There are many factors which could contribute to unwanted hair. Heredity, hormonal changes, medications, stress, and external factors can all play a significant role.
It’s in the Genes
If members of your family have unwanted hair, the odds are likely that you will too.
Hormones – A Balancing Act
At various times in a person’s life, changes in hormonal balance can cause unwanted hair growth. The hormones responsible for this are called androgens; they are often referred to as “male” hormones because they are present in larger quantities in men, but there are certain amounts present in women as well.
Both women and men normally experience increased hair growth during puberty, due to an increase in androgens; women also undergo these hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause.
In some individuals, excess hair growth can indicate an underlying medical condition which may involve a problem with the endocrine (hormone-producing) glands. Disorders of the thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands, and the ovaries can often cause hormonal imbalances; for the sake of the individual’s health, these conditions must be evaluated and treated by a physician. The side-effect of excess hair growth will not be resolved until the cause itself is.
Certain medications, such as cyclosporin, dilantin, minoxidil, cortisone, and birth control pills can also affect hormonal balance.
Believe it or not, stress (both emotional and physical) can also result in hormonal changes. In women, stress can even go so far as to cause menstrual irregularities
The Outside World
The body often produces hair in response to irritation from outside sources – for example, injuries which lead to scarring, broken or sprained limbs which require casts or splints, severe sunburns, and even things like prolonged and extensive waxing. Because irritation naturally causes an increase in the blood supply to the skin and hair follicles, it can also stimulate new hair growth.