At some point in your life, you might have seen a woman with a beard, be it a few strands of hair on the chin a tiny moustache, or a full beard, and you might have wondered if it was normal. The woman, could of course be you or somebody you know closely and you are not sure about what to do.
Accepting your body and embracing your beard can be hard and it can take time, but thankfully, we live in a generation where body positivity is largely promoted and we even have some famous activists like British social media influencer, Harnaam Kaur, who has been at the forefront of body-positive campaigns, especially for women who have beards like herself.
Harnaam Kaur has walked on some big runways including the London Fashion Week and she has been featured on Teen Vogue and Vogue Japan, breaking the ridiculous societal beauty standards and proving that all women are beautiful in their own unique way.
Locally, Faith Macharia started a non-profit organization several years called Bearded WOMEN Organization that is aimed at promoting awareness about women with beards and ending the stigma and discrimination that women with beards face.
Here is everything you need to know about women with beards, including the causes of beards among women, why having a beard as a woman is normal, and what you should do if you grow a beard.
What Causes Women To Grow Beards?
Women’s beards can be a sign of hirsutism. Hirsutism is a medical condition that results from high testosterone levels and is characterized by excessive hair growth in women in areas where hair normally grows in men, such as the face, chest, and back.
Although women naturally have some testosterone hormones, when the testosterone levels are higher than normal, they can have certain effects on women including the excessive growth of facial and body hair.
Super elevated testosterone levels in women can be caused by hormonal imbalances that stem from certain medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which accounts for about 85% of all cases of hirsutism and adrenal gland disorders.
In some rare cases, hirsutism may be caused by tumours that produce androgens (male hormones). It can also be caused by a rare genetic condition known as hypertrichosis which causes an abnormal amount of hair growth over the body.
Additionally, certain medications like steroids can also cause super high levels of testosterone.
Why Women With Beards Are Normal.
According to a study conducted by Healthline, hirsutism is quite common and affects between 5 and 10% of all women. It is completely normal for a woman to have a beard as it doesn’t have any physical harm to her body.
Despite being fairly common, it’s not every day that you come across a woman with a beard and that’s only probably because a lot of women with beards often prefer to have their facial hairs removed.
The main reason why women who have beards might decide to shave off or wax their beards is because of all the bullying and negative stigma they receive. Negative profiling causes emotional distress and lowered self-esteem, and some women just prefer not to deal with all the negativity.
But women who have beards shouldn’t have to shave their beards if they don’t want to, and nobody should bully or stigmatize them into doing so. In fact, adults need to teach themselves and the younger generation that some women naturally have beards and it’s normal so no need to stare.
What You Should Do As A Woman With Beards.
As explained earlier on, growing a beard among women is pretty common and quite normal and you should chin up and embrace your beautiful beard if you have one.
You can also get support from other women who have beards and have fully embraced their beards and if you don’t know any such woman personally, you could contact the Bearded WOMEN Organization.
As you embrace your beard, it is also recommended that if your beard is not hereditary and you can’t trace another female relative who has a beard, you should consult with a doctor as it could be a symptom of a medical condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), adrenal gland disorders, or tumours that need treatment.
Read Also: What You Should Know About Your Breasts.