Many post-menopausal women find that their hair just won’t grow like it used to. The hair on their scalp thins, while the chin or upper lip sprouts patches of “peach fuzz.” These changes are very normal. In fact, one study found that almost 40% of women age 45 and older have grown an excess of facial hair, especially on the chin. And, according to another study, the older you get, the more likely you will experience some facial hair.
Causes of Unwanted Facial Hair After Menopause
Just like men, women have hair follicles all over their faces. However, for most women, these follicles grow tiny, soft hairs that are barely noticeable.
During menopause, a woman’s body stops circulating estrogen but continues to circulate the same amounts of testosterone. The imbalance of hormones causes the appearance of some male secondary sex characteristics, like coarse facial hair.
You should let your doctor know if your facial and body hairs are growing quickly. This might signal a more serious medical condition. Tumors of the ovaries or adrenal glands that produce testosterone could be stimulating your hair growth, or you may have Cushing syndrome, a disease in which the adrenal glands secrete excessive male hormones.
What Can I Do About Unwanted Facial Hair?
There’s nothing wrong or unhealthy about growing sparse facial hair. It is understandable that some women won’t welcome this change in appearance. Waxing, shaving, and tweezing are perfectly acceptable ways to deal with unwanted hairs.
Your doctor can also prescribe a topical cream to slow the growth, or refer you to a clinic that can perform electrolysis. Electrolysis eliminates hairs by killing hair follicles with a targeted electric current.