Sprouting hair (and removing it) is a common practice for most people. We trim our head, tweeze our facial hair, and wax our pubic area. But what exactly are we supposed to do with the hair on our nipples? The area is, perhaps, one of the less spoken about body parts when it comes to hair, but it is also a perfectly common place for growth.
And according to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Estee Williams, we've had "nipple hair" all wrong. "Nipple hair is actually a misnomer because the hair is not actually on the nipple itself but rather on the darker skin around it, called the areola," she told POPSUGAR. Like most things, the hair in that area is not all created equal. Dr. Williams stressed that there are no rules when it comes to hairiness, and normal can look like a lot of things.
"Nipple hair is actually a misnomer because the hair is not actually on the nipple itself but rather on the darker skin around it, called the areola."
Generally, hair surrounding the areola can range in color and are usually thinner than the follicles on your scalp. Though nipple hair varies by person, there are a few instances where you should visit your dermatologist or gynecologist about it. "If you notice a sudden change, whether it is an increase in the amount of hair or a change in quality of the hair, you should make a trip to your local board certified dermatologist or gynecologist for an exam," says Williams.
A change in texture and amount of hair can be caused by hormonal fluctuations due to pregnancy, menopause, and even birth control pills. Fluctuation of hair production around the areola is perfectly normal, however, in the rare case that your growth is rapid or in a male-like pattern (hirsutism), your doctor might consider blood work to rule out various hormonal disorders.
In the event that you want to kiss the hairs on your areola good bye, common hair removal methods are perfectly safe to try. Dr. Williams told us that shaving checks out as a reasonable option for removing the hair surrounding your nipples. Waxing, however, is a no-no. "I do not like waxing for this area because it is too irritating for most people," she said. If you're seeking a long-term solution for your nips, laser is also a safe option.
"We use the Lumenis LightSheer Desire and patients are always extremely satisfied as this one works on all skin tones," she mentioned. Dr. Williams warned that you should pay attention to laser settings to avoid darkening of the areola. "When you are lasering hairs that are on a dark background, like the areola, you need to lower the energy to avoid discoloration," she told us.
But you really shouldn't get your boobies in a bunch about your nipple hair. After all, it's completely normal like the other hairs on your body. But should you want fuzz-free boobs, whip out your razor (or talk to your doctor) and go forth!