Here's Why That Stray Hair on Your Chin Keeps Growing Back

Body hair is nothing to be ashamed of. After all, everyone has it — even some of your favorite celebrities have embraced their own on certain occasions. It's true that some people have more hair on their bodies than others (that's mostly thanks to genetics), but if you've ever happened upon a coarse stray hair that's popped up somewhere you've never seen it before, like an area on your face, it's natural to wonder why.

Take your chin, for example. Chin hair on women is nothing new, but if you've ever come across a random chin hair, you may have quickly grabbed a pair of tweezers and gently plucked it out just to get it off your face. While opting for chin-hair removal is an acceptable and easy solution, it also helps to understand why these hairs pop up in the first place. To save you a few Google searches — and maybe satisfy our own interests — we reached out to a dermatologist to find out what might be causing that chin-hair growth.

Why Do I Get Hair On My Chin?

As it turns out, the "random" hairs you find in places like your chin actually aren't so random. If you ever find a stray hair on your body in a place you've never seen one before, like chin hair, it's likely due to a hormonal change. "Stray hairs occur in different age groups for different reasons," dermatologist Orit Markowitz, MD, tells POPSUGAR. "As women become perimenopausal or menopausal, unwanted facial hair is common due to hormonal changes."

During menopause, your body will start producing less estrogen while still producing the same amounts of testosterone (this also happens when you ovulate). That testosterone can, in turn, cause you to grow unwanted facial hair in places like your chin, neck, or upper lip.

Outside of things like ovulation and menopause, though, women can also begin to see facial hair growth as a result of hair growth medications. Another big reason is stress, which can cause the amount of testosterone your body produces to fluctuate, according to a study published on PubMed.

Should I Worry About My Chin Hair?

Not always, but according to Dr. Markowitz, sometimes unwanted hair growth like chin hair in younger women can be a sign of something more serious.

"In younger age groups, this can be associated with certain diseases like polycystic ovary syndrome or syndrome X, where women stop menstruating regularly and gain weight," she says. "These diseases are due to insulin resistance that causes hormonal imbalances that lead to hair in unwanted areas like the face and other unwanted side effects, like increased weight gain."

Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a disease common among women. As we've previously reported, it affects six to 12 percent of people with female sex organs and is caused by ovaries that are enlarged by cysts. PCOS can also cause irregular or infrequent periods, excessive acne, and weight gain, so if you notice any of these symptoms accompanying your unwanted facial hair, it's best to reach out to a doctor.

How to Safely Get Rid of Facial Hair

PCOS can be treated with medication, so you should see a doctor for help if you think the disease is the underlying cause of your hair growth. If not, there are a ton of hair and chin hair removal methods — like tweezing or waxing — you can turn to to help get rid of your hair temporarily. For a more permanent solution, Dr. Markowitz recommends laser hair removal if the hair on your face is darker and you're looking for a treatment that's more long-lasting.

"To treat unwanted dark hairs, I like to use the diode or YAG lasers for hair removal," she says. "Lasers are best for dark hair because they are designed to remove target brown colors; therefore, the lighter the skin and the darker and thicker the hair, the better the result." For lighter hair, she recommends topical creams or electrolysis.

The only method Dr. Markowitz wouldn't recommend is shaving, as "this can cause damage to the skin, acne, and even folliculitis or inflammation or acne-like scarring of the hair follicles."

Additional reporting by Jessica Harrington