General Question

jca's avatar

Why do older women often get a lot of hairs on their chin and upper lip?

Asked by jca (36043points) March 20th, 2014

No, I don’t have hairs on my chin and upper lip. I don’t think I’m “of age” yet and thankfully, it’s not yet an issue. It doesn’t seem to happen to all women – not sure if it’s because it does happen to all and just that some “take care of it” or if it only happens to a select few.

I thought of this when visiting with a good friend this past weekend, and she had her cousin there, who seemed to be around mid-50’s. The cousin had major hair on her upper lip. It seems to be not necessarily related to the woman’s size (in other words, it’s not just overweight women who seem to have it).

What is that due to? Age? Hormones?

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11 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Reasons for facial hair growth in post-menopausal women

The short version; changes in levels of estrogen and androgen. It is not a weight-related issue. My mother was always very thin and grew a few chin hairs when she got old, easily removed with a tweezer.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@gailcalled It happens to a lot of women. A friend of mine is not menopausal or anything and she’s discovered a stray hair or two in unusual places. No big deal.

gailcalled's avatar

@KNOWITALL; You’re correct. It happens to pre-menopausal women also. But the hormone level shifts are the culprits. Odd hair sprouts also during and after pregnancy for the same reason. Some women will grow a few hairs or more than a few hairs around their nipples and in a line from the navel to the pubis…a little brown, downy line that often lingers.

herculies's avatar

Just use no no! It removes hair magically, using thermonuclearplasma rays.

I wonder at what point did the developers realize they had a great product… and then called it no no?

livelaughlove21's avatar

Hormones, of course.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ve had hairs on my upper lip for 30 years. Not a ton, but they are there and need to be dealt with. I get two on my chin. I really should go back for electrolysis. Facial hair on women is one of those taboo topics that when women admit they have to deal with it, 75% of the women are relieved other women have the same problem. I made up the 75% number, but many many women I know have to remove some hair on their face. Some people bleach it.

The direct answer is genes and hormones. Some medications can cause facial hair growth also.

Cruiser's avatar

I know my eyes are crap without glasses and trimming anything on my face is nearly impossible and glasses only let me see part of my face and I would probably pluck off my ear trying to pluck a hair back there. I say it is age and failing vision that women can’t see the hairs to be able to pluck them.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Good point. It’s not only “older women” that has excess facial/body hair problems. It’s just not generally something that is discussed.

GloPro's avatar

Oh My GOSH I have started growing whiskers when I hit 32. I don’t give a shit what you fluther think about me admitting it, although it is humiliating. My granny lost her mind a few years ago and my visions of her are all now centered around her being relegated to a corner with a pair of tweezers. Before I started growing these new old lady whiskers I would watch her from a distance… Feeling with her finger til she found one. They are easy to feel. Especially the thick, stubborn hairs that grow out of nowhere. She’d find it, then pluck it. Totally oblivious to me and everyone else watching. Almost obsessed, entertained. Now I look back on thinking how grotesque that was and I open my heart… Because I am just noticing my whiskers. And my loss of my mind.

rojo's avatar

Ok, I have an earlier post, one of my first, about female pattern baldness (which seems to occur in the area of the pubis) so I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that we are only allowed a certain number of productive hair follicles per body and since you are growing hair on your chin and upper lip, your body compensates by making your pubic hair thinner.

Same goes for males, we lose hair on our heads and it sprouts in our ears and on our backs.

Why? I haven’t a clue. But, to quote Loudon Wainwright III – “God works in wonderous ways”.

gailcalled's avatar

My women friends and I have discussed and joked about this for years. My mother used to pluck my grandmother’s facial hair, and my sister and I did it for my mother. I am hoping that my daughter will be there, tweezers at the ready, when I need it. Having no daughter, my daugher will have to make contingency plans. My sister does it for her 103-year-old former mother-in-law.

When I used to visit my mother at her independent living facility, I noticed that most of the women, the youngest being in her late seventies, had very visible peach fuzz on their faces. In assisted living and the
Alzheimer’s wings, there were more chin and cheek whiskers and wiry eyebrows.

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