The removal of excess facial, leg, underarm, chest and back hair has become increasingly more popular with both men and women as part of the standard grooming and hygiene process. This demand for proven methods of hair removal has brought about many new advances and improvements in effective hair removal.
Sometimes, though, hair can be an esthetic embarrassment because there is too much of it, or too much of it in the wrong place. For example:
- Visible hair above the upper lip or on the chin may be welcomed by a man, but be definitely unwelcome for a woman.
- Shaggy eyebrows may reinforce "character" for a man, but detract from the feminine character of a woman.
- Underarm (axillary) hair may be an esthetic negative for both men and women, depending on cultural and social circumstances.
- Sleek, hairless legs may be a necessity for a man or a woman whose social milieu demands the appearance influenced by cultural circumstance, advertising and mass media entertainment role modeling.
Hair in excessive amount or in an esthetically inappropriate site may be an indication of genetic inheritance (See Genes and Hair Growth and Hair Loss), or of a medical condition:
Defining Excessive Hair
- Hypertrichosis is a medical term for hair density and hair length that are abnormal for a person's age, sex and genetic heritage-for example, long, dense, shaggy hair on the body, face or limbs. Hypertrichosis is usually due to an underlying disease or other cause such as the effect of anti-cancer or other medications. It is distinct from hirsutism because hair growth is at sites not influenced by androgenic (male) hormones.
- Hirsutism is a condition of excess hair growth in women at sites where women typically have little or no hair (chin, above the upper lip, chest). Hirsutism is caused by a disease process such as polycystic ovaries or adrenal gland tumor that influences production of androgenic (male) hormones.
Hypertrichosis and hirsutism are conditions requiring medical diagnosis and treatment. Both conditions cause hair growth that may be removed by any of the hair removal techniques.
Neither hypertrichosis nor hirsutism is the cause of most esthetically embarrassing "misplaced" hair. Genetic heritage is the controlling factor in amount and placement of hair in the majority of adult men and women.