Excessive hair growth, or hirsutism, is a condition where hair grows in the middle areas of the body. These areas include the chest, chin, abdomen, and the top area of the lip. There is a condition also known as virulism. This is when a woman begins to lose hair around the scalp line, the voice becomes deeper, and they lose any feminine curves they may have.
Some women believe that they have excess hair on their bodies, but it may be normal for their bodies to produce hair this way due to genetic factors. Nigerian women and other women of color are actually less susceptible to hirsutism than Caucasian women because they have fewer hair follicles.
How Hair Naturally Grows
Men and women have two different types of body hair. There are some hairs on the body that are fine. These hairs are known as vellus. These hairs are hard to see by the eye because they are colorless. The second type of hair on the human body is darker, thicker, and coarser. The hairs are known as terminal. Their growth can be affected by hormones in the body, particularly androgens.
There are two areas in the female body that produces androgens. The pituitary gland and the ovaries release this hormone at the time of puberty. This results in the arrival of terminal hair under the arms, on the arms and legs, and the pubic area.
When a woman has excessive hair growth, some of the hair follicles that produce vellus hairs may actually start producing terminal hairs. These hair follicles are usually prone to androgen sensitivity. Sometimes these terminal hairs do not return to a vellus state. A woman that has an extremely high level of androgen circulating throughout the body may also notice that her breasts are becoming smaller.
What Causes These Hair Conditions in Nigerian Women
As stated earlier, virulism and hirsutism can be caused by androgen sensitivity or by too much androgen secreting into the body. There have also been reports that some medicines can cause excessive hair growth in some women. There are other things that can cause this condition to occur on the body.
Your DNA is responsible for your height, eye color, and shape of your nose. It can also be responsible for the amount and type of hair growth you have on your body.
Menopause Can Affect Hair Growth
When a woman enters into menopause, the amount of estrogen that the body produces dramatically decreases, but the amount of androgen the body produces stays the same or even increases. This increase can affect the amount of terminal hairs that develop on the body.
Women who suffer from tumors on their ovaries, or on their pituitary gland have an increased risk of developing hirsutism or virulism. These tumors can also cause a female to develop a deeper voice.
How to Treat the Condition
Before you decide to treat any abnormal hair growth on your body, you should be diagnosed by your doctor because your treatment will be dependent on the cause of the hair growth. Once it has been determined that you do not have a tumor or other medical condition you can choose to:
- Use birth control – This eliminates the production of androgen by the ovaries.
- Use Spironolactone – This works well with birth control to block the development of terminal hairs.
- Shave, wax, or laser therapy – Meet with an expert that is knowledgeable about black skin.