top of page

Chin hair

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Some women report the development of chin hair as early as puberty while many women note these hairs poking out by their mid-30s. Although the variability in hormones throughout adulthood can contribute to chin hair development at any point, the persistence and gradual progression of dealing with ongoing growth is often consistently seen during perimenopause and progresses through menopause. The growth of chin hair is likely related to the actions of testosterone on the skin which is progressively less opposed by estrogen. Read more...
 

Topics

 

chin hair


Photo: Wix

Disclaimer: This page contains an affiliate link to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through this link.



What’s the story with chin hair?


The onset of chin hair growth in women can vary. Chin hairs are those coarse thick hairs that can grow from the chin concentrated around the curvature of the chin. These are referred to as terminal hairs given their coarse quality as opposed to vellus hairs which have a fine, peach fuzz characteristic to them.


Some women report the development of chin hair as early as puberty while many women note these hairs poking out by their mid-30s. Although the variability in hormones throughout adulthood can contribute to chin hair development at any point, the persistence and gradual progression of dealing with ongoing growth is often consistently seen during perimenopause and progresses through menopause. The growth of chin hair is likely related to the actions of testosterone on the skin which is progressively less opposed by estrogen.




Are chin hairs a sign of a hormonal abnormality?


Chin hairs are considered normal to see however the quantity, persistence, and age of onset can point to hormonal imbalances. Most patients I see in their 40s are navigating this frustrating finding that may not be overwhelming but is often described as “pesky” and “persistent”. When chin hairs are noted in patients in their teens, 20s, or 30s along with other signs of androgen excesses such as acne and hair loss along the scalp and potential changes in the menstrual cycle, evaluation for PCOS or an underlying metabolic syndrome may be indicated.



Video: Techei


What are the best methods to manage chin hair growth?


The challenge with chin hair growth is that it progresses over time. What you see at one point in time will likely progress. This makes methods such as hair lasers provide less than desirable yet pricey results.


There are several ways to approach chin hair broken down permanent removal, temporary methods of removal, and suppression of growth.




What are permanent hair removal methods?


Technically speaking, electrolysis is considered the only permanent method of hair removal. There are 2 forms: galvanic and thermolysis. In galvanic electrolysis, the hair follicle itself is destroyed by a current-induced chemical reaction. In thermolysis, a current is used to create heat in the follicle to destroy it. Because the hair follicle itself is destroyed, this is considered a permanent process for the hair follicles treated. The challenges faced by patients are that this is a tedious process, highly dependent on the expertise of the technician, variability from state to state in terms of regulations, and increasingly harder for my patients to find. I still tend to recommend electrolysis over other hair removal methods, especially for the chin, as it can produce the most satisfying long-term results. The reality is that new hairs may continue to develop as we age and become increasingly hard to keep up with. By gradually addressing these with electrolysis, I find many of my patients find this easier to keep up with. Bear in mind, as we get older, it is harder to visualize these small hairs with a tweezer with eyesight which makes it more challenging.


What are some temporary methods of hair removal to consider for chin hair?


The standard temporary methods of hair removal apply to chin hairs:

  • Plucking

  • Threading

  • Waxing

  • Shaving

  • Depilatory creams

For plucking, threading, and waxing, bear in mind that sometimes ingrown hairs can result in inflammation that triggers pigmentation along the chin.


Shaving works extremely well however some women still believe the myth that shaving makes hair grow back thicker. It doesn’t. There are some excellent methods of shaving these days that women find much simpler and faster than spending time with tweezers. Also, bear in mind that anti-aging creams will make your skin more sensitive to waxing and it is important to take a week off before use.

Depilatory creams are reasonable but exercise caution for the length of time applied as they can pose a significant risk for a chemical burn as they cannot tell the difference between the keratin in hair and skin. If you are using anti-aging creams, your skin will be far more sensitive to the effects of a depilatory cream. Take a week off from these creams a week before using a depilatory.



How can the growth of chin hairs be “suppressed”?


Traditionally there are two ways to suppress hair growth, topical or orally.

As of the writing of this article, the topical method may have been discontinued. Vaniqa cream, with the active ingredient eflornithine, was a prescription topical that could be used daily to make hair grow back at a slower rate. It was intended to be used in conjunction with other temporary methods of hair removal simply making the need to retreat the areas less frequent to make hair growth more practically manageable. There was variable success with this cream in practice. I found that some patients loved it and others found it was not effective for them.



In terms of oral medications, there is an oral prescription medication called Spironolactone. Although this is a blood pressure medication, it has been found to have androgen-blocking effects. I have many patients I manage on this medication that find success in reducing the volume of hair to manage along with improving the texture of hair to be less thick and lower the risk for ingrown hair. Some precautions need to be taken and discussion with your Dermatologist as to whether this is the right choice for you. The benefit of reduced hair growth on the upper lip and chin and improved growth in the scalp can give a favorable balance of hair growth many women are seeking.


chin hair


Comments


Get in the know!

Join our email list and get access to specials deals exclusive to our subscribers.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page