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Unwanted hair can be normal or abnormal. Normal hair growth is due to genetic or racial factors. Abnormal growth is associated with endocrine influences which change hormonal balance altering the hair growth.( The endocrine system consists mainly of glands that release hormones sending messages around the body.) Letting the therapist know the history of your condition will allow a determination of the treatment to be used and progress expected.

Abnormal hair. The hair can be thought of as the end organ of the endocrine system and does respond to alterations in internal secretions by hormones carried through the blood stream. These can cause hair to become weaker, stronger, disappear or grow excessively. Alterations in the endocrine system also bring about physical changes such as body weight, skin colour, skin texture and temperature.

Hypertrichosis is a growth of coarse, terminal hair excessive for the age, sex and race of the individual. It is an overdevelopment of localised extent. The hair growth does not follow a male sexual pattern.( the male sexual pattern is hair on the beard area of the face, chest, abdominal and pubic hair.)


  • Genetic or racial predisposition.
  • Stress, anxiety or worry.
  • Hormonal imbalance – puberty, pregnancy, menopause. Disease of the pituitary, thyroid or adrenal glands. Cyst on certain glands. Removal of certain glands, eg ovary. Reaction to certain drugs.

Hirsutism is a condition of wider, general growth of excessive terminal hair and does follow the adult male sexual pattern.It can be accompanied by other male type characteristics, is often androgen induced and occurs in conditions which can cause a hormonal imbalance.


  • Genetic or racial predisposition.
  • Problems of adrenal origin.( the adrenal glands sit above the kidneys and release hormones in conjunction with stress.)
  • Problems of ovarian origin.
  • Sexual abnormalities.
  • Systematic illness.

It can be seen how similar the causes of both groups can be, so medical guidance is often required.

Remember it is important to give all information to the therapist as she will need to be aware of the difference between the two conditions, as one of the conditions does indicate an abnormality that may need medical attention also.

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