Excess or unwanted hair growth can be an irritating or downright embarrassing problem for women. Many women spend countless hours and a small fortune putting themselves through torturous hair removal techniques, only to watch the hair reappear. This can be frustrating, but in some cases unwanted hair is not just a cosmetic concern, but a sign of an underlying hormonal imbalance that needs to be addressed.

Whether your issue is a few random chin hairs, widespread body hair or a female “mustache,” it’s important to pay attention to any changes in your hair growth and tune into what your body is trying to tell you. If your unwanted hair is hormonal, a natural approach can help restore balance and keep those excess hairs at bay.

How much hair is too much hair?

Our attitudes about how much hair is acceptable or attractive on women are largely cultural, and we want women to feel comfortable in their skin — hairy or not! Some women are naturally more hairy due to their genetic makeup, others less-so. Whether you choose to remove your natural hair or let it grow is a personal choice.

But if you’ve experienced a change in your hair growth, such as thicker, darker or more widespread hair, it’s a good idea to take a look at what might be causing your hair growth.

What causes unusual hair growth?

Excess hair in women usually appears on the face, chin, chest, nipples or genital regions. Men are naturally more hairy in these areas, leading many women to believe that the “male” hormone testosterone causes their own excess hair growth. But the real cause of excess hair growth in women is more complicated than testosterone production alone.

All women produce testosterone, although typically in smaller amounts than men. Whether or not testosterone will trigger excess hair growth in any particular woman depends not just on her amount of circulating testosterone, but also her hair follicles’ androgen sensitivity, her insulin sensitivity, and the balance of testosterone among the body’s other hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

Women transitioning through perimenopause and menopause are particularly prone to increased hair growth because of hormonal shifts that disrupt the balance among testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. If you’re over 35 and experiencing changes to your hair growth there’s a good chance that this is a sign of perimenopause or menopause.

Another factor in unwanted hair growth is insulin resistance, caused by years of poor nutrition and diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Insulin is one of your body’s “major” hormones and is involved in the metabolism of glucose — if you are insulin resistant your body loses its ability to respond to glucose and properly metabolize food. Insulin resistance also makes it impossible for your body to balance its “minor” hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

Insulin resistance is often associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), so it’s no wonder that one of the common symptoms of PCOS is excess facial hair. Women with PCOS have ovaries that create an abundance of follicles each month without producing an egg. We've found that PCOS responds well to the same natural approach that helps reverse insulin resistance, including dietary changes, medical-grade nutritional supplements and endocrine support. This approach is also helpful in moderating the hormonal fluctuations that occur during perimenopause and menopause.

We’ve had great success in helping women restore hormonal balance with our natural approach. For women whose excess or unwanted hair growth is hormonal, our approach can help reduce or eliminate excess hair, without the pain and discomfort of hair removal treatments.