Last Modified on Dec 31, 2013
What Is Hypertrichosis?
As a whole, society is particularly focused on the maintenance of body hair; however, individuals with hypertrichosis are often faced with an even greater responsibility for care and maintenance. Hypertrichosis is a condition that encompasses abnormal hair growth compared to one’s age, sex, race or particular body part. While the condition may seem like a natural oddity to some, hypertrichosis is actually a medical condition that can be addressed as such.
Hypertrichosis can be categorized into two types: congenital and acquired. Congenital hypertrichosis is caused by genetic mutation apparent from birth and is considered rarer than acquired hypertrichosis. Acquired hypertrichosis is hypertrichosis that appears after birth and is considered a result of drugs, cancer and eating disorders.
The primary symptom of either type of hypertrichosis is excessive hair growth; however, this hair may appear in different locations and in different patterns. Congenital hypertrichosis generally causes excessive hair growth in males in the upper body including the face while it affects hair distribution in women. Acquired hypertrichosis involves the rapid growth of facial, armpit and trunk hair. Acquired hypertrichosis may also affect the upper lip, forearms, cheeks, legs and chin. It generally presents as an increase in both hair density and length.
Natural Body Hair Removal and Treatments for Hypertrichosis
Many natural hair removal and hypertrichosis treatment options are available. Alum and rose water applied to the skin topically after shaving diminishes the appearance and growth of excess hair. Additional options include blackstrap molasses taken orally, using an epilator for hair removal and honey and lemon applied to the face. Mint tea also contributes to regulating hair growth. Cocoa butter, calomel and Epsom salts mixed together and massaged into the skin can be used as a natural body hair removal option.
12/30/2012: Rockymtgirl from O, Alabama: "I'm wondering why the alum used as a deodarant like I use it every day wouldn't get rid of arm pit hair. It has to be the alum right? not the rose water? Maybe it's the quantity you use? I just did my face and neck and it started to burn a bit after 20 min, so washed off and put some moisturizer on, feels soft, but just wondering how well this really works. I've used an alum solid deodarant stick for years. It seems my pits have less hair, but not totally gone. So just curious. Going to try the spearmint tea. I had pcos before a total hysterectomy. I've lost a lot of hair including on head since then, but found some things to help bring hair on head back. Didn't mind losing it on face obviously, but the plucker hairs just get thicker and thicker, and blacker. I would never shave my face or anything but legs. I use an epilator with multiple tweezers on arms, I had black arm hair, I'm italian. I've found my hair is light, grows slow, and I only have to do it every few months, and normally my hair grows faster. Maybe it's the hormone thing, not having as many as before. Will update after I do the alum, buying rose water to use, and will get spearmint tea, will give results in a few weeks on that too."Replies
01/01/2013: Absa from Salmiya, Hawally, Kuwait replies: "hi, what did you use for scalp hair? I am having severe hairfall and it would be great if you could share the tips. thank you"
Alum and Rose Water
09/26/2012: Jess from Melbourne, Australia: "Hi Everyone, I just wated to ask will shaving alum work the same as alum powder? If I just dip it into rose water and apply it, will it work the same?
I'm assuming if I use this on my face it will work the same as body hair, is that correct? I don't see why not.
Do I need to remove the hair before I apply the alum and rose water? and if I wax can I apply the alum and rose water straight after or will it be too strong?
Thank you all so much for your help :)"
[YEA] 02/11/2007: Kim from Westport, MA: "Hi there I have been reading and applying the remedies on this site now for over a week with positive results. Since I have added taking 1 tablespoon full of blackstrap molasses every morning before or after my acv concoction, I have noticed something different about the hair growth I suffer from on my face. It I feel has retarded the growth, slowing it down so I don't have to pluck so often. Could it be true? I have suffered for years and years with this condition, I think due to polycystic syndrome. Is it possible that possibly the magnesium in the molasses is affecting my hormones in such a positive way? All I know is, I will keep taking the acv and backing soda for general well-being and pain reduction, along with my tablespoon of black strap molasses to help with female issues and help reduce pain as well. I have noticed my knee pain that was really bad, has almost totally gone away. When I mention what I do to others they simply shake there head roll there eyes, and decide its not for them. But I have to say my excitement and testimonials are making some wonder! All I know is my contact dermatitis disappeared, and pain has greatly diminished and now facial hair slowing down...I am waiting for my body to begin showing me more signs of all of the natural elements being to cure/heal& be gone! I am in awe of this site and appreciate all the feedback I read."Replies
[YEA] 01/23/2011: Elizabeth from Easton, Maryland replies: "Hi Kim, I also take organic, unsulphered BSM for ovarian cysts. After I began taking 2 tbsp/day my cysts disappeared as did most of the symptoms that came along with them!! It is wonderful to be able to treat this ailment with something so natural! Best wishes to you! ~Liz"
05/12/2011: Erika from Oakland, Ca, Usa replies: "Thank you so much for this information, Kim! I was recently diagnosed with PCOS and have had excess facial hair growth for a few years now. I am excited to treat it naturally and it sounds like blackstrap molasses will really help - I'm definitely going to give it a try!"
08/08/2011: Jessie from Nunya, Usa replies: "im sorry. But how do you use the blackstrap mollasis?? you eat it, right?? O. O and how long does it take to see improvements??"
10/16/2011: Lovelife from India, Up replies: "Hi Elizabeth.. Congrats on your success! I want to know that whether your periods were irregular and scanty before going for this natural remedy. And were usuffering from hirsutism problem. kindly reply..."
12/17/2011: Worried ! from Karachi, Pakistan replies: "Hey can you please tell me the exact procedure to take molasses? My sister has ovarian cysts, she had them removed surgically once but they are back again! Any natural remedy would help tons!"
01/29/2012: Mariam from Jacksonville, Florida replies: "Hi Kim, can you please tell us exactly what blackstrap mollases is, how it works, and whether it should be applied to the skin or just eaten. Step by step in details please. Please reply asap!!"
10/28/2012: Candance from Fremont, Nebraska replies: "I mix a tablespoon of Black Strap Molasses and 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in aprox 2 cups of water. It tastes like prune juice."
Cocoa Butter, Calomel, Epsom Salts
[YEA] 03/09/2008: Brooke from Montgomery, TX: "Cocoa Butter - 3 drams (1 dram = 1/8 oz.)
Calomel - 2 grains
Epson Salts - 20 grains
Mix these thoroughly, with a mortar and pestle. Massage this ointment gently in the areas where you want to remove the hair. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then rub off. After, use coconut oil, or any good natural moisturizer."Replies
04/26/2008: Sarah from Alamosa, Colorado replies: "I saw a recipe for natural hair removal but am having problems finding calomel (horn quicksilver, mercurous chloride). Any suggestions on where to purchase?"
09/22/2008: Pati from Alexandria, VA replies: "Sarah, calomel is toxic and isn't allowed in laxatives or makeup anymore - maybe that is why you are having trouble finding it..."
11/16/2008: Sonia from San Diego, CA replies: "If you google calomel, a lot of links for mercury come up."
07/15/2009: Lathika from Vizag, A.P., India replies: "actually it is not that easy for me to get these produts in a.p. market.so, please tell me in what kind of shops does these calomel and epsomsalt available.please do answer this question."
07/17/2009: Kathy from Nevada, NV replies: "what is calomel? And is this a permanent hair removel/ Can I use this on my face? Where can I buy it?"
EC: Calomel, aka Mercury Chloride, was an old-time remedy. Read this page from an 1854 magazine called "The Eclectic Medical Journal"on google books.
Main article: Mercury poisoning
Mercurous chloride is toxic, although due to its low solubility in water it is generally less dangerous than its mercuric chloride counterpart. It was used in medicine as a diuretic and purgative (laxative) in the U.S. from the early 1830s through the 1860s. Calomel was also a common ingredient in teething powders in Britain up until 1954, causing widespread mercury poisoning in the form of pink disease, which at the time had a mortality rate of 1 in 10. These medicinal uses were later discontinued when the compound's toxicity was discovered.
It has also found uses in cosmetics as soaps and skin lightening creams, but these preparations are now illegal to manufacture or import in many countries including U.S., Canada, Japan and Europe. A study of workers involved in the production of these preparations showed that the sodium salt of 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS) was effective in lowering the body burden of mercury and in decreasing the urinary mercury concentration to normal levels.
12/05/2010: Brooke from Montgomery, Tx, Usa replies: "Hi Sarah, sorry for not posting back. I will give you the direct quote from the Cayce readings - I am not sure where you can by Calomel - I have searched online but you may be able to find a pharmacist that can order it for you. 14. (Q) Since diet has not caused hair on lips to diminish, is there anything which will prevent this that can be used externally? Will cutting or bleaching increase growth?
(A) Do not shave off, do not attempt to bleach or dye, but use this mixture:
Cocoa Butter......... 3 drams,
Calomel.............. 2 grains,
Epsom Salts......... 20 grains. Mix these thoroughly, as with mortise and pestle. Massage this ointment gently in the areas where there are the disturbances from superfluous hair, and after leaving on for fifteen to twenty minutes, rub off. This used as an ointment will remove hair without injury to the body. To be sure, mercury is in the calomel, and this is a poison, but with this combination and in this quantity there is not sufficient for a body to absorb enough to become detrimental to the body-forces. After this is used, as the base for a better skin condition use the Genuine Black and White Cream."
12/06/2010: Merryanne from Orange City, Florida, Usa replies: "Hello Brook, There is a company that makes and sells many if not all of the Edgar Cayce products, do a search and you will fine it or call the Edgar Casey clinic."
12/06/2010: Brooke from Montgomery, Tx, Usa replies: "Oh good Merryanne!!!!! Can you please tell me what Cayce center sells the Calomel? I would really like that! I have been searching for it since the early 80's! Please tell me! I will share it with everyone I know! And Thank you again!"
12/11/2011: Mh from Toronto, On, Canada replies: "Folks, calomel is (thankfully) banned virtually everywhere, and is highly, highly toxic, even if only applied to skin. Mercury preparations will surely stop your hair growth -- by killing you!"
09/05/2013: Kadi from Colombia replies: "Hi I read this post and I was wondering if you have actually used this recipe and if so what were your results? Also how would I measure out a grain? Thanks"
Epilator, Alum and Rose Water
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 06/09/2013: Nicole from Melbourne, Australia: "Shaving alum and rosewater:
Hello everyone, Right after I wax I dip the solid shaving alum into a bowl with rosewater in it and apply it to the skin for an hour or half an hour depending on the area. It does sting a lot but it's worth it. I use this on my face, arms and legs.
I have noticed a huge difference, the hairs are lighter, thinner, take longer to grow out and I have a few bald spots.
But if I don't wax for 2 months the hair grow back in the bald spots, I thought the alum and rosewater was supposed to permanently get rid of the hair but the hairs are still there, they just take longer to grow back and are much thinner.
Is alum and rosewater supposed to get rid of hairs permanently or am I mistaken?
Can anyone please tell me why this is happening? Do I need to be more patient?
Thanks for all your help by introducing this method to me and thank you in advance for all your answers :)"
10/15/2010: Beth from Dublin, Ireland: "OK, I managed to get the alum powder, I made it into a paste with the rose water, however it is very gritty and find it hard to adhere to the skin, it dries up pretty quickly when applied and flakes off after a minute or two. Am I mixing it wrong? Is there anything else I can mix with it, to make it stick to the skin better? Thanks Beth."Replies
10/16/2010: Tish from Toronto, Ontario replies: "This is for Beth from Dublin. You are doing it right , the stuff does dry up pretty fast, you can reapply if you like. What I have found convenient is that I got this solid alum, like u get them in chunks, so all I do is take a little bit of rose water in a bowl and dip this piece of alum and rub on my face for a few minutes and leave it on for an hour later rinse with water ansd apply coconut oil to make the skin smooth. Hopw this helped."
06/01/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx replies: "Tish from Toronto, or any others who have used solid alum: I got some solid alum "Shaving alum" from an Indian market (large Indian market is at southwest corner of Belt Line and US 75, Richardson Texas). How do I get alum powder or benefits from the alum block? Mine looks like a bar of soap shape, but is alum. Any tips would be great. TY citygirl from Richardson, Texas."
09/28/2012: Jess from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Yes I have the same question, I got the shaving alum and its sold and looks like a bar of soap, will that work the same as alum power if I dip it into rose water?"
10/09/2010: Sara from Sacramento, Ca, USA: "Dear Friends, I am just wondering if someone out there know to remove hair naturally. Someone was talking about Alum and Rose Water. If she is reading my question please get back to me with more details. Thanks, Sara"Replies
10/10/2010: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "I have no answer for you but another way seems to be fenugreek with water. Make a paste, apply and let dry. I haven't tried yet but I read it in one of my books."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 12/26/2011: Mas from Rockville, Maryland replies: "Hi, I have excessive facial hair and have tried so many kind of hair removing method including laser treatment but nothing really worked for me. I've been using alum and rose water for the past 2 months and I can definately see the improvement. The hair does grow back but much finer. I bought the alum at an asian store in Rockville, Maryland. Thank you"
12/28/2011: G from Nyc, Ny replies: ""Mas from Rockville, Maryland"... What brand of rose water do you use? Thanks."
01/04/2012: Mas from Rockville, Maryland replies: "I bought rose water from an Indian store. Any brand will do."
09/10/2012: Naturallysimple from Just Call It Heaven, United States replies: "Even though it's been a long time now since you gals posted this, could you still share:
How many times you do it?
What brand the alum powder you used?
I am using the alum powder that comes crushed and in a plastic bag, but usng the big solid alum sounds perfect. Any help would be appreciated. THANKS! :D"
10/09/2012: Jess from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Is shaving alum the same thing? thats the only one I've been able to find. Can I just dip it into rosewater and then apply it to my skin, will that work the same?"
10/13/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx, Usa replies: "I can't remember the brand but it is in the section of Asian markets where the skin care, shower products and hair care are located. Found it near some maca products."
[NAY] 09/24/2009: Jocelyn from New York, Us: "i have been using the alum powder with the rose water every day for a month, and i got the opposite outcome. i have more hair growth rather than getting rid of hair. I am getting worried..."
[YEA] 07/12/2009: Hafs from London, UK: "getting rid of excessive bodily hair: I found by using a good quality epilator on my body in 2 years I have almost totally eradicated my hair on arms and legs .I looked like a chimp before. My facial growth is really severe for that i've found ground powdered alum mixed with a good quality rose water rubbed on daily after I thread my facial hair. I rubb it in and leave on for about 1 hour reapplying if necessary .(if I don't thread daily I get a beard within 2/3 days) is finally making a difference .Aftr two month I can actually see a difference and now only thread every 2 or 3 days.This is a remedies used in Pakistan , i've seen many totally hairless women who swear by it.Works even on under arms etc. Apparently girls use it from the onset of puberty and within a couple of years are hairless on any part of the body. Best of luck to any one who suffers as I have since my teenage years."Replies
07/14/2009: Kay from The Valley, California replies: "Can you tell us if you made a paste out of the alum and rose water or just put a little alum in the rose water? Some approx. measurements of the ingredients would be very helpful. I'm not sure what you mean by 'reapply if necessary'. What would make it necessary? Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and I'm looking forward to learning more."
07/15/2009: saf from London, UK replies: "Hi, Is Alum an indian spice AKA Fatakdi?? And can I purchase this from an indian grocery shop??? Do you make a paste and leave it on for an hour everyday?"
EC: Per Wikipedia: "Alum powder, found in the spice section of many grocery stores, may be used in pickling recipes as a preservative to maintain fruit and vegetable crispness."
07/17/2009: Hafs from London, UK replies: "Yeah that's the stuff, really mix it in the rose water well, powder if necessary. Alum can irritate so if you're sensitive leave for less time but make sure you're rose water is not the cheap grocery shop brand. It works, takes time i've got patches now where hair don't grow and the hair has became really fine in some places."
07/22/2009: Hafs from London, UK replies: "Hi Kay I mix approx 1/2 tspn of ground alum powder with 2-4 tbspns rose water. Mix well till alum dissolves then apply to face with cotton wool or fingers as I do. Leave on for minimum 15 minutes to 1 hour.,or longer,if you're not too sensitive.It's more effective after hair removal when it penetrates the roots.Sometimes it dries powdery on your face within a few minutes then you could re apply it. Be careful of eyebrows or hairline or eye lashes because if it falls on those they'll disappear aswell. Best regards"
08/13/2009: Saf from London, Uk replies: "Hi there, I have tried to mix the rose water and alum powder together but the powder does not seem to dissolve at all. The powder sits at the bottom even after I have stirred it for a good few minutes. Any suggestions ??"
08/18/2009: Hafs from London, Uk replies: "Hi, I normally keep stirring eventually it dissolves .Otherwise rub into face and keep reapplying rosewater to stop it drying out but this can make your face sensitive and have a caustic effect. As long as you get the alum into your skin so it is absorbed with the rose water it's ok. I often wonder if adding alittle apple cider vinegar (IT MAY HELP TO ABSORB ALUM INTO HAIR FOLLICLES) would speed things up but am reluctant to try since for the first time in my life something is actually working on my hair problem. BEST REGARDS"
08/26/2009: Jocelyn from New York, New York, Usa replies: "I live in new york, the only alum powder i found was ammonium alum U.S.P powdered. Is it ok to use this?"
08/28/2009: Kelly from Ny, Us replies: "Thank you, for sharing with us all. Can i use the granulated alum ?, i can't find it in powdered form."
08/29/2009: Naj from Birmingham, United Kingdom replies: "Hi, im so glad that other people have been in this position. having facil hair is affecting me really bad i feel really down al the time. i have brought that alum powder and some rose water, it's not the very cheap usual rose water but not the very expensive one either.
can i apply the paste directly onto my face where i want to remove hair from without doing anything else before such as threading? im a bit cautious to thread or wax etc from stories ive heard.
will it work the same if i dont thread and just directly apply the paste??
08/29/2009: Phyl from Ocklawaha, Fl replies: "Where do I buy rose water? Looked today but I could not find it at different stores"
EC: We've seen rose water sold in all Indian, Middle Eastern, and international grocery stores. Very cheap item! Otherwise, check Google or Amazon: http://www.google.com/products?q=rose+water&hl=en&aq=f
08/31/2009: Tracey from Gainesville, Fl replies: "what is threading?"
"Facial hair threading, a technique using a string to remove hair passed down through generations in eastern countries is becoming extremely popular here for many reasons, like being chemical-free and gentle to the skin."
"The process uses a cotton string using a twisting motion, to trap hair in a mini lasso that pulls up each hair right out of the follicle as it passes along the skin."
09/01/2009: Hafs from London, Uk replies: "Hi, you don't have to remove all the hair beforehand it still works but i'm told it's a little slower.
I got alum as crystalls just grind them to a fine powder using a coffee grinder or soice grinder. If you get alum as a rock do the same. Break down to small pieces using a hammer then grind."
09/02/2009: Leah from Nyc, NY replies: "And then after the 15 minutes to 1 hour, you wash it off with tap water? Thanks!"
09/02/2009: Leah from Nyc, NY replies: "Hi, I couldn't find alum powder, but I read that it's used in pickling. So I went into a spice store and I asked for fatakdi. He didn't know what it was. So I said, it's from India and it's used for pickling. So he gave me a yellow powder which looks like turmeric and he said it's called tourshi.
Does this sound like it's the same stuff? Is alum a mustard-yellow color?
What do you do after the 15 minutes, wash it off with water?
EC: Looks like Tourshi is an Armenian pickle dish! Here's a recipe: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1636,153174-242193,00.html
09/02/2009: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca replies: "Hi Leah, We found ours in an East Indian food store. It came in large chunks and is clear so we just used a mortar and pestle and crushed it. Try going there because you can also find rose water there at a very low price. Hope this helps."
09/02/2009: Leah from Nyc, Nyc replies: "LOL! Oh boy, I've been rubbing my legs with an Armenian pickle dish. YIKES!"
09/06/2009: Leah from Nyc, Nyc replies: "Thank you very much, Lisa."
[WARNING!] 09/06/2009: Leah from Nyc, Nyc replies: "CAUTION: I just found this:
Apparently alum powder is a dangerous substance. Can someone (like Ted) please comment on this? Today I was given crystals that I ground by hand into powder and now I don't know if I want to keep it around.....
09/11/2009: Sheryl from California, Us replies: "So once you use it and see effects, do you have to use it all your life or stop when you achieve what you want? Thanx"
09/17/2009: Saima from London, UK replies: "saima78627 // @ // hotmail.co.uk is my email. Hafs could u please tell me which type of rosewater maybe brand name or where to buy. i do know that grocery shops one is not recommended"
09/22/2009: Kvt from Palo Alto, Usa replies: "Hafs, are you still noticing improvements with the facial hair? How long was it before you saw hairless patches?"
01/12/2010: -eaasdd from Bristol, Uk replies: "how often do you have to apply it ? everyday ?"
07/26/2010: Katya from Chandigarh, India replies: "Hey HAFS. . . . I just want to know- is this alum rose water mixture helpful for body hair and for how long do we have to use it? Do we have to use it life long?"
[QUESTION] 08/03/2010: C from Calgary, Alberta replies: "Does anyone know if this alum is the same that is sold as a natural deodorant stick? I would imagine it is but I want to make sure before I go out and buy it. There are no Indian stores where I live."
09/17/2010: R from Pune, India replies: "Are there any side effects of using alum and rose water? I am 25 years old and had very fine facial hair and after getting laser treatment from kaya, the hair have become darker and more visible. I have already had 15 sittings for laser. But the situation is not improved. (Also all the harmonal tests are normal). I am to get married soon. I dont know what to do??? Can someone please help!!!!!"
02/28/2011: Nausheen from Ad Doha, Qatar replies: "Hey I was just wondering if alum is called fitakri in hindi ? also can I use it on my face? is it necessary to shave before using it?"
03/07/2011: Butterfly from Singapore replies: "Yes, alum is called fitkari in hindi. You can use it on your face to keep away pimples."
04/12/2011: American Ed from Silver Spring, Md replies: "Third world countries have often used remedies that are dangerous. Due to the lack of medical access, extreme poverty, and the absence of social programs and agencies that protect people from toxic substances; home remedies have evolved that while they may work in some cases, they also have lethal or serious side effects. One recurring problem on the internet is the magnitude of misinformation, myths, old wive's tales, ignorance, economic conditions and desperation of persons who will try or believe anything. Alum is toxic and on a continued basis accumulates in the body.
threading and epilation are just fancy tweezing methods. The hair is ripped from the follicle causing damage each time. If this cycle is repeated often enough to the same hair follicle(this is the trick-more than one follicle may grow from a site and hair must be in the active phase to be effectively destroyed so multiple rounds will be required to destroy it. )regrowth will be inhibited. Women from India and the Middle East are very hairy-it is genetic. North Americans are next in terms of body hair, while sub-saharan Africans and persons from the Orient(Chinese, Japanese, Thailand etc. have the least amount of facial and body hair. Of course many people are a mixture of different ethnicities and reflect the combination of genes in regards to amount of hair. Women with serious excess should have medical evaluations done and the next groups for whom it is genetic, familial or socially undesirable (fashion has now decided that hair anywhere is to be removed) have a variety of methods. The only permanent method in the hands of a trained and capable operator is electrolysis. All other methods- laser, even waxing of large areas, threading, are temporary.
Laser does not work on light -colored hair or grey hair and special lasers afre required if you have pigmented skin and dark hair. All of these methods are expensive and time-consuming. If you wax, shave, pluck, tweeze, epilate or remove hair forcibly from the follicle, you need to exfoliate to prevent ingrown hairs especially if you have thick hair, textured hair or curly hair.
One problem with laser removal is that it can stimulate hair that might never become a problem. It will make these hair darker and coarser and it will appear that the laser it not working when it in effect is causing other hair to grow and thicken. We have millions of hairs and most of it will not grow to any visible degree unless stimulated-you can see this when you take a cast off after many weeks. To the woman who grew hair after laser, you probably want to use electrolysis especiall from a person who works on males transitiong to females because these operators are very good at getting at the follicle. If you have been epilating the hair using any of the above-mentioned methods, then electrolysis will take longer.
The other alternative for those who have no real problem but are victims of fashion, maybe it is time to rebel against the imposition of fashion nonsense and simply love ourselves. this does not apply to women who have hirsuitism or real excess that is socially and or psychologically disabling.
One treatment I forgot are creams that are available from your doctor that are effective in inhibiting hair growth. They work, but must be used on a regular basis and if stopped, the hair grows back. It would be a good alternative for some people who do not mind having to use a cream everyday."
05/17/2011: Sunshine77 from Stockton, Ca replies: "Sir, while I understand that much of what you say is true, you have never suffered as a female with excess hair growth. And even after everything you do.... waxing for ten years, laser treatments, etc.. the hair always grows back; nothing works. So this natural remedy may just be a miracle for some of us. I don't know yet as I haven't tried it, but I plan to, and I hope with all my heart that it works because no one, NO ONE, should ever have to feel like this."
05/24/2011: T from Phoenix, Az Usa replies: "I'd love to know just how toxic this alum is. I really want to try it. I've been shaving my face since I was 14 - I am now 32. As mentioned before, and it's totally correct, NO ONE should have to live like this. I have to shave every single morning, and by nighttime I am prickly again. It sucks. Google isn't being too helpful in the possible alum danger department ><"
[YEA] 07/16/2011: Ana from Ny replies: "im using alum and rose water for 1 month. I can say its a miracle. When it drys I apply rose water every 5 min so it dosent fall. If u live in usa, u can find alum at any big food store (spice aisle) and im using rose water cortas brand"
08/04/2011: K from San Jose, U.s replies: "is this alum and rose water mixture only for facial hair?? I have hair all over, can I use it on my chest area n stomach.... ?? suggest...."
01/20/2012: Deepti M from Schaumburg, Il, Usa replies: "As already asked, although ALUM and ROSE WATER and experiences of other with this sounds promising but can anyone (MAYBE TED) please please comment if ALUM is toxic because some sites over the internet have some scary comments on even POTASSIUM ALUM.... Please help as I really want to try this....
I am suffering from excessive hair on face and body from a long time and really getting depressed because of the problem.... All my tests related to my hormones are normal and my mother and father are not hairy at all so I have no idea what's wrong with me.... please help."
02/17/2012: Winnie from Hampshire, Il, Us replies: "To Deepti from Schaumburg From what I've read, the adverse reactions people had to alum came from either ingesting it, or inhaling the powder, which, like talc, is very fine. When added to the rose water, there is no powder to be inhaled. But, I wouldn't snort it, or sprinkle it on popcorn!"
03/09/2012: Dan from S.s., Md. replies: "My wife, who is Filipino, introduced me to Alum. So, if you know of a Filipino grocery store (and there are a few around where I live in Silver Spring, Maryland) you can find it in it's rock, crystalline form..... It looks likke a chunk of ice. It is also called 'TAWAS' in Tagalog (one of the Filipino languages).
I actually used it for a bout of gingivitis..... A mouth wash. Now, my subsequesnt understanding is that there is a DIFFERENCE between the naturally occurring Alum and the synthetic version..... I have no idea, which is which.... Other than I have been getting the natural version from the Filipino grocery. It is also reputed to be good for all types of skin issues.... Like athletes foot. I believe the natural version is Potassium Alum.
If you look closely at the ingredients in a lot of toothpastes, you will see that Alum is often an ingredient. It is also a common ingredient of underarm deodorants.
What I do is mash it with a hammer, put it in a coffee mug of water, about 2 tablespoons (which makes it about a 5-1 mixture) and then HEAT IT UP. Put it in the microwave oven about the same time you would to re-heat a cup of coffee.... It will DISSOLVE, but it has to be hot to do so! ..... then, let it cool down before you apply to your skin (but stir it up each time you use it), or use as a mouth wash.
Now, I used this recipe for the mouth wash.... I don't know what one needs to do for hair removal. My wife tells me that if you use it for your feet, you make a footbath out of it. Fill a large pot/bowl and soak your feet for 20 minutes.... that sort of thing.
Good Luck! ... I sincerely hope some of this helps some one."
03/09/2012: Winnie from Hampshire, Il, Us replies: "in response to Dan from S. S. , Md: Alum will dissolve in hot water as well; but, when cooled, it will reconstitute itself back into crystals, and settle in the bottom of the glass. It's amazing that alum doesn't do that when dissolved in the rose water. I'm thinking the rose water keeps the dissolved solution suspended. When I first stumbled on this post, I wondered "why rose water? what's so magic about that?" But, now, I think this is the reason why: it's a skin-friendly medium where the alum can stay dissolved.
I microwaved the rose water in a pyrex measuring cup, and dissolved the alum in that. I put the solution in a small applicator bottle (I emptied out my 'anti-puff Eye Roller' by ______ which has a steel roller on the top for the applicator. I never realized any benefit from this goofy thing anyway, so I figured I may as well make use of the container. ) This is the perfect solution for small areas such as the face. It's small, convenient and no mess, which is what it needs to be in order for me to keep with the regimen. I either have it handy in my pencil holder at my desk, or in my makeup basket, and use it several times a day. I've just been doing this for the past couple weeks, but can already tell the difference... With no epilator, by the way!
Although not sure, I'm not convinced that it matters if it dries or not - it's still on your skin. I used alum in powder form, from grocery store."
03/28/2012: Deepti M from Schaumburg, Il, usa replies: "Just putting out some more facts about Alum so we all can make some informed choices :
04/25/2012: Cath from London, Uk replies: "Hi, I'm wondering if its possible for me to use potassium alum? I have some peach fuzz on my face and upper lip that I would like to go away, how long do you think it will take (I don't want to remove the hairs before using the alum)? Cath"
10/12/2012: Nia from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Hi there thanks everyone for this information I just have a few questions about the alum and rosewater mix, Can I use the solid shaving alum? is it the same as the powder? how to I apply it, do I rub it in or leave it on wet?"
11/02/2012: Nia from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Hi everyone I have waxed/epilated and then applied shaving alum and rosewater for a few days after I waxed and waited for the hairs to grow back and they grew back exactly the same, not thinner or lesser.
I tried it again for a second time (after a month when the hairs grew back) and saw no difference. I used shaving alum and I dipped it into rosewater and applied it to my skin.
Should I keep trying and just be patient? am I doing something wrong? Please help me"
03/27/2013: Cath from London, Uk replies: "Hi, Are you still seeing results from using alum and rose water? Do you need to remove the hair first? Thank you in advance."
Honey and Lemon Juice
[YEA] 03/30/2011: Shalu from Haryana, India: "Facial Hair Removal: Mix honey and lemon juice in equal proportions and apply on face for 10-15 minutes every alternate day. It also adds glow to your face. Thanks."
Laser Hair Removal
01/18/2012: Lisa from Hudson, Ontario Canada: "On the subject of lazer hair removal, myself and both of my sisters suffer with unwanted facial hair growth and we have all had lazer therapy for this problem with successful results. We all have dark hair and dark skin. On some of the comments on this site some people said that they didn't have good results with the lazer; that their hair grew back and that it doesn't work if you have dark skin.
Before going for my therapy I would stay out of the sun to keep my face from getting tan and the dermatologist can also give a bleaching cream to lighten the skin if you need it before the therapy. The lazer does work best on darker thicker hair. I had to go about 10 times and I didn't have anymore hair growth for about a year and you have to go back once every 6 months to a year and have one treatment to keep it maintained.
The hair that grows after the treatment is not the same hairs that were treated with the lazer before- it is new ones that are coming back. The hair that is treated with the lazer doesn't come back because the lazer destroys the hair follicle. You can't just go and have treatments and never go back to keep it maintained because with this hair growth problem you will always have new hair growth. It doesn't work for people with blonde or gray hair but I was told by my technician that they are working on developing a lazer that will target light haired people.
The lazer does work for dark haired people but you have to keep it mainted. I am stuck out in the boonies in canada and don't have access to lazer now and I'd love to go get treatments because it's been 2 years since my last treatment and now I'm starting to look like a man again lol"Replies
01/19/2012: Louwrence from Rustenburg, North West South Africa replies: "Hi Lisa, Why don't you look at hormonal balance, it could be the cause of facial hair growth in women then maybe you won't have to have laser treatments."
08/10/2009: Becky from Atlanta, Ga: "Mint tea for Hirsutism : This is not something I have direct experience with, but I have heard of a remedy for women with extra hair growth that is not listed here. It is spearmint tea! Yummy, right? You can probably find more info by googling it but I heard an herbalist talking about how mint tea will lower testosterone in women. Apparently it can start working within a week, drink two cups of mint tea a day. If anyone tries it please share your experience. Sounds like a really easy remedy to try. :-)"Replies
[YEA] 12/11/2009: Miss G from Columbia, Ky replies: "I had a horrible problem with facial hair for a very long time. I read somewhere that spearmint tea would help reduce facial hair. I began 1-2 quarts of spearmint tea daily. I was so surprised to find that my facial hair disappeared! I am a firm believer in drinking spearmint tea. I also found out that if I skip a day or two of drinking the tea that my facial hair would come back. Spearmint tea along with tumeric has also helped reduce the amout of boils that I have!"
12/12/2009: Kay from In The Valley, Ca replies: "Do you take fresh spearmint and make a tea or just buy the spearmint tea in a box at the store? When you say 1 to 2 quarts a day, how many tea bags or spearmint leaves would that be? Thanks"
12/13/2009: Missg from Columbia, Ky replies: "I order my spearmint tea bags off the internet. I live in a rural area and it is hard to find specality items in the local stores. I take 3-4 tea bags and put them in a 10 cup coffee maker. I fill the coffee maker up with water just like I am making a pot of coffee. After the tea is brewed I take a 2 qt pitcher and pour the hot tea in it. I then add some type of sweetner to taste and fill the pitcher up the rest of the way with water. Then I leave it in the refridgerator to cool. I usually make a pot every day. I can tell a big difference in my facial hair if I skip a day or two. If I remember correctly it took a couple of weeks before I could notice a difference when I began using it. Good Luck!"
[NAY] 09/22/2010: Tessa from Auckland, Nz replies: "Hi - I have been drinking approx 2 cups of organic spearment tea for about six months now - I have not noticed any difference yet. I would also like to add that my facial hair also got A LOT worse after getting laser treatment. I am now going to try the Alum or go back to electrolysis."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 02/24/2011: Sandy from Toronto, Ontario replies: "I've had excess facial hair since age 19 (I'm 22). I tried laser hair removal and let me warn all of you LASER MAKES FACIAL HAIR WORSE!! Instead of getting rid of the dark hairs, I now have a peach fuzz, PLUS the darker hair. I've heard of many other woman who have experienced the same thing.
I've been getting electrolysis for almost a year now, on a weekly basis and I'm starting to see results... But it takes a long time!
Anyways, on to mint tea. I read that it helps with excess facial hair, by blocking free testosterone in your body (or something of that nature). I can honestly say that I notice a big difference during the weeks that I drink mint tea daily vs. weeks where I forget. The growth of the dark hair is minimilised considerably.
For anyone battling annoying facial hair, I suggest you try it. You have nothing to lose, as it's delicious and nutritious! I buy plain old peppermint tea bags from the grocery store.
Hope it works for you!"
06/01/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx replies: "Will drinking spearmint tea slow down other hair growth everywhere else too? It seems to me that internal methods (i. e. Not topical) can't pick and choose where they act - they effect all over. I don't want to slow down my hair growth for my shoulder length blonde hair, which I am trying to grow out. Maybe Ted can help, what is it in the mint tea that makes it work for facial hair reduction? Also mint anything makes me sneeze, dont know why. I think it is the menthol naturally in it. Had facial hair and spiky chin hairs (and lifelong battle with inability to lose weight) since I was a teen - I think it might be a larger issue. TY - citygirl from Richardson, Texas."
06/02/2012: Louwrence from Rustenburg, North West, South Africa replies: "Hi Citygirl27, Have your hormones checked because you may have too much testosterone that could be causing facial hair."
06/03/2012: Catherine from Colorado Springs, Co replies: "Hi citygirl27, the symptoms you describe sound like polycystic ovarian syndrome. You should research it and see if some of the remedies here would work for you. You don't have to have cysts to have it. Good luck!"
09/12/2012: Lu from Armenia replies: "It works, I had high levels of prolactine, and no menstruation during almost a year, and thus upper lip and chin hair, even if after treatment I started to have menstruations but the hair were stil there, started drinking mint tea since last january and in march already the hair started to fall... On my face now everything is ok, good luck!!!"
10/13/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx, Usa replies: "I have every reason to believe I am an MSG baby I. E. It was especially heavily used in baby food and vaccines during my formative years (1971-2) and I even got epilepsy at the exact time of a vaccine (18 months). I suffer from a damaged hypothalamus, evident by all of my imbalances being exact symptoms of it, such as excessive sweating and unmovable weight. I know that all of my hormone levels are high, except leptin. If they were low, I could raise them in clever ways, but too high means it can't be compensated for. Unfortunately, it is not fixable and not operable. Even if something could be done, I have no job or insurance, so that rules out pretty much everything outside of EC."
[YEA] 05/12/2008: Gean from Salina, Kansas: "re: Facial Hair. A few years I had bought a Gaia Herbs naturopathic handbook by Richard Scalzo, and tried their herbal suggestions for allergies. Within a couple of weeks or less, I realized that all the hair on my upper lip had disappeared. The stuff I took was: Compounded Turmeric/Catechu 30-40 drops 3-4x daily between meals (4-6months) Fresh Nettles Extract 30-50 drops 3-4x daily (4-6 mo) Compounded Echinacea 30-40 drops 4x a day (The health food store got me Echinacea/Goldenseal instead since they couldn't get the other one, which I shouldn't have taken long term had I known) Licorice Root Solid Exract 1/8-1/4 tsp 2x daily for 2-4weeks (you can order this from Tahoma Clinic, search online) Compounded Bitters Elixir 1/2-1 tsp. 3x daily in a small amount of warm water before meals 4-6 mo. Compounded Psyllium Husk Powder, 1 heaping tsp. in full glass of warm water 2x daily for 3-4 mo. Compounded Vitamin C Elixir 1 tsp. 2x/day Flax oil 1 Tbls. 2x/day. Always take a break from this every seventh day, every seven week, every seventh month. It's expensive and takes time and effort, but I guess it really balances hormones. I didn't do it for the full 4-6 mo.,(my blood pressure kept dangerously dropping, probably due to the long term goldenseal) but when I get money and time I'll try it again."
[YEA] 02/05/2008: June from KC, KS: "I can certainly sympathize with any woman suffering from excessive hair growth, especially facial hair.
I have had this problem, unfortunately, for about 20 years. Over the years I have watched it get worse and worse. I continue to research this problem and try different remedies. I can share some of my experiences.
Laser treatments help slow and diminish the growth. But lasers only work if you have very light/white skin and dark hair. Laser treatments are also very expensive, about $100 a pop where I live.
Various forms of electrolysis are also expensive, as well as terribly painful, and did not help me in the slightest.
For maintenance I do shave. If your skin is irritated, try applying a thick yet gentle facial cleanser when you shave. Wash it off and then apply a good moisturizer such as almond oil or other natural oil...nothing that will sting or clog pores.
The main cure is to look at your hormones. Yes, too much testosterone is the cause. I have noticed when I eat too much sugar or processed carbohydrates (such as popcorn and bread) over a long period of time (even a couple weeks) my hair growth will increase. The more you can reduce your testosterone levels and balance your hormones in general, the less hair you should have.
For us girls with pcos (polycystic ovarian syndrome) losing weight is a must. It is also very difficult. I've found ACV plus lots of exercise helps me lose weight. Exercise will also help your body convert testosterone into female hormones.
What has worked for me and what didn't? I tried Saw Palmetto (supposed to lower testosterone rates in men and some women) for years with no results. I also tried progesterone creme on several occasions and each time it made me hemmorage!!!
I also tried Ted's lime/baking soda cure for calcified ovaries/pcos and found it made me itch all over and dried out my skin.
Vitex - Vitex is recommended for women who don't ovulate and therefore don't produce any progesterone to counteract estrogen. This can cause heavy bleeding. I began taking vitex and did find it lessened my bleeding. After a while I realized I was taking too much (3 capsules x day instead of 1 capsule each day). When I reduced my dosage my bleeding lessened even more. Finally, I stopped the vitex all together and the bleeding almost totally went away. This was combined with weight loss and lots of exercise.
Inositol is a form of b vitamin (B8) that is supposed to be good for women with pcos and I do believe it helps me. "This vitamin prevents hardening of the arteries and is important in the formation of lecithin. It also plays a part in the metabolism of fat and cholesterol, and removes fats from the liver. Inositol is also known to have a calming effect. It is found in Brewer?s yeast, fruits, lecithin, legumes, meats, milk, unrefined molasses, raisins, vegetables, and whole grains." according to a site where I buy supplements.
I also tried Edgar Cayce's castor oil pack remedy, but I've never been able to do it consistently. When I wasn't having a period it would help me have one. But if you are bleeding you are not supposed to use them because castor oil can increase the bleeding.
I have also tried liver flushes and just about every remedy under the sun. The hardest is lifestyle change.
There is a book out about pcos written by a woman physician who helps women with pcos. But the diet is so strict it's ridiculous. And, she recommends tons of expensive supplements that she also happens to sell. I am believing more and more in EarthClinic remedies and less and less in tons of supplements.
In the past year I've read two articles that say mint (and green) teas lower testosterone levels. The first story said men in India complained of a lessened libido (lowered testosterone) after drinking lots of mint tea. A story I read yesterday in Allure magazine's November 2007 edition said women may benefit from drinking mint tea because it lowers testosterone levels.
I've been taking BSM (black strap molasses) for a month and it took away my heavy lingering bleeding, a side effect of too much estrogen. It has helped me the most in regards to my hormones of all the remedies I have tried. I will watch to see if it lessens my hair growth and pcos symptoms.
PCOS is such a tough ailment to address and has many symptoms. I constantly have to remind myself that it involves a huge lifestyle change including LOTS of exercise, elimination of sugar and processed carbohydrates, lots of veggies and the right supplements.
I am taking ACV (apple cider vinegar) and BSM (black strap molasses) and I believe these help lessen my sugar cravings. (The more sugar/processed foods I eat, the more I crave them.) I also think green tea does help. My sugar cravings are almost non-existent these days. I have had basically zero sugar and alcohol for the past 6 weeks. If you have to have something sweet try eating a little dark chocolate, preferably following a meal.
Ted recommends drinking a large glass of water after eating sugar to lessen the effects on blood sugar and hormones.
I also eat regularly. Do not starve yourself because allowing yourself to be hungry further messes with your hormones. Eating every 3-4 hours and making good food choices will help speed up your metabolism. Find exercise that you love and do some every day.
I had fibromyalgia for 9 years and was able to heal my body from it. I have to remind myself I can heal from pcos, too. But I think it's even tougher than the fibro! It's so hard to make lifestyle changes...especially when you have a huge sweet tooth and your body is prone to manfunctioning...but you will only change when you get sick and tired enough of your problems.
Be patient with yourself and keep trying. Try only changing one or two things until you can incorporate them into your lifestyle. Fast change does not work. If you can't change your diet drastically, then at least start exercising. If all you can do is start drinking green tea with mint added then drink tea. Find something you can change and get started.
It's very hard, but I know some women have successfully shed the weight and reduced or eliminated their symptoms altogether.
Good luck. I am trying right along with you all"Replies
02/21/2009: Lola from Fairfax, VA replies: "Hello there thanks for posting all this info on your experimentation with treating pcos. I self diagnosed myself with this about 8 years ago. I'm 35 yrs old and my diagnosis was later confirmed when I complained to my doctor and my test came back with elevated hormomes, especially insulin and testosterone. I must admit I dont really follow any diet but I know that reducing sugar and carbs are KEY with pcos. Studies have shown that elevated insulin levels throw off many other hormones including testosterone. Therefore lowering carbs and sugar is essential to this. I recently started taking ACV before meals and I do notice reduction in appetite. I too was on saw palmetto but didnt notice much on it. You're 100% correct the right diet will work wonders alone, but of course that's the hardest thing to do. For now I'm gonna stick to the ACV and see how that goes. Good luck to you!"
03/26/2009: Heather from Barrie, Ontario Canada replies: "Lola, your message is helpful to me. I'm glad I came across it. I've had a low thyroid and high levels of testosterone for quite a while and as you can guess, have been really struggling with weight loss. It's a major issue for me, as is excess hair all over me. I do everything I can: exercise a few times a week, eat a reasonable diet and go to laser appointments. Nothing really helps. In fact, doing all this, I'm not even able to maintain my weight - I'm still gaining. About a pound or two a month I think. I was beginning to think I was a freak. Your mentioning the insulin levels and reduction of bread products was the first time I'd heard of it making a difference.
I did sort of suspect that I just couldnt' eat bread, but since the doctor didn't confirm this suspicion, I let it go. Now I'm going to try it again. It's hard - I'm a vegan with an already restricted diet, but if I can lose weight and facial hair, it is worth the attempt. I do wonder though, how long it would be before noticing a difference. Do you have any idea?"
03/26/2009: Nicole from Laguna Niguel, california, usa replies: "Hi, I also have PCOS and I'm only 15 years old. It is really hard to deal with this; but for all those women with PCOS please stay positive!
My doctor told me I had to loose weight; for 6 months striaght 5 times a week I got up at 5 A.M to go to the gym I would stay for 2 hours my mom was very supportive and I was determined! After those six months I went back to my doctor for a check up only to find out I had only lost 5 pounds! I was shocked I had worked so hard for nothing... but when my lab test came back there was a huge change In my cholesterol and my high blood pressure which I had to take medication for was almost gone! So stay positive + + + + + Everyone"
03/27/2009: Rosy from Orlando, Fl replies: "Have you tried coconut oil? I know that hormones are created from saturated fats, and coconut oil is rich with them. Along with lauric acid, which can help with your body with healing it's self. I like the book Eat Fat Loss Fat, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. It talks more about the good fats your body needs to keep healthy and balanced."
03/29/2009: Muna from Abu Dhabi, UAE replies: "Thank you very much for sharing your experiences. I hope to try them out and write back with, I pray, some positive results."
07/11/2010: Lola from Fairfax, Va replies: "Heather,
Hopefully, you are still reading this blog. Sorry it has taken me this long to respond, I have been soo busy with in my life the past year. I hope you found something that works for you to balance your horomones. To give you an update, I have lost about 25 lbs since I last posted, I took the acv off and and on and I came back to earth clinic to see if I could find a treatment for eczema when running across this old post. I lost my weight by cutting down my carbs to about 30grams a day while doing some activity but not much. Also I was not too consistent with my dieting. From reading your post it sounds like you may also have PCOS if you're unable to lose weight and your testosterone is running high. The main problem with PCOS is that in most women it throws off insulin and makes it spike up. PCOS tends to run in women that have diabetes in their family. The theory behind the elevated insulin is that the cell receptors responsible for processing sugar and insulin are not working properly so after eating a meal containing carbs, or sugar the body cannot properly metabolize those types of food and instead of using the food for fuel our bodies store it as fat because after the cells wont use up the sugar/carbs in the food the body cannot let all this sugar roam about so than the body produces LARGE amounts of insulin to counteract in order to lower the blood sugar. This is also the reason why diabetes is a risk factor for pcos because after the pancreas has spent countless years trying to produce insulin to counteract a high carb meal, eventually the pancreas will start to fail and the body has no way to bring down sugar levels in the body and that's what diabetes actually is "high sugar. " The problem with PCOS however, is that as long as your body is producing these large numbers of insulin your body will almost find it impossible to go into its fat storage in order to use fat for fuel. And that is the main culprit of PCOS. Once insulin is high than it will cause a chain reaction to testosterone to elevate and other hormones as well. So the key again is to lower insulin and unfortunately one of the quickest and most effective ways to lower it is by either being on medication such as metformin or others, or by following a low carb diet (but not necessarily high fat). Now since you are vegetarian I'm sure that it may not be an easy thing to do but you can still cut out the bad carbs such as simple carbs and sugar. You can eat things like beans such as lentils, eggs or egg whites, veggies, and if you're gonna eat bread I found a GREAT low carb bread from a company that sells online only (just type in low carb bread, they are based out of CA) that has breads that are made from all organic, high fiber foods (9 grams of fiber per slice or so) That has been a lifesaver for me. Good luck to you, btw exercising with some weights is also good. Studies show that it helps the cells process sugar better therefore, allowing fat storages to have a decent chance to be burned. Good luck to you!"
[NAY] 01/08/2013: Absa from Hawally, Kuwait: "Thank you so much for the remedies. Will try them out. I just hope I get all those things from here. Any idea how much time it will take to get rid of al these excessive hair.. I have heard about alum in rose water, does it help should I try that out too. I tried drinking peppermint tea 2-3 times a days but that did not help."