No matter how widespread the perception that only men have beards is, the fact is that women also have hair on their faces.
All women have hair on their face and body, but it is usually very thin and light in color, making it harder to notice. Women with darker hair typically have more problems, unlike those with lighter pigment or blonde hair.
Many health issues can also lead to beard growth in women. Today we’ll talk about how women get facial hair.
Table Of Contents
What Is the Bearded Lady Syndrome
Male sex hormones (androgens) are also present in women but much smaller quantities. However, there are conditions in which the amount of androgens increases, which mainly causes the appearance of beards on women’s faces. Increased androgen levels can also result in hair loss in men and women.
Excessive hairiness in women is called hirsutism and most often affects the area above the lips, chin, chest, shoulders, etc. Hair growth on a woman’s face and body usually occur due to increased androgens in the ovaries. Ovarian cysts most often characterize this phenomenon, and other symptoms include obesity, irregular menstrual cycle, menstrual pain and pain in the lower abdomen, glucose intolerance, more pronounced PMS, and infertility.
Hormonal changes in menopause and pregnancy can lead to hirsutism as well. And while a simple disposable razor could be a solution, it’s not that simple in some cases.
Reasons That Cause Beard Growth in Women
Hirsutism is the appearance of hairiness in women on the so-called androgen-sensitive areas (earrings, cheeks, chin, around the areola of the breast, chest, midline of the abdomen, gluteal regions, and the upper third of the thigh from the inside), i.e., places where hair does not usually appear in women. At the same time, it is generally found in men and represents a secondary sexual characteristic of the male sex.
Hirsutism can be a consequence of increased androgen production, increased androgen biological activity, increased androgen metabolism to androgen-potent metabolites, decreased androgen metabolic clearance, increased target tissue sensitivity to testosterone.
Diseases and disorders that lead to hirsutism are ovarian disorders (polycystic ovary syndrome, hypertrichosis, tumors), adrenal disorders (Cushing’s syndrome, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, cancer, tumors), idiopathic hirsutism, diphtheria, diphtheria, diphtheria, androgens, etc.), and acromegaly.
In addition to all the listed regions of increased hairiness, virilization can also occur. Virilization implies the appearance of frontal baldness, male habitus, breast atrophy, deepened voice, clitoromegaly (enlargement of the clitoris), and psychological changes (increased libido and aggressive behavior). As a rule, virilization is present only in women with very pronounced hirsutism and is a sign of markedly increased testosterone production.
It is set based on the clinical picture and determination of hormone levels in the blood. Ultrasound examination of the ovaries is critical in diagnosing tumors, while CT (scanner) and NMR (magnetic resonance imaging) are the safest for detecting adrenal tumors.
Polycystic ovaries are women’s most common hormonal disorder syndrome and, unfortunately, the most common cause of ovulation failure. Also, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of hirsutism.
The human body needs “female” and “male” hormones to function correctly. Women who suffer from polycystic ovaries have a disorder or imbalance, and they have too many “male” hormones, which leads to ovarian problems. The most common symptoms are the absence of menstruation, irregular menstruation, and cysts on the ovaries in the so-called “pearl” sequence.
Unfortunately, polycystic ovary syndrome cannot be cured entirely, but it can be treated and resolved.
Symptoms may include weight gain and gradual fat accumulation in the abdomen and waist. You may also notice that your hair is falling out or that the hair amount is increasing elsewhere in your body. Acne, dark spots and oily skin can also indicate polycystic ovaries and reduced menstruation or their complete absence.
Hormones are responsible for many essential processes in our body. When hormones go out of balance, the symptoms can significantly vary. Hormonal imbalance can cause serious complications, so it is crucial to start with adequate treatment as soon as possible.
When a person experiences a hormonal imbalance, they produce too much or too little of a particular hormone. Even small changes can have severe effects on your entire body. Especially if you are pregnant – when your hormones work harder, don’t worry if you notice excess facial hair. This is a temporary phenomenon.
Also, some drugs can increase androgens in the blood, especially anabolic steroids used by athletes and bodybuilders, hormonal contraception, drugs for endometriosis, and specific hormone therapies.
Fertility treatments can cause multiple cysts in the ovaries, called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. These cysts usually go away after your period or after a pregnancy.
Another cause could be Cushing’s syndrome, which can be caused by taking too many corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone and prednisolone. Such drugs are often used in the treatment of asthma or rheumatoid arthritis.
Some women use beard vitamins consumption to grow a beard purposefully.
In addition to the “polycystic ovary,” other causes can generate undesirable hair growth, such as tumors or cancer of the adrenal glands and tumors of the ovary.
Each month during the menstrual cycle, a follicle (where the egg is developing) grows in the ovary. Most months, an egg is released from this follicle, called ovulation. If the follicle fails to break open and release an egg, fluid remains within the follicle and forms a follicular cyst.
Ovarian cysts are more common from puberty to menopause and less common after menopause. If they happen, beard growth may be present.
Sometimes, it is not even a life choice or health problem. Sometimes you’re just born with it. Check out the women in your family. If they have a couple of bushes, the same fate will likely befall you in specific years. The chances are 50% that an heir will inherit the bearded lady syndrome.
Treatments for Bearded Women
If increased hair amount in a woman occurs due to a hormonal disorder, it is necessary to carry out hormone therapy. The decision on which medication and creams will be included in the treatment is made EXCLUSIVELY by specialist doctors and should not be carried out on your own because not every treatment is successful for every patient!
Several items are taken into account, from what exactly led to the problem, through the density and number of hairs, their pigmentation, the area affected and where it is located, the thickness of the hair, and its color.
The good news is that the problem of increased hair loss can be solved, but persistence and appropriate therapy are needed.
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills can treat the most common hormone imbalance that leads to hair growth. Such medications will lower androgens and hence lower beard growth in women. More than half the women who experience excessive hair growth around the body have thanked birth control pills for solving their problems. Of course, it is highly recommended to take a piece of advice from a doctor first.
Laser facial epilation is an excellent choice for girls with beards in the long run. It is effective and safe to remove hair from earrings, locks, eyebrows, and other face parts without side effects during depilation or shaving. Both girls with beards and men are candidates for laser facial hair removal, i.e., anyone who has a lot of unwanted hair on different regions of the face.
Speaking of lasers, there are laser combs designed for women who wish to have a fuller beard. A laser comb is ideal for those who have irregular beard growth.
Waxing removes the facial hair most finely. Apart from removing the hair, the skin remains smooth and soft. Also, the dead skin is being removed in the process as well.
Today, beauticians offer many types of hair removal in salons. It is essential to choose the one that suits you and your skin the most. Certain skin types prefer waxing with warm or cold wax.
The easiest and fastest way to get rid of unwanted hair is to shave. However, this is undesirable, especially on the face. The fact is that as a result of shaving, the hair becomes thicker and darker and thus grows more intensely.
On the other hand, if the beard is still weak, you can decide between shaving gel and cream, a razor for sensitive skin (very important), and a moisturizing aftershave. This shall do the trick just fine.
Warm wax in combination with depilatories is most often used for facial depilation because it is more effective on such small areas as earrings, chin, or cheeks. The lower part of the eyebrows can also be depilated. Facial depilation must be done before cosmetic treatment because it causes mild redness.
Depilation can be painful when you do not do it regularly or do it for the first time. The face should be waxed for three to four weeks, as long as it takes for the hair to grow and get enough length.
Hirsutism is usually a chronic problem. There are many ways to remove or treat unwanted hair without constant shaving and medication. For example, weight loss in overweight women can reduce hair growth. Physical activity also creates a better hormonal balance and therefore reduces hair growth.
In short, a healthier and more active lifestyle will lead to a more beneficial organism which will reduce hirsutism.
Most Popular Bearded Women
Little Bear Schwarz
This lady is an entertainer, mainly an opera singer, writer, and spoken word artist. When Bear was fourteen, she noticed how her facial hair grew rapidly. Naturally, at that age, she tried everything to prevent it from happening and hence had tried various methods.
But after many years of shaving, she has embraced the beard after winning the girly beard contest. After that, Bear has posted various pictures with her decorated beard on the internet. She named herself “Bearded Bear.”
Rose Geil is a girl hiding from the world but decides not to hide anymore and show herself. According to herself, her condition is due to a combination of polycystic ovary and genetics. When she was 13 years old, Rose Geil noticed that her face had excess hair, and since then, she had to fight so that she did not show it.
Years passed when Ella Rose had to shave every day, and she struggled to hide her condition. But today, at 39 years of age, she wanted to put aside all taboos and show herself as she is.
Rose stopped buying razors, and now she proudly wears her beard as a sign of acceptance and happiness in her life. “It feels wonderful to be me. I feel beautiful with my beard, and I have never felt like this before,” she declared in an interview with The Huffington Post. In fact, with her beard on her face, Rose says that she feels beautiful, attractive, and sensual.
Kore is a brave mother who accepted her beard after some time and now proudly shows it to the rest of the world. According to her words, she faced various harassment from people. At times, people followed her and yelled harmful words at her. Every day, she had to prepare for bullying outside of the house. After winning a beard competition, Kore gained much more confidence.
Jennifer Miller is a bearded woman who has achieved great things in her professional life. Jennifer is an actress, writer, performer, and teacher. She has three very famous books – The Rumble of Gold, Cracked Ice, and The Jewels of the Forbidden Skates. Jennifer is also a professor of acting. For her very successful career, she has received various awards. In addition to all of that, Jennifer is now the director of Circus Amok.
In 2016, the world met Harnaam Kaur, a British woman of Pakistani origin who was awarded a peculiar Guinness record: being the youngest bearded woman globally. Sporting a 6-inch beard, Kaur amazed the world with her luxuriant mop of hair, unusual for a woman. Now, the smile with which the young British woman posed in her photos hid a secret, having had a life in which she had been a victim of bullying for something she could not change: her beard.
In 2014, she conquered the whole of Europe when she appeared on stage in a dress with long hair and strong make-up, but also a beard, and although she is far from the popularity she had that year, Conchita is still recording. She is often photographed in various editions, while she appears on stage dressed mainly as a man.
When Annalisa Hackleman was diagnosed with a polycystic ovary at the age of 13, she and her family tried all possible treatments to curb the consequences of this disease on her appearance, but nothing helped. As a teenager, she began to have a masculine beard, which she had to shave twice a day, which generated terrible agoraphobia (excessive fear of open or public spaces).
But at one point in her life, all these fears were left behind, and it was thanks to love. David, Annalisa’s current husband, saw her photos on her Facebook and instantly fell in love with her.
Vivian Wheeler, 64, is considered by the Guinness Book as the most bearded woman in the world. She began noticing that she had hair on her face very early, even at age seven, thanks to a syndrome called hypertrichosis. Since then, Vivian has shaved off her beard, and only after her mother died in 1993 did she give up her habit.
In a measurement taken in 2000, the longest hairline on Vivian’s face was 28 cm. She constantly participates in circus shows and television shows and, thanks to her beard, she manages to raise enough money to live.
Last year, Vivian was reunited with a son she hadn’t seen in 30 years. He, Richard Lorenco, was abandoned by his father at the age of four and grew up in a shelter with no news of his family until, at the age of 35, he discovered that his mother was the most bearded woman in the world.
Mariam Dadgar is a bearded lady who identifies herself as a psychic reader. She also acts in different shows and circuses. After giving birth to her first child, Mariam started getting facial hair that soon became a full beard. People used to make fun of her and looked at her strangely.
Naturally, that annoyed Mariam most of the time, so she started plucking her facial hair with tweezers. Eventually, her beard started to get fuller and darker. After being inspired by photos of Jennifer Miller, Dadgar decided to embrace her beard.
Nova is a bearded young woman known throughout the world for her remarkable bravery. Her beard began to grow when she was 15. She faced many bullies and hateful comments from her classmates. Naturally, she was embarrassed to have facial hair at such a young age. Luckily, Nova got inspired by Harnaam Kaur and decided to grow a beard soon after, thus ending thirteen years of shaving.
A very unusual couple formed after meeting at a Freakshow in California. Jessa Olmstead and Grady Stilles III are circus attractions in Venice Beach. She is the Bearded Woman, and he is the Lobster Man (suffers from ectrodactyly, a genetic condition in which the fingers and toes are deformed before birth).
The couple met when Grady Stiles III appeared on an AMC television show. They felt an “immediate spark,” but only when they started working together was that passion born. Jessa Olmstead fully embraced her facial hair and lives a happy and successful life.
Alma Torres was just 16 when she discovered polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which causes weight gain, severe abdominal pain, irregular periods, and increased facial hair. The condition was so severe that she had to shave five times a day, and not even the world’s best shaving cream could help.
At first, people would call her names and constantly make fun of her. After much struggle, she decided to let it grow and is now a successful photographer.
Do’s and Don’ts With Beard in Women
- If growing a beard, always take care of it as if it was your hair. Buy a well-appointed beard grooming kit and take care of it.
- Shaving with a premium shaving soap is always recommended for a thicker and more quality beard.
- Shaving should include hair hydration, clean razors, proper shaving movement.
- Girls with beards should always consult their doctors about medication and treatment.
- Never take medication to grow the beard without consulting the doctor first.
- Never neglect your health so you can grow a beard.
- Never neglect beard care as it could lead to skin problems.
FAQ About Beard in Women
Is facial hair on a woman normal?
While women have less facial hair than men (or less strong facial hair), it is nevertheless. Women with specific conditions can have beards better than most men. And while society has preferred women with less facial hair, the trend is vital for girls with beards today.
How can I prevent the fast growth of facial hair in a female?
There are various ways to prevent hair growth, but choosing the proper method will depend on your condition. If you see rapid hair growth in your body, consult your doctor immediately. They will tell you what the condition is and how to treat it.
Can thyroid problems cause growing facial hair in women?
Yes, the thyroid can cause hormone imbalance which consequently causes rapid hair growth in women. Luckily, it could be treated, but it requires time and patience.
How can a woman stop growing facial hair?
There are various ways to stop facial hair growth. The most used methods are weight loss (healthy life leads to better hormone balance and therefore prevents hair growth), medication (often hair growth is rooted in medical conditions and proper medication can stop this), and removing facial hair manually (shaving, waxing, laser hair removal, etc.),
Does facial hair mean infertility?
While facial hair and infertility are not 100% always connected, in most cases, they are. Severe medical conditions can lead to facial hair growth in women, and most of those are signs of infertility.
Can you have excess facial hair without PCOS?
You can have excess facial hair without PCOS. Facial hair growth can be hereditary, while no hormone imbalances are present.
What famous women have beards?
Little Bear Schwarz, Rose Geil, Kore Bobisuthi, Harnaam Kaur, Jennifer Miller, Vivian Wheeler, Alma Torres, Jessa Olmstead, etc.
Indeed, various involuntary medical conditions can lead to beard growth in women, as seen from the text above. While many girls had a tough time, we had brave women who stood out in public with beards to raise awareness and help all the girls in need.
Thanks to them, it is entirely acceptable for a woman to have a beard today, and many will go through life without any harassment. It is almost becoming a trend now, and women can buy products that will help them groom their beards – a product like an elegant shaving mirror or a special facial hair razor for women can be purchased online.
Photos from: kantver / depositphotos.com, olanstock / depositphotos.com, VGeorgiev / depositphotos.com, everett225 / depositphotos.com and Vadymvdrobot / depositphotos.com.