What causes excessive hair growth and how to treat it?

Symptom Database

Excessive hair growth, also known as hirsutism, can be a distressing condition for both men and women. It can affect various parts of the body, including the face, chest, back, and limbs. While some hair growth is normal, excessive hair growth can be caused by a variety of factors. In this article, we will explore the causes of excessive hair growth and discuss various remedies and treatments to manage this condition.

Causes of Excessive Hair Growth

Excessive hair growth can have several underlying causes. Understanding these causes is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment. Here are some common factors that contribute to excessive hair growth:

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances, particularly an increase in androgen hormones, can lead to excessive hair growth. Conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and adrenal gland disorders can disrupt the hormonal balance in the body, resulting in hirsutism.


Genetics play a significant role in determining hair growth patterns. If excessive hair growth runs in your family, you may be more prone to developing hirsutism. This is especially true for individuals of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, or South Asian descent.


Certain medications, such as anabolic steroids, can cause excessive hair growth as a side effect. If you suspect that your medication is contributing to hirsutism, consult your healthcare provider for alternative options.

Medical Conditions

Underlying medical conditions, such as tumors or hormonal disorders, can trigger excessive hair growth. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional to rule out any potential medical causes for hirsutism.

Excessive Hair Growth in Women

Excessive hair growth in women, particularly on the face, can be emotionally distressing. It can impact self-esteem and confidence. If you are experiencing hirsutism, here are some remedies and treatments to consider:

Natural Remedies for Excessive Hair Growth

  • Spearmint tea: Drinking spearmint tea has been shown to reduce androgen levels, which can help manage excessive hair growth.
  • Turmeric: Applying a paste of turmeric and water to the affected areas can help inhibit hair growth.
  • Sugar waxing: Using a homemade sugar wax can effectively remove unwanted hair and slow down regrowth.

Medical Treatments for Excessive Hair Growth

If natural remedies do not provide satisfactory results, there are medical treatments available to manage excessive hair growth in women:

  • Topical creams: Prescription creams containing eflornithine can help slow down hair growth.
  • Oral contraceptives: Birth control pills can regulate hormone levels and reduce hirsutism in some cases.
  • Laser hair removal: This procedure uses laser technology to target and destroy hair follicles, resulting in long-term hair reduction.

Excessive Hair Growth in Men

Excessive hair growth in men is often considered normal, as it is a characteristic of male hormones. However, if you are concerned about the extent of hair growth or experiencing hirsutism-like symptoms, here are some solutions to consider:

Shaving and Trimming

Regular shaving or trimming can help manage excessive hair growth in men. It provides a temporary solution and helps maintain a well-groomed appearance.

Waxing or Depilatory Creams

Waxing or using depilatory creams can provide longer-lasting results compared to shaving. These methods remove hair from the root, resulting in slower regrowth.

Professional Hair Removal

If you desire a more permanent solution, professional hair removal options such as laser hair removal or electrolysis can be considered. These treatments target the hair follicles, resulting in reduced hair growth over time.


Excessive hair growth can be caused by hormonal imbalances, genetics, medications, or underlying medical conditions. It can affect both men and women, leading to emotional distress and a decrease in self-confidence. However, there are various remedies and treatments available to manage this condition. Natural remedies such as spearmint tea and turmeric can help reduce hair growth, while medical treatments like topical creams and laser hair removal offer more long-term solutions. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause of excessive hair growth and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Remember, managing excessive hair growth is possible, and with the right approach, you can regain your confidence and feel comfortable in your own skin.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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