Who am I and what in the world am I doing here?!

Thanks for visiting my new blog space!

My goal here is to detail my struggles with IH (Idiopathic hirsutism). NO! You are not alone!

Hirsutism is an excessive hair growth condition in women. It can be a simple bother to pretty devastating for a woman. Most hirsute conditions are caused by other medical conditions, primarily PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

But there is a small amount of women who suffer from it for, medically, no darn reason!!!

I am one of those women and will be sharing my stories with you all here!

 

46 Comments

46 thoughts on “Who am I and what in the world am I doing here?!

  1. Thank you for this blog…I do have PCOS and suffer from hirsutism as well. I do notice that when I am exercising and eating well, taking supplements, drinking lots of water, little sugar, the hair seems to grow slower. I recently got the prescription for Vaniqa( it was so $$$$$$!!!!) So I will try it. I have also recently been taking maca root powder and I will see how that works. For those of us with PCOS, I notice that it does seem to be hereditary as my grandma and some of my cousins have it.

    • Thanks for commenting on my blog! Yes, my hirsutism is hereditary as well. But my endocrinologist gave me no medication for it at all. So I have to seek other means to reducing my hair. I took Vaniqa for a while and yes it is effective but it always went up on price everytime I ran out of it! I was able to find the generic version of it online and it works well. I am currently on an herbal regimen right now for it.

  2. Monica thanks so much! Please continue to do what you’re doing. Tweezing isn’t fun and sometimes it’s downright depressing. I hate PCOS! You are brave to post this for the world to see! Thank you so so much.

    • Hi Lindsay. I have not tried Maca root but I think I will add it to my regimen! It appears to be a hormonal balancer so it is certainly worth the try. The thing is alot of these supplements usually take MONTHS to so any kinda of effect so I would give it several months before giving up on it.

  3. Monica, I just wanted you to know something no one has ever told you before. Or I could be wrong and someone may have. But I’m here to tell you there are men out there who will appreciate every single hair on your face, stomach, legs, where ever it grows. they appreciate you for you, and love you just the way you are. I know because I share the same views as these gentlemen and there are far more than you think. Trust and believe this is not a joke and I’m dead serious!!! You’re very beautiful and they fact that your hirsutism comes from nothing medically wrong with you means this is the way god intended for you to be. You’re gorgeous.

      • Sorry I just read this today Monica. But you’re more than welcome. I’ll support everyone here with kind words and pick me ups any day. Shame is not something you precious ladies should have to deal with. You have enough problems. Whether the hirsutism is idiopathic or not. I’m a personal trainer and I have to re adjust three of my clients meal plans and work out regimens due to pcos and how their bodies absorb and displace sugar. Its not the easiest thing to do, but I do it. If anyone needs exercise, dietary, or weight training advice please dont hesitate to contact me. I’m more than willing to help.

    • So Gary, what type of diet do you propose to women with PCOS? I don’t have PCOS but it is the closest condition that I can think of that is most closely related to hirsutism.

      • Most women with pcos are rarely diagnosed with it until later on in life. Its really hard for them to get the diagnosis. stubborn doctors and what not. But if you dont have pcos, and just have the idiopathic hirsutism, a regular weight gain or weight loss regimen will work for you. You dont have the issue of hyperthyroidism, endocrine imbalances. Atleast I dont think you do. Diets in general are specifically designed for the persons body type, goals and BMR (Basil Metabolic Rate) Its the bread and butter of a diet.

  4. Hey Monica
    I am so happy i found this blog. I am 21 an I have been suffering from hirsutism since i was young, I always wonder why all the girls had hairless stomachs and barely any side burns, lol I just told myself it was a happy trail.. (that just kept growing with age).. I’ve seen many doctors telling me ooo you blood work is fine this normal in women.. Honestly I diagnosis myself. One doctor told me it because of my background I’m black and puerto rican we cant do anything but I kept on pushing. I can’t affored laser or elctro but they did subscribe me spironolactone . Sadly I haven’t seen much of a change, but the relationships I have been in there are very supportive..I appreciate your blog for it has given me strength to know that I’m not alone
    I still have hope one day there will be a True Cure

  5. Thank you so much for writing your blog Monica. I can sympathise and relate to everything you’re writing and I’m so glad I’m not the only one out there who isn’t getting the help or understanding they really need from their GP.

    I live in the UK and I can’t get any help for my problem from the national health service here and this horrible condition is putting serious pressure on my mental health and my love life. Do you have a partner and if so, do they know about your condition? I can’t bring myself to tell mine about it.

    Thanks again for writing your truly helpful and inspirational blog.

    J.

    • Hi! You’re so welcome. It’s not just the UK. It seems there are very limited resources and support groups and books on this condition. Mainly because women are too humiliated to chat about it. Not that I blame them! When I was engaged, I kind explained it to my ex and he didn’t seem to mind much. We broke up for much worse reasons. I have only brought myself to tell in detail only one guy about my condition and he was only a friend!

      Thanks for reading and I certainly share your agony! You are not alone!

  6. I really wish it was a more accepted and well-know condition. If more people properly knew about it, then I think we’d be a lot more accepted and less afraid to tell people about it. And if the media and pornograpy didn’t promote images of perfectly hairless women, then I reckon that’d make a huge difference too as they make us feel even worse for no good reason.

    I had a doctors appointment today and she told me there was nothing I can do apart from get ‘Vaniqa’ cream which I’ve already tried and didn’t make any difference. I came home feeling extremely upset as I’d stupidly got my hopes up about the possibility of getting a spironolactone or finasteride prescription, so I searched online and came across your blog. I really admire what you’ve done here, particularly with the photos you’ve put up of yourself. You are so much braver than me! You’re also extremely pretty and you prove that for anyone who thinks women with hirsutism are abnormal or ugly by default are extremely wrong. I’m sure you’ve made a lot of women feel better by knowing they’re not alone like you have done with me. Thank you.

    Jessie.

  7. I agree with you 100% Jessie, the media has a lot to do with the way this world views women. Quite frankly i think its borderline pedophilic to be honest. Any women with any level of hair whether it be a lot or a little is beautiful the way they are and should never feel pressured to go through such great lengths to get rid of it all. To make other people comfortable. Its silly.

    Gary

  8. I agree! But dont you think if the idea that female body hair wasn’t so awful a women wouldn’t feel the need to remove it to feel good about herself. I may be beating a dead horse, but body hair isnt manly, its human. Society is a faceless disembodied entity that has a huge level of control over what it is we do. And across the board for men and women, hairlessness is now becoming mandatory, just to be accepted. Its not a good thing.

    • Well most women do have something that she doesn’t like about her body. Some are simply more self conscious about their flaws, or what they determine as flaws. I wouldn’t say I find being hairless mandatory. I will always be hirsute but it doesn’t mean I can’t control it. The very concept of the condition is a pattern of male hair growth on a woman. While I really appreciate your empowering comments, the fact remains that while hirsutism certainly isn’t a serious health condition, it is distressing by it’s very definition for many women.

  9. Sooo very true..and I wish that it wasnt so distressing, I pray that one day its not something you feel you have to “control” It also makes me wonder, who or what is behind it being so dstressing. For everyone no doubt. You’re doing a great thing Monica…a wonderful thing.

  10. Monica, I really hope there is more focus on curing this horrible condition that makes us feel so unfeminine. Unfortunately I don’t think there are many people out there who have any idea how much this effects our every day lives. Perhaps one day someone will sympathise who can invent a cure or an effective and non-dangerous medicine that is more readily available to women like us. I hope that day comes soon, I really do.

    J.

  11. Thank you for creating this blog you are so brave! As a fellow Afro american woman suffering from this condition it is nice to know I am not alone. No one really understands how hard it is to live with this problem and how much it can really affect your self esteem. I’ve shared the problem with family members and close friend but no one really gets it. I PRAY I do not pass this on to my future daughter. But it is comforting to know that I am not the only woman in the world with a beard. thank you 🙂

  12. thank you so much for the blog. makes me feel that im not alone. I have full on hair excess and dark spots on my skin like my underarms and my thighs. Under my chin and on the sides of my cheeks i have excess hair and of course down there, on my tummy and lower back. Im 18 and i do love to wear my nice swimsuits and shorts but its embarresing with the condition.I have to shave every single morning mut my dark spots are getting darker.i will follow your blog cuz your tips are interesting.

    • Thank YOU Susy! Since you are only 18 (i’m 30!) try to get started on a regimen NOW!!! That’s the biggest regret I have about my hirsutism! Perhaps talking to your doctor about your condition and he/she put you on a specific birth control and/or antiandrogren will help. Maybe ask your parents for a laser hair or electrolysis removal package for your birthday or Christmas is an option too. It is one of the best solutions for getting rid of the hair as opposed to just managing it, you know what I’m saying? It is unfortunately quite pricy but I am sure they will offer deals and payment options and such. In the mean time, try epilating the hairs in your problem areas. I Epilate my bikini and while it does hurt some, it keeps the hairs gone for an extended period. The sad reality is that hirsutism is more about managing the hair not removing it, unless you have the money and time for laser or electrolysis. Good Luck to you!

  13. This blog is so awesome. You are so amazing to be doing this. Keep it up. I have struggled with excess hair for the past 10 years and I feel like no one else shares my struggles. It is great to see you trying all these things and letting people know what can work. You are a fabulous courageous person. Keep up the great work and the authenticity.

  14. “thoughts” … My deepest respect and admiration. And yes, as Gary states, we are quite a few men out here, that really don’t find the hair very scary. I love it, but I see the problem for “wearing it” according to public “norms”. It’s shitty is has become like this. Back in the 70’s almost nbo women shaved here in Denmark, and hair was a quite natural sighting. Today most has gone. What a damned shame, really – for those true men that truly loves it. All of it.

  15. hi monica,

    u r a brave woman…hats off to u..i am facing the same problem as yours. have upper lip,jawline,navel,legs,hands…u name the area and il have it…so disgusting…im 33 years,married,not having kids yet..probably soon..presently i get threading done on my face..for eg- if i get threading done on the 1st i can roam without a stole covering my jawline for 2-4 days, then i have slight growht and have to go for threading again on the 12th…mostly it is threading thrice a month…have done laser too but laser works best when combined with medication…since i might go the family way laser removal is ruled out coz i wont be able to take dianne 35 and finast…both are easily available in india by prescription…between laser sessions i was advised to shave off any new growth with the delicated razor provided by them but then shaving gave me pigmentation…so now my stole is used for hiding my facial hair and pigmentation too…hahahaa..people in my vicinity wonder why do i always have a stole over my face even when it is not sunny…heheheee

    while googling a lot over the web i came across an article on CUSHINGS SYNDROME and i scored positive on most of them..this makes me more of a cushings patient than a PCOS patient…have u done a cortisol test…plz get it done…its a urine test..will be doing too..

    these r my values from the reports-

    DHT (DI HYDRO TESTOSTERONE————594

    PROLACTIN—————————————-12.08

    17 OH PROGESTERONE (17 OH PROG)—-1.8

    DHEA————————————————384.6

    FREE TESTOSTERONE—————————4.5

    THYROID STIMULATING HORMONE TSH—–1.17

    TESTOSTERONE———————————-68.2

    regards n god bless

    • Hi Ms. Dmello! I don’t believe I have cushings. When I had all my blood and urine work conducted, everything came back normal! So I was diagnosed with idiopathic hirsutism. For a while, I did suspect I had cushings. I was kinda disappointed because I was hoping for a medication or something to make it go away once and for all! I too was told by my endocrinologist to start a birth control regimen as well as getting laser hair removal treatments again. Yes, when doing laser treatments you have to shave the hair and nothing else because the laser tackles the hair not the skin or the hair shaft. I think that will be the route I go once I get my money together. I received Spironolactone from India as well, but I don’t know. The packaging was very cheap. My medications were wrapped in what looked like newspaper from India?! and I did not feel comfortable putting it in my body with it being delivered like that to me, so I stop Spironolactone almost as soon as I received it. I take Beyaz now and have been for a while and it seems to be working fine for me though I am hoping to get on Sprionolactone again from a doctor this time though. I also take some herbal supplements to manage my hair growth as well.

  16. Hello Monica, I stumbled across your blog while feeling very depressed one night about my hair growth situation. I have yet to be diagnosed with a medical condition, and the GYN I visited recently just about scoffed at the request for an endo referral. Anyway, I haven’t given up hope yet in trying to figure this out, and am truly grateful to have come across your posts. I haven’t been on wordpress in awhile and logged in to my account to express my sincere appreciation the posts you’re providing to many people out there also going through similar situations. Is it possible we could talk through e-mail or on here? I don’t really talk to many people about this and at 21 years of age it’s starting to weigh me down.

    Again, thanks! You’re an inspiration.
    -Amanda

  17. Mo, I just found your site about an hour ago, and I feel like you’re the first person I’ve really identified with about this. We’re pretty much the same age, and have similar stories. But, most of all, we are both black and have lots of body hair, which I’ve found is it’s own special thing. I wanted to ask for your exact regimen to get rid of the scarring, which concerns me far more than the hair. I can get rid of hair, but the scars keep me from wearing bikinis, and make me pretty paranoid.

    I’ve got the chin hair (though mine is somehow just on my chin), almost identical stomach and bikini line like yours, but no chest or back hair….instead of heavy facial hair, I do have butt hair. It’s been a problem since I was 11, and I’ve gone through a range of stages: obliviousness, hysteria, half-assed acceptance, and now, most-assed acceptance, but with heavy management. The same for the remedies, though I’ve settled on tweezing, but mostly waxing. Laser didn’t work permanently, electrolysis seemed to make me scar more, Nair burned my skin and shaving just felt wrong; nothing felt more shameful than shaving a body part where there shouldn’t have been hair to begin with. I wore makeup on my chin, but stopped because it just aggravated my always-freshly-tweezed skin, stained my good clothes, and was impossible to keep on during workouts.

    For diet, I was a vegetarian for 12 years, and can say it did nothing. I’ve been Paleo for over a year for general health reasons, but have seen some progress in hair growth on my face. It’s not a cure, but it did seem to address some underlying hormone issues, and slowed the growth a bit, in addition to the clear changes to my shape. I’d been told I had PCOSish symptoms, but strongly suspect that I’m just very insulin resistant; even though my levels have never been high, and I’m normal sized (5’3″ and 132lb), it could explain why i do so well on a very low carb diet (50-75 grams per day, sometimes lower) and so poorly on a standard diet with high carbs.

    I want you to know that you’re SOOO pretty, and that your truthfulness on this blog is a huge help to anyone trying to understand body hair and how to deal with it.

  18. Hi C! Thank you for the compliments and comments!

    For scarring, the best thing that worked for me was laser hair removal (ya know, before the hair grew back!) It cleared my skin like nothing else! I tried numerous things that made my skin feel great but the scars rarely budged. But I am thinking about trying TCA peels next. They seem to be directly related to hyperpigmentation, which is what you and I have. Scarring on my bikini line I typically leave alone and they go away. Sometimes I use creams with AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) in them. Glycolic acids seems to work well on my bikini line scarring with continued use. I would maintain the Paleo diet if it appears to be working, even a little bit.

    With butt hair, I personally don’t have that issue but I can image that waxing would be the best thing. Anything else seems like it would only irritate such sensitive skin.

    With makeup, I would try not to wear any on fresh hair-removed skin. Give it a day or two of the skin to ease up on the swelling and irritation. I find makeup messes with my tweezed skin too, when I was still tweezing, especially oil based foundations.

    • Thanks so much! How about the salicylic acid and turmeric peels? It looked like what you were doing with those peels really worked!

      I really only wear makeup on my face now. The scarring on my chin is pretty minimal, it’s just that the rest of my face is very clear, and it looks odd for that reason so I’m trying to rid myself of it.

      I may try a peel on my stomach, which is where most of the scars are. Are you still doing them?

      • The salicylic acid worked pretty good. Some newer scars went away fast but you have to use them over and over, space out over time. I would use a glycolic or salicyclic cream for other areas besides the face. The turmeric peel made my face feel great and my skin appeared a little lighter and brighter but the deeper scars were still there

  19. I just want to thank you for your awesome blog. You are incredibly brave to publicly post about your struggles with hirsutism – SO many woman are going through the same or similar – reading it has made me feel a lot less alone.

    I’ve never had my hormone levels tested, but I feel pretty confident that I can chalk it up to idiopathic hirsutism. My parents hailed from two super hairy parts of the world – the Mediterranean and the Indian subcontinent. I inherited the paleness from my mom’s side, and the dark hair from my dad’s side – it sucks.

    I feel like hair controls my life – I can’t travel, or spend the night, or go away from home with other people around, without constantly worrying about what unsightly regrowth I’ll wake up with. I feel like it prevents me from having the confidence to go outside the safe confines of my apartment where I can tend to my regular removal routines. It’s exhausting.

    My concerns are largely on my chin and upper lip, where I have thick, coarse, dark hair. I have hairier arms and legs than normal, but at least I can cover those up. My face – not so much.

    Anyway, in addition to your comforting candidness, your blog is also incredibly informative. I’m currently attempting the spearmint tea route – drinking 2-3 strong brewed cups of loose leaf dried organic spearmint a day. We’ll see…

    One recommendation that has helped me ever so slightly, are those Biore pore strips (store brand I’ve found, doesn’t work as well). It helps clean up some bits of the root and looser hairs, that leave black spots under my chin (tweezing is my method of choice, though it seems never ending). I use them maybe twice a week, and each time, it pulls up a dozen or more small black bits of gunk left in the skin under my chin. It’s minor compared to the hair that it is – but it’s an easy thing that helps a tiny bit.

    Anyway, keep it up. Many thanks. You are a true inspiration!

    • Hi Roz! Thank you for visiting my blog! I would still, just for your own awareness, get your hormonal levels tested. You never know if it is something much more serious than just genetics. My parents are both black, but there is a great deal of Native American blood on my moms side and I believe I may have had a biracial grandmother (black and white) somewhere; where she came from, as far as genetics, I am not sure. If she was part Mediterranean like you that might explain a lot for me!

      Yes it is normal to feel like there is nothing else about you but the hair. It really does control a woman’s life. My heart holds most heavy for teenage girls! They have it the worst, ya know? I had the same feeling of social isolation as you do. I am glad to know you realize you are not alone!

      I would go the spearmint tea route but I hate the taste! I may consider just taking spearmint pills instead. I did read somewhere that green tea is effective too.

      I never tried the Biore strips. But Yes, I am all too aware of the “gunk” you speak of! When I use to tweeze my facial hairs, sometimes the pus and hair goo would come out. The black goo almost looked…waxy like?! Kinda gross now that I actually think about it! But I think that black goo is another hair growing in place of the removed hair. That is very possible. I have found that chemical peels and acidic creams (salicyclic and glycolic) work pretty good for me. I have to use them quite a bit but I have noticed some of the darkened areas on my neck (my worst hirsute spot) are trying to lighten up.

      Again, thanks for reading!

  20. Hello fellow idiotic I mean idiopathic hirsute friend. I’m so happy that I found your blog! I’ve been trying to find ways to convey my struggle with hirsutism but I didn’t believe I’d have an audience for it, because for years, yes I too felt alone. I feel lucky, but it’s also frustrating not to be associated with an actual illness like PCOS–and I stop myself and ask, am I really thinking that, yes! It’s hard to come to terms with the very fact that you have hair growth in places where a woman shouldn’t have to experience hair growth, just because.
    Thanks for being an inspiration and brave enough to share. I and so many others really appreciate it! Keep on keepin on!

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