11

votes

Unwanted hair...could it be too much testosterone?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 04, 2011 at 1:59 PM

When I was a veg*n I struggled with hair loss, excessively long periods, and depression during my period. About four years into mostly paleo, I went through a period where my periods were just right, but now they are only 1-2 days. I also now have started getting small black hairs in places where I never had them before, like near my nipples and on my chin which makes me super annoyed. I wonder if I've swung too far in the wrong direction and now have testosterone dominance? But I've tried to decrease meat/fat in my diet though and increase plant foods and it doesn't seem to have any effect. My OBGYN didn't seem to think I had a problem, so maybe I'm just being sensitive. I also went off HBC pills two years ago. Any tips would be appreciated!

192a2d6a31fe367deb913ccaa2c97460

(145)

on May 12, 2012
at 06:24 PM

lollll hell yeah!

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on September 08, 2011
at 03:34 PM

WOW, amazing answer. wish you posted more!

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on August 09, 2011
at 11:57 PM

Actually, normal is not what we (myself included) see as pretty... clean, hairless, and smooth... people are primates and we have hair. Women too. Eat more saturated fat, change hormone balances, make more testosterone....pick up heavy things, make more testosterone (as in weight training in the gym)... run sprints, make more growth hormone... you will grow hair, possibly in places you would prefer not to. My preference...smooth and hairless (except on the head)... but ya know...that's not REALLY the normal, natural way. It's what we've adopted as current fashion.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on August 06, 2011
at 11:49 AM

I've never had a period.

07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:38 PM

This is awesome, any excuse to eat more dark chocolate :P

07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Normal and healthy aren't necessary synonymous with what is common... Over half the population is overweight or obese, is that then to be considered normal? (I'm sorry if that's not what you're saying and I'm jumping to conclusions :P)

9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:36 PM

I just decided to stop it worked and never screwed me up that i can tell.

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:34 PM

same here. i went from sporadic (like one maybe every six months) chin hairs when i was vegan to having to pluck out several every single day when i started eating paleo. that is, until i stopped eating red meat for a while because, well, it's summertime in maine and all i want to eat is seafood, fruit and garden veggies, and i realized that i was having to pluck *way* less.

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:19 PM

wow--thanks! an entire corner of my yard has been overtaken by spearmint that migrated out of my raised bed so i'm definitely going to try this.

9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on August 05, 2011
at 02:01 PM

see my answer below. Salmon is high in DHA/EPA, and shellfish is high in zinc, both are alpha reductase inhibitors.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 05, 2011
at 01:56 PM

Also, does anyone know what kind of doc I should see for a hormone panel? Endocrinologist???

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 05, 2011
at 01:55 PM

and to clarify this is a black chin hair I find and pull maybe every couple of months and a 4-5 hairs on my breasts I have to pull every two months. I hope they don't get more er... prolific.

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on August 05, 2011
at 10:24 AM

It really is. As a paramedic, I end up seeing the human body in various states of undress daily. All kinds of human bodies, and yeah, most have hair in places that is less than attractive, even the women. It's a natural thing. We are primates, we have body hair. If it bothers you, pluck it, shave it, or wax it. But yeah, it really is normal.

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on August 04, 2011
at 05:33 PM

Logged in just to upvote.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 04, 2011
at 05:14 PM

wow, i thought i was the only person willing to come outa the woodworks and admit this!!! i even tested it 2 days ago, went and bought red meat...yesterday i plucked a thick black chin hair if anyone can offer some advice/insight into this i would greatly appreciate it!

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on August 04, 2011
at 04:16 PM

I agree - some women just get them, and the 20s seems to be when they commonly start. When mine started, I thought maybe PCOS, but, having easily conceived 3 kids and perfect blood sugar levels every time I've tested, I doubt that's the case. Drinking a few cups of spearmint tea a day is supposed to help. I haven't tried that personally, but it can't hurt.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 04, 2011
at 04:12 PM

Have you had a hormone panel done? Just curious what the numbers looked like

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:34 PM

i found my first black chin hair when i was in my middle 20s. now i have 3 or four randoms i have to keep an eye out for. no big. pretty sure my testosterone is on the low side.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:26 PM

you say that like its normal....

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:08 PM

http://www.keratin.com/ab/ab012.shtml seems like a good idea to get blood work, i cant afford it but it may benefit you :)

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:03 PM

Why did you get off Proscar? What was your experience with it?

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:03 PM

im 25 too! hmmmmm

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:01 PM

I haven't been on HBC in about 5 years, but about once a month I get a random thick, black hair on my chin. I just figured it happened to everyone. My SAD coworkers randomly get them too.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 04, 2011
at 02:42 PM

just turned 25 this summer

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 04, 2011
at 02:32 PM

this same thing happened to me...still does...no idea what to say though. i do know if i use only seafood/fish i dont have the problems but when i add back in red meat especially, i can expect odd black thick hair sporadically to show up on my chin. i was told hormonal imbalance. whodda thunk...paleo isnt a fix all lol

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on August 04, 2011
at 02:20 PM

What's your age? It might just be the time's-a-changin' thing all us gals go through at some point. My periods aren't like they were in my 20's (I'm 32). And I've always had 'hair in weird places', despite having normal hormones all my life. My doctor said I'm 'just lucky I guess!'. Ha. :-/

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12 Answers

13
07c86972a3bea0b0dc17752e9d2f5642

on August 04, 2011
at 03:05 PM

Pluck them! That's what I do. My hormones are normal and I've always been a bitty fuzzy all over with the hair near the nipples after puberty (I'm 27 now). I've never had a chin hair though, but plenty of women do. Not everything we find unnattractive about ourselves is a health problem. We're chemically complex mammals. We grow and lose hair and our hormones change throughout our lives even when we're perfectly healthy.

10
9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on August 05, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Melissa,

What you want to try to do is reduce the activity/level of an enzyme called 5 alpha reductase type 2. This is responsible for transformation of testosterone to di-hydrotestosterone in the skin. Women with significant hirsutism have elevated serum levels of a marker called 3 alpha androstanediol glucuronide, which is the final metabolite created by the T-> DHT conversion process (you do not have hirsutism from your description, but are sort of leaning a little in that direction) and an indication the type 2 levels are elevated. Some doctors prescribe powerful 5 alpha reductase type 2 inhibitors for hirsutism "off label", but I would recommend staying well away from those (possible permanent epigenetic changes).

To approach this via diet consume foods that contain natural 5 alpha reductase type 2 inhibitors. These include diindolylmethane (cruciferous vegetables), foods high in DHA/EPA, theobromine (dark chocolate, cacao), resveratrol (red wine) to name a few. Of these, a study on identical twins have shown theobromine to be one of the stronger ones. I'll be posting a question soon regarding certain free fatty acids, their contents in various oils, and their potential effect on the neuroendocrine system via the alpha reductase pathway, so understand there is no free lunch - 5a R2 is important for allopregnanolone synthesis in the brain, so don't overdo it. A sign of overdoing it would be development of PMS symptoms.

Elevated free testosterone favors increased DHT conversion. Speculating here, but high vitamin D3 levels tend to reduce sex hormone binding globulin, increasing free T and free estradiol (the reason why sunbathing is associated with elevated libido). So, unwanted hair growth might be one potential downside of elevating 25(OH) D3 above whatever the normal human level is supposed to be.

Hope this helps - Kaz

07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:38 PM

This is awesome, any excuse to eat more dark chocolate :P

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on September 08, 2011
at 03:34 PM

WOW, amazing answer. wish you posted more!

4
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on August 04, 2011
at 04:43 PM

I've had very good luck with spearmint tea. Two strong cups (let steep in hot water 10 minutes) a day and my nasty hairs have pretty much vanished. I drink it iced in summer and reheat it in the winter. It's supposed to "balance hormones" although I must admit I don't understand the mechanism.

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:19 PM

wow--thanks! an entire corner of my yard has been overtaken by spearmint that migrated out of my raised bed so i'm definitely going to try this.

4
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on August 04, 2011
at 03:31 PM

Excess male hormones will do that to you. PCOS is one potential cause if you are woman with hormonal issues.

3
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:10 PM

Oh No! Your Inner Ape is trying to claw its way out!

You better feed it some bananas STAT!

(Seriously it is pretty normal for me too, and the only times I don't see them are when I have been pretty sick)

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on August 04, 2011
at 05:33 PM

Logged in just to upvote.

3
9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on August 04, 2011
at 02:47 PM

Your DHT levels are up, I was on Proscar (DHT inhibitor) for almost a decade and had some of the least amount of body hair of any man I knew. As soon as i got off I started getting hair that I never had. DHT is much more metabolically active than testosterone.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:03 PM

Why did you get off Proscar? What was your experience with it?

9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:36 PM

I just decided to stop it worked and never screwed me up that i can tell.

2
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on August 06, 2011
at 11:51 AM

How's the libido? Give me a hairy sex machine over naked frigidity any day.

192a2d6a31fe367deb913ccaa2c97460

(145)

on May 12, 2012
at 06:24 PM

lollll hell yeah!

2
07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on August 04, 2011
at 04:21 PM

I hate to say it, I also had success with cutting back on red meat. I replaced the beef/lamb with wild salmon and shellfish and within a month, they had completely stopped growing in. I used to have to pluck my chin/jawline everyday (and sometimes twice.) I was also vegan/raw vegan before paleo and had the same issues you had. I'm 21, and my mom has the same problem but said she didn't have the issue until menopause, so it is slightly disconcerting.

For what it's worth, I don't think it's sat fat... I'm using massive loads of butter, still. It would be interesting to get someone in here that has some info on what specifically in red meat could be causing this.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 04, 2011
at 05:14 PM

wow, i thought i was the only person willing to come outa the woodworks and admit this!!! i even tested it 2 days ago, went and bought red meat...yesterday i plucked a thick black chin hair if anyone can offer some advice/insight into this i would greatly appreciate it!

9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on August 05, 2011
at 02:01 PM

see my answer below. Salmon is high in DHA/EPA, and shellfish is high in zinc, both are alpha reductase inhibitors.

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:34 PM

same here. i went from sporadic (like one maybe every six months) chin hairs when i was vegan to having to pluck out several every single day when i started eating paleo. that is, until i stopped eating red meat for a while because, well, it's summertime in maine and all i want to eat is seafood, fruit and garden veggies, and i realized that i was having to pluck *way* less.

2
Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:19 PM

I started having a random dark hair on my chin when I was in my early 20's and now there are 5 or 6 that I have to keep an eye out for. I also have some around my nipples that I've had since high school. I haven't noticed any changes since changing my eating habits, so I think it's just how my body is. As another poster said, get a good pair of tweezers. They seem to sprout out of nowhere, so I keep a pair in my purse too.

2
Ac7edffeaea00e2076762ea16d19c239

(192)

on August 04, 2011
at 02:58 PM

When I was your age I noticed strange hair starting to grow as well and I was on a SAD diet. I am now 38 and still have them now and again...I just invested in a good pair of tweezers.

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on December 24, 2012
at 05:13 AM

Could be...but I'm estrogen dominant and still have gross hair growing between my boobs

0
095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:11 PM

Are you eating more saturated fat? This seems to increase hormone production for most people.

Without lab work there is no way to tell if your testosterone has gone up, if your estrogen has decreased, if your progesterone, prolactin levels are off. Most often though, when you have unwanted hair growth it's because of increased testosterone. Nothing that a razor or tweezers can't handle.

07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Normal and healthy aren't necessary synonymous with what is common... Over half the population is overweight or obese, is that then to be considered normal? (I'm sorry if that's not what you're saying and I'm jumping to conclusions :P)

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:26 PM

you say that like its normal....

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on August 05, 2011
at 10:24 AM

It really is. As a paramedic, I end up seeing the human body in various states of undress daily. All kinds of human bodies, and yeah, most have hair in places that is less than attractive, even the women. It's a natural thing. We are primates, we have body hair. If it bothers you, pluck it, shave it, or wax it. But yeah, it really is normal.

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on August 09, 2011
at 11:57 PM

Actually, normal is not what we (myself included) see as pretty... clean, hairless, and smooth... people are primates and we have hair. Women too. Eat more saturated fat, change hormone balances, make more testosterone....pick up heavy things, make more testosterone (as in weight training in the gym)... run sprints, make more growth hormone... you will grow hair, possibly in places you would prefer not to. My preference...smooth and hairless (except on the head)... but ya know...that's not REALLY the normal, natural way. It's what we've adopted as current fashion.

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