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Chin Hair: 7 Embarrassing Red Flags No Woman Should Ever Ignore

littlethings.com logo littlethings.com 7/9/2019 Kate Taylor

© Getty A woman’s hair is her glory, or so the old expression goes. But while thick, healthy hair on your head is a badge of honor, it’s definitely an entirely different story when it’s growing from your chin.

While we all admittedly have hair that grows in embarrassing places, most of it is easily hidden, easily detected, and, most importantly, easily removed.

Chin hair, on the other hand, can go unnoticed for a long time, since it’s hard to spot without unnaturally straining your neck in the mirror.

The thought of whiskers growing on my chin never even occurred to me until I had a conversation with my friend, who was complaining about hers. Lo and behold, I discovered a few wisps of my own later that night.

Chin hair can be unsightly and embarrassing, but rest assured, almost all of us struggle with it at some point in our lives. However, it can sometimes be an indication of something more serious happening under the surface.

Here's what chin hair can say about your health:

Is It Normal To Have Chin Hair?

a close up of a logo: Is It Normal To Have Chin Hair? © Morgan Swofford for LittleThings Is It Normal To Have Chin Hair?

If you have a few stubborn whiskers, don’t worry, you aren’t alone!

Dr. Dendy Engelman tells Glamour that a few chin hairs are just part of the deal for most women. So don’t worry about those two bristly hairs that come in every month; they’re totally normal. However, if you’re dealing with more than the occasional stray strand, you may have “hirsutism.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, hirsutism is a condition where women grow stiff, dark body hair in atypical spots.

Hirsutism isn’t dangerous on its own, but it might indicate that your body is trying to tell you something about a bigger underlying health problem.

Chin Hair Cause #1: Genetics

Chin Hair Cause #1: Genetics © Morgan Swofford for LittleThings Chin Hair Cause #1: Genetics

Like many things in this life, chin hair can be a genetic trait. Dr. Hadley King tells Women’s Health Magazine that “chin hair results from a combination of genetics and hormones.”

If you’ve ever noticed chin hair on your grandma or mother, then you might notice the same thing on your own chin at around the same age.

Chin Hair Cause #2: Unbalanced Hormones

a drawing of a person: Chin Hair Cause #2: Unbalanced Hormones © Morgan Swofford for LittleThings Chin Hair Cause #2: Unbalanced Hormones

When your body acts strangely, the answer often has to do with your hormones. Chin hair is no exception. An overabundance of male sex hormones, called androgens, is sometimes to blame for those stubborn chin hairs.

It is normal to have both hormones present, but sometimes an imbalance can cause hair growth in areas usually designated for men.

Chin Hair Cause #3: Age

a drawing of a face: Chin Hair Cause #3: Age © Morgan Swofford for LittleThings Chin Hair Cause #3: Age

The balance of hormones in our bodies change throughout our lives. At menopausal age, women begin to produce less estrogen. If your chin-hair growth started around this phase in your life, it definitely has to do with the big changes your body is going through.

You might see it stabilize over time, or you might find that you need to do a little more plucking to keep things smooth.

Chin Hair Cause #4: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

a close up of a logo: Chin Hair Cause #4: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome © Morgan Swofford for LittleThings Chin Hair Cause #4: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

If age doesn’t explain your chin hair, it’s possibly a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.

PCOS can have a profound impact on your reproductive health and your hormones. The symptoms include irregular periods, trouble losing weight, infertility, and sometimes ovarian cysts.

Hirsutism is another side effect, so women with PCOS might discover more whiskers on their chin and jawline.

If the above symptoms describe you, talk to your doctor about the possibility of PCOS.

Chin Hair Cause #5: Cushing Syndrome

Chin Hair Cause #5: Cushing Syndrome © Morgan Swofford for LittleThings Chin Hair Cause #5: Cushing Syndrome

Excess chin hair can sometimes be linked to a condition called Cushing syndrome, according to the National Adrenal Diseases Foundation. This particular condition is caused by overexposure to the stress hormone cortisol. Either your adrenal glands are producing too much on their own, or their production is being accelerated by certain arthritis or asthma medications.

Excess hair is just one symptom of the condition, which is also characterized by stretch marks, weight gain, and in some cases, type 2 diabetes.

Talk to your doctor if you suspect you have symptoms.

Chin Hair Cause #6: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

a close up of a logo: Chin Hair Cause #6: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia © Morgan Swofford for LittleThings Chin Hair Cause #6: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Some chin hair is caused by congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a condition typically diagnosed at birth. According to Medline Plus, this birth defect occurs in about one in 15,000 children.

These people are missing an essential enzyme that secretes hormones from their adrenal glands. As a result, the body produces more male hormones, which triggers the growth of extra chin hair.

Chin Hair Cause #7: Pregnancy Or Birth Control

Chin Hair Cause #7: Pregnancy Or Birth Control © Morgan Swofford for LittleThings Chin Hair Cause #7: Pregnancy Or Birth Control

One of the biggest hormonal changes a woman’s body can undergo is pregnancy. Some unusual or excessive chin hair growth is nothing to be alarmed about for a pregnant woman.

Similarly, women using hormonal birth control might experience unusual hair growth due to the change that their body is undergoing.

These hormonal shifts are usually temporary, and the extra chin hair goes away when your body chemistry re-balances.

How Can You Get Rid Of Unwanted Chin Hair?

a drawing of a face: How Can You Get Rid Of Unwanted Chin Hair? © Morgan Swofford for LittleThings How Can You Get Rid Of Unwanted Chin Hair?

For many women, chin hair can help diagnose a serious illness. Still, that doesn’t mean she wants to leave it on her face!

The easiest way to remove chin hair is by simply plucking it, bleaching it, or waxing it off. More long-term solutions may involve laser removal, or for someone with a hormonal condition, speaking with a doctor about achieving a better balance.

Of course, don’t just pluck off the chin hair and move on if there’s a possibility you have a more serious condition. Go to a doctor!

Sometimes, a bristly hair is your body’s best way of alerting you to a dangerous problem.

Make sure to SHARE with everyone who could use a few of these tips!

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