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Hair removal for women

One thing most women have in common is unwanted hair, whether it is growing on their legs, under their arms or around a bikini line. Some women may also have undesirable facial hair, sometimes due to genetics or medical conditions.

There is nothing wrong with hair growing in these areas but in many cultures women prefer to have smooth skin and choose to remove hair for cosmetic reasons. There are a number of methods available for removing unwanted hair. The type of hair removal method to choose will partially depend on where the unwanted hair is and on its texture.

What hair growth do most women want to remove?

Women often want to remove hair from normal areas of hair growth. Many ladies prefer to have smooth rather than hairy legs, especially when wearing a dress or skirt. They may also prefer to have no underarm hair while wearing sleeveless tops or dresses. Sometimes women want to have pubic hairs reduced so they aren't visible when wearing a swimming costume.

Some women feel their hair appears darker and thicker than normal, making the hairs more noticeable in exposed areas such as on the arms.

Excessive facial hair growth is common in women. Unwanted facial hair may be nothing more than a few stray eyebrow or chin hairs, but it may also occur as excessive growth on or around the chin, upper lip or cheeks. Eyebrows may be thick or extend across the bridge of the nose.

What causes excessive hair growth?

Some women naturally grow more hair than other women. Ethnic background may play a role - while Asian and Native American women may have less body hair than women of other ethnic backgrounds, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern women are more prone to having greater amounts of hair. Excessive hair may be soft and fine without pigmentation so it's not as noticeable to others, or it may be longer and darker than typically expected in women. Some women with excessive hair growth are embarrassed and it may even have a psychological impact.

In some cases the hair growth is more typical of how it grows in men, appearing on the face, neck, chest, abdomen and upper back. If this occurs before menopause, these women may have hirsutism, a condition in which they produce too much androgen, a type of male sex hormone. This excess hair growth can be linked to the medical condition polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or more rarely, if hirsutism is severe, to androgen-secreting tumours.

Excessive hair growth can also occur once a woman reaches menopause, when the balance of hormones changes.

What hair removal methods are available?

Some techniques are best for light hair without pigmentation, while other treatments are more suitable for thick, coarse hair. Listed here are the types of hair removal techniques and for which part of the body they are more suitable. Some of them work by removing hair at the surface of the skin, while others remove the hair at its roots.

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