All About Excessive Hair or Hirsutism

All About Excessive Hair or Hirsutism

Excessive hair refers to a condition in which the body hairs in both women and men grow on the body parts that do not normally have such hairs including parts the chest and chin in women, as well as the face and the entire body (Van Zuuren & Fedorowicz, 2015). Excessive hair might additionally refer to a hair growth pattern in males that, in turn, indicates a serious health condition, particularly in instances where the growth is after adolescence. The condition has been attributed to increment in the hormonal changes, especially increment in androgen hormones. The Ferriman-Gallwey score is employed in the measurement of the location and amount of the hair. However, excessive hair should not be confused with hypertrichosis, which entails the growth of hair in any part of the body. Excessive hair tends to affect approximately 5% to 15% of the women throughout all ethnic backgrounds (Heidelbaugh, 2016). Moreover, reliant on the description along with the causal data, the extant approximates have shown that nearly 40% of women presently have some level of unnecessary facial hairs.


Excessive hair is mainly caused by hormonal changes, medications and genes. With regards to the genes, excessive hair condition has been observed to be genetic (Mimoto, Oyler & Davis, 2018). For instance, in case an individual’s parents have the condition, one is highly prone to also suffer from it. Moreover, the condition is widespread amongst individuals from regions like South Asia, the Middle East and Mediterranean (Heidelbaugh, 2016).

On the other hand, with regards to hormonal changes as the cause of Excessive hair condition, it can be noted that the condition has been linked to the excessive production of androgens. While its normal for women to produce androgens, increased levels of androgens causes excessive hair growth amongst other conditions (Mimoto, Oyler & Davis, 2018).

Lastly, a number of medications have been noted to bring about hormonal changes in an individual’s systems and these often result in the growth of hair on one’s face and body. Drugs such as anabolic steroids, Rogaine and Danocrine have been observed to spur hair growth as one of their side effects.

Signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of excessive hair include the growth of stiff and darker body hair that appear on parts of body that do not normally have hair including the back, chest and face (Heidelbaugh, 2016). In instances where the condition is as a result of excessive androgens production, other signs and symptoms might appear with time and may include balding, deepening of the voice, clitoris enlargement, decrement in the size of breast and acne (Mihailidis et al., 2017).


A number of ways of treating the excessive hair condition are available. Amongst the notable ways of treating the condition is weight loss. Overweight persons are highly prone to produce increased levels of androgens (Martin et al., 2018). Weight loss is, therefore, likely to result in production of less amount of androgens. Also, the excessive hairs can be removed through shaving. However, to prevent stubble growth, one might need to shave every day.

Further, a number of medications are also available and have been effective in altering the manner in which the body hairs grow (Mihailidis et al., 2017). For instance, the birth control pills are recommended as the lead to the production of less male hormones. The anti-androgen blockers may also be prescribed as they assist the body in the production and use of few male hormones.

Excessive Hair Self-care

Though excessive hair condition cannot be prevented, it is recommended that individuals who suffer from the condition should actively engage in activities that help them to lose weight, especially in instances where they suffer from overweight and polycystic ovary syndrome (Martin et al., 2018).


Heidelbaugh, J. J. (2016). Endocrinology Update: Hirsutism. FP essentials451, 17-24. 

Martin, K. A., Anderson, R. R., Chang, R. J., Ehrmann, D. A., Lobo, R. A., Murad, M. H., ... & Rosenfield, R. L. (2018). Evaluation and Treatment of Hirsutism in Premenopausal Women: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism103(4), 1233-1257. 

Mihailidis, J., Dermesropian, R., Taxel, P., Luthra, P., & Grant-Kels, J. M. (2017). Endocrine evaluation of hirsutism. International journal of women's dermatology3(1), S6-S10. 

Mimoto, M. S., Oyler, J. L., & Davis, A. M. (2018). Evaluation and Treatment of Hirsutism in Premenopausal Women. Jama319(15), 1613-1614. 

Van Zuuren, E. J., & Fedorowicz, Z. (2015). Interventions for hirsutism. Jama314(17), 1863-4. 

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