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Why Does my Leg Hair Grow so Fast?

Why does my leg hair grow so fast? There can be many reasons your leg hair may grow faster than the hair on other parts of your body. It could be due to shaving, hormones, or simply genetics. If you’re concerned about the speed of your leg hair growth, talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. There’s no need to worry in most cases, and you can enjoy showing off your fabulous legs!

Excessive hair causes

Men have a lot of variation in the amount of hair on their bodies. But for most men, it is not a big deal. On the other hand, excessive hair is considered excessive for women and varies depending on the culture. Usually, having too much hair only causes aesthetic and psychological problems.

However, sometimes the cause of excess hair growth is a severe hormonal disorder, especially in women who develop masculine characteristics (virilization).

Increased body hair is classified as:

  • Hirsutism. Hirsutism is the growth of dark or coarse body hair on a woman’s face, chest, lower abdomen, or back. That is more typical in men, so that it can be embarrassing for some women.
  • Hypertrichosis. Hypertrichosis is an increase in hair on any part of the body. That can be all over the body or in specific places like the legs. The hair may be acceptable, light-colored, soft, coarse, dark, and long. The disorder may be present at birth or develop later.

The growth of hair depends on the balance between male and female hormones. Male hormones stimulate the growth of thick, dark hair. Usually, women produce small amounts of male hormones, while men produce small amounts of female hormones.

Hirsutism

Hirsutism is usually caused by high levels of male hormones in the body. That might be because there are too many male hormones (androgens, such as testosterone) or because the body is more sensitive to normal levels of these hormones.

Testosterone helps to grow hair in the pubic and armpit areas. In addition, dihydrotestosterone helps to grow hair in the beard and scalp areas.

Some disorders make too much male hormone, which can cause extra hair on a woman’s body. For example, in idiopathic hirsutism, the hair follicles are more sensitive to normal levels of male hormones.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

The most common cause of hirsutism is Polycystic ovary syndrome, but many causes of hirsutism are not as expected.

Other causes

You can read about some of these causes and their characteristics here:

  • For example, disorders of the pituitary gland (hypophysis), ovaries, or adrenal glands result in excessive male hormone production.
  • Tumors that produce male hormones (including certain tumors of the ovaries, adrenal glands, lungs, or digestive tract). These tumors can cause various symptoms, depending on the location and size of the tumor.
  • Some medications, such as anabolic steroids, danazol, birth control pills (oral contraceptives), and other contraceptives with a high dose of progesterone, can cause acne.
  • Hereditary traits can often be seen in people who have origins in the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, or South Asian countries. That might happen after menopause or during pregnancy when the balance of hormones changes.

Virilization

A woman with too much male androgen hormone may experience virilization. That means she may start to grow more facial and body hair and voice may deepen.

Virilization is the appearance of other male characteristics, such as excess facial and body hair. For example:

  • Acne.
  • Deeper voice.
  • Increase in muscle size.
  • Head hair loss.
  • The clitoris (a small organ similar to the penis) becomes enlarged.
  • Menstruation stops or becomes irregular.

Hypertrichosis

Hypertrichosis is caused by a disorder that does not have anything to do with male hormones. The most common causes of hypertrichosis are:

  • Specific complications of cancer (paraneoplastic syndromes).
  • Certain drugs, usually minoxidil, phenytoin, cyclosporine, or the prostaglandin eye drops bimatoprost or latanoprost.
  • Hypertrichosis is a disorder that is present at birth and is very rare. A genetic mutation causes it.
  • A severe systemic disorder, such as AIDS, brain disorders or injury, malnutrition (including eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia), dermatomyositis, and porphyria
  • Repeated injury and/or friction or inflammation of areas of the skin (e.g., increased hair growth observed after removal of a cast from a broken arm or leg)

Treatment of hairiness

  • Treatment of the underlying disease, including cessation (or change) of treatment with medications that cause hypertrichosis.
  • Bleaching or hair removal for cosmetic improvement.
  • Hormonal therapy.

The underlying disorder is treated or corrected. For example, the drugs causing the hirsutism are stopped or changed.

Unless women want to minimize or remove their hair for cosmetic reasons, treatment for excess hair growth is not necessary. If increased levels of male hormones do not cause a woman’s excessive hair growth, she can use physical methods to remove the hair.

If the cause is an increase in male hormone levels, hormone therapy is necessary to help the physical methods work better.

Physical methods

Several methods are available, like epilation.

Epilation is a way to remove hair from the surface of your skin. You can do this by shaving or using creams that you can buy over the counter. These creams may contain barium sulfate or calcium thioglycolate.

There are many methods for hair removal. One option is to remove the entire hair, including the roots. Another option is to use temporary methods such as tweezing, waxing, and other home hair removal devices.

Some methods have long-lasting effects, but you might need to do it more than once. These methods include electrolysis, thermolysis, and laser treatments.

Hormone therapy

Most disorders that cause high levels of male hormones cannot be cured, so you must take the hormones used to treat hirsutism for a long time. That is necessary to reduce the amount of hair growth on the face and body.

You can use some hormones to help treat hair loss, including birth control pills and drugs that block the effects of male hormones.

Pregnant women or women who may become pregnant should not take drugs that block male hormones because they might cause the development of female characteristics in a male fetus.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (such as leuprorelin) may be used if the ovaries produce high levels of male hormones. 

However, these drugs require close supervision by a gynecologist or endocrinologist.

Corticosteroids can lower the levels of male hormones that tumors in the adrenal gland produce.

Other methods

Bleaching is an alternative to hair removal. It is a less expensive method and works well when only a tiny amount of excess hair. In addition, bleaching can lighten the color of your hair, making it less noticeable.

There are different types of bleaching products available. Most products contain hydrogen peroxide.

Eflornithine cream, applied twice a day, slows the growth of hair. If you use it for a long time, you will not need to remove your hair often.

The bottom line

Several factors can influence how quickly your leg hair grows, whether shaving, hormones, or genetics. We hope this article has helped to answer some of your questions about leg hair growth and given you a better understanding of why it happens.

For more information on the topic, check out our other articles. Thanks for reading!

DISCLAIMER: buildyourbody.org does not provide medical advice, examination, or diagnosis.

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.