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Hair on belly and chest - weird?

I am a pretty hairy girl! I'm only 20 but I have to wax my upper lip and chin about once a month. I shave the small of my back, which otherwise would have a pelt, and my knuckles and my big toes in addition to the usual legs and underarms. I have pretty hairy arms too but I don't do anything to them because I feel like hair on your arms is semi-acceptable and its not really long or thick.

All that to say... I have always had hair on my chest and belly that I'm not sure is normal. I feel like it isn't that noticable but then sometimes I feel like it is. Is it because I am hair obsessed that I notice it? Its pretty sparse and fine but the hairs are kinda long - about the length of the hairs on my arms - and my hair is black so it shows up against my medium-olive skin.

So... tell me if you think I should start waxing my entire body, or if you have some hair on your stomach too. This is anonymous so I feel like its the best opportunity to get some candid opinions. Thanks!

Sun. Jan 13, 1:19am

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I am wondering if you are maybe Indian or middle eastern? Women from that region seem to have the same problem. If not have you ever talked to your doc about the issue? If you haven't you might want to bring it up next time, it could be cause by a few different things, could be hormonal, could be PCOS, or several other things. I would start with discussing it with your doctor. If in fact there is nothing going on, at your age I would recommend you do hair removal treatments. There are several different types of hair removal, most less painful then waxing and in the long run way less time you will have to spend doing it yourself. They are somewhat costly but in the long run ten years from now you won't be having to wax or shave. They usually run anywhere between $150-300 for a 15 min session, but a session can cover quite a bit, like the upper lip, chin and most of the face. Usually you'll need a few treatments in one area but I think its worth it.

I have been researching this a lot, since I spend a lot of time tweezing my upper chin and 2 area's on my jawline. I hate it and am tired of doing it. My husband added up the amount of time it takes me and made me realize that I should just have it done. I spend about 3-3.5 hours a week tweezing, in a year thats 182 hours, way to much time I could be using for something else. So really talk to your doc and find out if it is being caused by any sort of underlying issue. If not look into laser hair removal.

Sunday, January 13, 2008, 2:41 AM

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OP here

Thank you for your thoughtful reply! I really don't think its any sort of hormonal imbalance but I will remember to bring it up to my doctor at my next check up just in case. I'm not Middle Eastern - I'm half Cuban, but Latinas aren't too hairy, they just have dark thick hair.

I wish I could get laser hair removal but even $150 is money I don't have and my parents would think it is frivolous so I would be embarrassed to ask them to pay for it. But I do spend a ton of time removing hair!

Sunday, January 13, 2008, 2:47 AM

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i am hairy too and irish, so the doctors have been a little perplexed. i have hair on my chin pretty bad. i also have a dark 'treasure trail' and dark hair around my breasts. i pluck constantly. it is my morning routine.

i don't have the cash for the laser treatment either, but i do want to get it. the dermatologist recently suggested laser and VANIQUA. i have been using vaniqua, but it is expensive and only has a success rate of two out of three women (or something like that). i do recommend it though since it is better than nothing. but it doesn't kill the root, it just prevents it from growing.

the doctors also recommended this water pill for men. the side effect in women is that hair growth slowed or stopped or something. you could ask about that. i just didn't see any changes and i had to take like 6 a day, or something. i could be wrong about that, so do ask.

a long time ago someone suggested a new procedure where they can shut down your reproduction system. this i said a big no to. i would not want to shut something down in my body for vanity. i would rather pluck.

i did stop shaving though. i think that makes the hair so much coarser and it just kept growing back. i stopped waxing too and just focus on the dark parts.

i do use the little hair trimmer from walgreens too and love it. it has an adapter on it so i don't have to shave too close to the skin - but i do recommend it. shaving can make the skin tougher too, so this just glides over it. perfect for getting ready to go out and, whoops, forgot about that hairy patch.

just talk to your gyno about it. they will direct you to all this stuff. good luck! and like i finally said, "F-it, everyone has their problem and this one is mine..." peace -

Sunday, January 13, 2008, 12:24 PM

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I'm Grek, with olive skin and dark hair, and I have a "treasure trail". It's only darkish towards my stomach so I usually Nair or bleach it. Works relatively well *shrug*

Sunday, January 13, 2008, 12:39 PM

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Olive complected women need to be careful about hair removal and laser treatments. Some olive complected women experience hyper-pigmentation with doing things like this. That is when the pigment in the skin darkens in the areas treated. So be advised and well informed by a reputable doc before doing this. It would be nice to have the hair gone and not have to bother with it but it would then suck to dark pigmentation left in its wake.

Sunday, January 13, 2008, 1:25 PM

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OP again

Thanks for the input, I feel slightly more normal haha! Has anyone tried those cold wax strips for body hair? I use little ones for my lip and chin and they work well but I am scared to tackle a larger area. I feel like it would last longer than shaving and it wouldn't be stubbly growing back in.

Sunday, January 13, 2008, 7:55 PM

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It's really worth looking into the PCOS suggestion - ask for the appropriate lab tests next time you see your doctor. It affects 5-10% of us. Go ahead and google it or search the threads here for more info to see if you have any of the other symptoms (irregular periods, sluggish metabolism, etc). But even if you don't, being so hirsute at such a young age with no obvious ethnic link will probably be enough to justify the testing.

Sunday, January 13, 2008, 8:15 PM

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OP here... I looked up PCOS and besides being hirsute (what an unfeminine word!) I don't have many symptoms. If my periods aren't irregular, I feel like its quite unlikely I have it, am I wrong?

Monday, January 14, 2008, 12:12 AM

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I am very hairy too... so I understaind your pain. I have issues with hair on my belly, and lower back... also the typical upper lip/chin deal, but I have amazingly thick (and large) eyebrows. I get a few on my chest here and there, but they are sporatic (though they are dark and very long...)

I do use the cold wax strips. I just love them. I used to use the Sally Hansen brand, then I found some by Carefree (in a pink/white box) and they are so much nicer. I don't really know why, but whatever the different type of wax is; its a lot less sticky and the strips are easier to handle. Less mess, less residue... all around I just like them better. I used to just tweeze, but there is so much hair sometimes that the waxing is just more efficient.

Good Luck!

Monday, January 14, 2008, 2:42 PM

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Same Problem Here!

I have the same problem,not really bad though, I just use Noxema and shave the areas. I am also olive complexion. I think it is normal and with time (older)the problem will dissipate. Stay encouraged. I would not use procedures that will cause you to keloid or long-lasting scars.

Monday, January 14, 2008, 7:37 PM

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I use an electric appliance made by emjoi, that tweezes the hair out. This is the company that makes that flimsy little electric tool called tweezie -- don't buy it, but do buy their more substantial product called gently gold caress. That's what I have. I use it on my neck, chin, upper lip, arms, underarms, chest, belly & legs. The first time you use it will hurt a little bit, but not anywhere near like waxing. And then you get used to it so it doesn't ever hurt at all again. It pulls the hair out by the root and keeps it from growing back all at the same time. No stubble. It comes back in softer and finer and easier to remove each time after. Now I only have to do it every 3-4 weeks, where before I had to shave every single day, and twice in the summer.

Monday, January 14, 2008, 7:55 PM

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Some people have only one typical symptom of PCOS, which is why doctors don't test for it. Kind of annoying when so many women have it. It's no fun saying "I'm having trouble losing weight, I exercise 10 hours a week and eat 1500 calories a day, please test me for PCOS" when the reaction, spoken or not, implies that you're looking for an excuse. Yet you'd think doctors would be more worried about the effect that having a dozen cysts crowding your ovaries might have on your reproductive abilities, if not your metabolism.

Monday, January 14, 2008, 10:23 PM

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With PCOS there are people who only have one symptom. If you carry your weight in the middle, have hair issues, unusual periods, dark pigmentation either alone or any combo, chances are you could have it. It certainly can't hurt to talk to your doctor. You sort of sound like your defensive about people bringing up the possibilities. As for the comment about keloid and scarring, laser treatments and more updated hair removal treatments don't leave any scars what so ever. The only thing you will notice is some redness but that is usually gone within a day. At least for me it was. I had laser hair removal about 3 years ago on my upper lip, jaw line/chin areas and 2 spots on my neck. All in all it took 6 sessions and was so worth the money. I no longer have hair issues in any of those places, and I no longer spend 40 min a day tweezing the hairs and making little marks on my skin from tweezing and my skin actually looks better and feels smoother. So if you can afford it go for it. I would have done it years ago if I hadn't been so poor.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 1:24 PM

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get all of your hormone levels, including testostrone, checked asap!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 1:44 PM

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I'm semi-hairy. No facial hair, but I do get some hairs around my nipples and a lot of hair past my bikini line. I am always getting ingrown hairs! Any advice. I usually wax or pluck. Sometimes I shave. I would love to wear a bikini without having to wear shorts to hide my bumps!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 3:30 PM

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OP here

I'm sorry if I am being defensive... but I guess I often tend to be a hypocondriac so I am trying to dissaude myself not you! I will definitely bring it up to my doctor next time I go, which is in only a couple months. It can't hurt to investigate, can it?

As for 3:30's question, I have problems with shaving my bikini line too. I actually do a "Brazilian" (landing strip) so I do quite a lot of shaving! Lately I've had good results with this routine:
1. Exfoliate the entire area with a body scrub and washcloth, and then rinse well.
2. Cover area with a shaving cream for sensitive skin or lots of creamy body wash.
3. Use a fresh razor blade and shave DOWNWARD with the grain not against it. Rinse the blade after every swipe. Try not to swipe over the same area repeatedly. Also, as you start to lose shaving cream, lather up again to protect your skin.
4. Once you're done shaving, I go back over shaving against the grain to make the shave closer, but just once!
5. Rinse really well with a washcloth.
6. While your skin is still wet, put 6 uncoated aspirin in your hand with a little water so they dissolve, then massage the aspirin over the shaved area. I read about this trick online and it works wonders for ingrown hairs and inflammation!
7. Let the "mask" sit for a couple minutes, then rinse very well and pat yourself dry.
8. Massage a gentle moisturizer onto the area.

I think that should cut back on your ingrown hairs significantly! But maybe to let your bumps heal, you might want to consider letting your bikini line grow while its still winter, and in a month or so start over. Oh and remember to trim closely before you begin!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 5:01 PM

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hairy bodies

It would be a mistake to shave your body. It can be, that it looks sexy, if a woman has hirsutism. It give women, they earn a lot of money to show their hairiness. If a woman like to earn money in an easy kind, so she can go to a photographer or maganzine of hirsutism.
Nevertheless the right impression and judgement is only possible, if other people can see pictures of the kind of hairiness. Maybe you know the english slogan: "the taste of the pudding you will only know by eating".

Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 5:00 PM

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I'm glad some enjoy a naturally hairy body. BUT, I find it offensive to suggest that someone be paid to pose for a magazine with photos of women with plenty of body hair for men who have a fetish about this.

Jackie and Habib -- please note above post and see if you agree with me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009, 6:00 PM

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One of my best friends just said that she got "Smooth Away" (it's an as seen on TV thing) at the drug store today on a whim because it was 10.00 and tha upon first use, it's AMAZING. I haven't personally tried it, but I'm going to go out to look for them tomorrow (internet says you can get em at Sally Beauty Supply) and see how they do. I'll report back if I think they're as great as she did!

Friday, January 23, 2009, 8:51 PM

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i am tan and with dark hair. i have the same problem! i know MANY girls with this and we all use nair to remove the hair. it works very well. even with course hair. it doesnt matter where u are from anyone can be as hairy as anyone! you could nair or lemon can lighten the hairs when u go to the beach. you could also bleach hairs anywhere. MANY girls go through this so they remove the hair. and over time, the hairs fall off. if u are worried about a guy not liking u for this problem, many guys like this on woman. my boyfriend doesnt mind haha. hope this helps lovie. :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013, 4:04 PM

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many europeans are hairy. it could be anyone how could be hairy!

Sunday, April 14, 2013, 4:05 PM

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It could be normal or it might not be normal. There are conditions that cause hairness in women. Check with your physician.

Sunday, April 21, 2013, 12:43 AM

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