: Skinstruction manual. Simon & Schuster, United States of America, 2005:339-45.

Neder L and SebastiĆ£o Freitas de M. Topical estradiol does not interfere with the expression of the metalloproteinase-1 enzyme in photo exposed skin cells. An. Bras. Dermatol. 2012 87:70-5.

White GM and Cox NH Disorders of hair. In: White GM and Cox NH. Diseases of the skin: A color atlas and text Mosby Elsevier, China, 2006:588-9.

Yaar M, Gilchrest BA. Aging of skin. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008:967-8.

Zaulyanov-Scanlan L. Hormones and aging skin. In: Baumann, L. Cosmetic Dermatology. McGraw Hill Medical, China, 2009:29-31.

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The Menopause Can Cause A Change In Hair Growth But Getting Hormone Balance Right And Some Simple Tips Can Help

Along with the hot flushes and unwanted weight gain can also come a change in your facial and head hair.

Ironically your eyebrows get thinner, due to falling oestrogen levels and raised androgens and low progesterone around the menopause, but you also start growing hair.

Unfortunately it is not long, glossy and on your head, but tends to be of the strong, wiry type on your chin or upper lip and that is more difficult to deal with.

What causes it?

We are back to our old friend hormone balance as it is related to oestrogen dominance, the decline of progesterone and the rise in production of male hormones known as androgens.

These stimulate facial hair growth, especially on the chin, and there is also a genetic component if there is a previous history of this in the women in your family.

Treatment options

The first sight of a hair sends most of us straight to the tweezers, wax or to a beautician for electrolysis. Certainly the occasional one can be plucked and despite the old wives tales, it wont grow back any thicker.

For most of us the first thought to just get rid of it and there are a number of options for this.

Basically if you are starting to have a number of wiry hairs on your face you may want to think about waxing, depilation or epilators or for a long-lasting solution laser treatment is effective.

4 ways to deal with it more naturally

4 Drinking spearmint tea twice a day can help too as it reduces androgens and so leads to less hair growth.

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Banishing Unwanted Facial Hair In Menopause

The production of the “female hormones” oestrogen and progesterone drops as the ovaries slow down, but so does the production of other hormones such as testosterone.

One of the clearest signs of ageing is changes to the hair on your head and body, which may thin or turn grey as hair follicles begin to produce less of the colour pigment, known as melanin.

However, there is no hard or fast rule for how quickly people age or how their internal changes will show externally on their bodies.

Nearly everyone has some hair loss with ageing the rate of hair growth slows as some hair follicles stop producing new hair altogether.

Many women will also notice their facial hair getting coarser, especially on the chin or upper lip. Sigh.

But, will you really go bald down there?

“I’m not aware of any scientific evidence in that area,” Professor Martha Hickey, who works in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Royal Women’s and Mercy hospitals, told Mamamia.

“I’m not sure of any scientific research that has tracked pubic hair through menopause and beyond.

“Does it matter?”

Well, no. Not at all. But for some women who’ve carefully tended their ‘lady gardens’ for a lifetime, the thought of never pruning it again might come as a relief.

As one Mumsnet user quipped:

“But doesn’t it relocate to one’s chin? Not a perk!”

So, in conclusion, you may well notice some changes to the hair on your head and other parts of the body, but there’s no hard and fast rule.

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Why Do Women Get Facial Hair

Excessive or unwanted hair that grows on a womans body and face is caused by hirsutism, a common condition that affects 5-10% of women. Hirsutism is defined as the presence of disproportionate male-type hair in some areas of a womans body .

Having excess body hair can often generate a sense of self-consciousness and even guilt, but does not pose any immediate danger. Still, a womans health may be at risk due to the underlying hormonal imbalance that causes the condition.


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