Pubescent Hirsutism | Facial Hair in Tweens and Teenage Girls

Man Thing, Rockhampton AU

Facial Hair in Teenage Girls

Puberty. We've all gone through it. It's a tough time, but tougher for some than others. For girls, one of the many afflictions they can face is unexpected facial hair.

Human Hair Growth Patterns
Hair Growth Patterns of the Human Body

Male hair growth patterns in females is called hirsutism.

When it occurs in girls during puberty, it is almost always due to the body producing too many androgens (male hormones), or hair shafts being overly sensitive to androgens. Either way, it is hormonal.

In its mildest form, pubescent hirsutism can present as dark hair on the upper lip, upper cheeks, on the forehead, and between the eyebrows. In more aggressive cases,the hair might be thick and coarse, covering the chin, cheeks, and neck much like one would see on an adult male. Coarse hair, usually pubic in appearance, may also present on the breasts, arms, buttocks, or back.

For a thirteen year old girl, pubescent hirsutism can be traumatic, especially in this age of TikTok and Instagram where appearance is everything. Without support and understanding, pubescent hirsutism nearly always leads to more insidious mental health issues such as low self-esteem, under-performance at school, or depression.

How rare is unexpected facial and body hair in girls?

Teenage facial and body hair is completely manageable, and very, very common. Around 1 in 4 girls will experience at least a mild form of pubescent hirsutism, while around 1 in 100 will need to pluck or shave each day.

Unfortunately, despite it being a common condition, girls rarely discuss it with friends or parents, because it is perceived as un-feminine. In turn, this perception only causes the subject to be driven further underground, and thus the public support network is virtually zero. So essentially, if the girl having issues is your daughter, it's entirely up to you.

puberty is a difficult time for tweens and teenage girls with unwanted facial hair and acne.

Equally, if you're a girl with the abovementioned symptoms who just happened to Google this page out of sheer desperation, go talk to your Mum or Dad. Right now. Show them this page, tell them you're sad, then sit down and talk about it openly.

It is absolutely vital for both parents and teenagers to understand that pubescent hirsutism is only a condition, not a disease or disorder. The body is simply trying to create the amount of genetic materials, via hormones, that it needs to help the body grow during puberty.

Appreciate also that puberty is an explosive process. Some people's bodies get it right, while most bodies get it wrong. For years, our bodies can over-produce, which is why teenage kids come in all shapes and sizes, but generally most of them balance out just fine in the end.

First, if you are a concerned Mum or Dad, my suggestion is to tell your daughter exactly what I've written above. Normalise it for them.

So, what can you do? Well, that's very, very simple.

PCOS versus IPL laser hair removal
PCOS versus Light-Based Hair Removal

Once the subject is out in the open, you should then take her to your GP to ensure there are no other factors contributing to her hair growth, e.g. PCOS.

Only when you're satisfied that it is just a case of simple hormonal activity, should you consider having the symptoms treated by a dedicated hair removal clinic.

As a hair removal technician, if your daughter wishes a treatment, I will do my utmost to achieve the result she desires. However, as her parent, it is just as important that you remind her throughout that she is perfect just as she is.

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