Puberty:   we’ve all gone through it.  It’s a tough time, but tougher for some than others.

For girls, one of the many afflictions they can face is unexpected facial hair.  Male hair growth patterns in females is called hirsutism.  When it occurs in girls during puberty, it is almost always due to the body producing too many androgens (male hormones) or hair shafts being overly sensitive to androgens.  Either way, it is hormonal.

In its mildest form, pubescent hirsutism can present as dark hair on the upper lip, upper cheeks, on the forehead and between the eyebrows.  In more aggressive cases, the hair might be thick and coarse, covering the chin, cheeks and neck much like one would see on an adult male.  The hair may also present itself on the chest, breasts, arms, buttocks or upper back.

For a thirteen year-old girl, pubescent hirsutism can be traumatic, especially in this age of Facebook and Instagram where appearance is everything.  Without support and understanding, pubescent hirsutism nearly always leads to more insidious problems such as low self-esteem, under-performance and school or depression.

Teenage facial and body hair is however completely manageable and very, very common.  Around one in four girls will experience at least a mild form of pubescent hirsutism.  While around one in 100 will need to pluck or shave each day.

Despite being a common condition, girls rarely discuss it with friends or parents.

So what can you do?  That’s very simple.  First if you are a concerned mom or dad, my suggestion: normalize it for them.  Once the subject is out in the open, you should then take her to your GP to ensure there are no other factors contributing to her hair growth, e.g. PCOS.

Only when you’re satisfied that it’s just a case of simple hormonal activity, should you consider having the symptoms treated by a hair removal clinic.

As a hair removal technician, if your daughter wishes a treatment, I will do my utmost to achieve the result she desires.  It is just as important that you continue to remind her, she is perfect just as she is.