Causes of Facial Hair in Women, Hormones, and DHEA

We have recently learned that smoking can increase facial hair in women.

The reason is smoking can lead to hormonal imbalances.

The following is a question presented to Dr. Leia on this topic and her answer provides steps women can take to rebalance their hormones.

Also, if you are a smoker, quitting smoking would be the first step.

Are there Herbal Remedies for Facial Hair?

Question for Dr. Leia: My question is about facial hair. I have a better beard and mustache than most men I know.

What are some of the best remedies that are herbal or medical to alleviate this problem?

facial hair treatmentI have read and head it was due to an overload of male hormones. Are there herbal remedies for excess facial hair? I would prefer an herbal holistic remedy.

I am trying to clear myself of being a so called lab rat or science experiment. I have also had a major head injury that brought me some serious times, seizures etc. They are not at all pleasant.

I have been emotionally distressed lately. I am sure stress can play a roll in this. Can you give me some advice please.

Balancing Male and Female Hormones

Dr. Leia’s Answer: The presence of facial hair on women can be extremely upsetting and can cause painful self-consciousnesses.

Barring ethnic and genetic causes, facial hair can be due to an imbalance between the female hormones and the male hormones or androgens in women.

Estrogen is a female hormone which is responsible for the feminine physical sex characteristics such as:

  • soft, smooth hairless skin
  • an hour glass shape
  • firm breasts
  • rounded hips
  • a soft higher pitched delicate voice
  • luxurious thick head hair

On the other hand, progesterone and testosterone, also present in a woman’s body are considered androgens which complement or balance out the estrogens.

These hormones can be measured with blood or saliva testing to determine if they are present in adequate amounts. Naturopathic doctors or a natural health care provider has access to ordering these important tests, especially the salivary hormone tests which can include the measurements for estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone.

DHEA Hormone for Women

dhea bottleDHEA is considered an adrenal hormone, which is an important hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Adrenal glands are responsible for the “flight or fright” hormones during trauma or when one is under extreme stress or duress. Presence of higher than normal levels of DHEA can also result in excess facial hair.

So, if you are taking hormones, and even over-the-counter DHEA, you might want to talk to your doctor about getting tested to see if your hormones are in balance.

I never recommend that a person take DHEA or other over-the-counter hormones without first getting tested to see what levels are present in the body before supplementing with any hormone.

Diseases that Cause Excess Hair Growth

There are some diseases or syndromes which can cause excess hair growth in women, and one of these is called Polycystic Ovary Disease or PCOD.

This disorder is characterized by excess facial hair, excess body hair, infertility, cysts on the ovaries, and glucose or blood sugar irregularities.

This is one of many different disorders which can affect the secondary sex characteristics of a person, so you can see that seeking the cause for your excess hair growth is important.

You mentioned being a “lab rat” or science experiment, so I suspect that you have had some other unusual symptoms of which the doctors have not been able to find the cause.

Stress is indeed, an important factor since the adrenal gland can be involved.

Testing for Hormonal Imbalances

So, you can that it is not that easy to just reach for an herbal remedy to help rid yourself of facial hair.

I would recommend that you visit your local Naturopathic doctor and see if you can be tested for any hormonal imbalances

In the mean time, there are superficial methods of hair removal such as waxing, depilatories, natural permanent hair removals that are said to work over time (which I have not tried), and re-growth retardants, etc.

After you have found the hormonal imbalances, your Naturopathic doctor will be better able to advise you if any herbs which contain phyto-estrogens are applicable to your situation, or any herbs that may be able to decrease the testosterone or DHEA levels if they are elevated.

Good luck in your endeavors.