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Olivia Harvey
April 01, 2018 7:17 am

When you’re going through puberty, a lot is happening with your body. Your hormones throw off your emotional mojo, your breasts are growing, and all of the sudden, hair is everywhere. And thanks to mom, sex ed, or your doctor, you may be well informed about the basics of hair growth during puberty.

But what if you notice something seemingly uncommon — like hair growth around nipples? Is this normal? Or what if your hair down there begins creeping up your navel? You might still have a lot of questions that you find too embarrassing to bring up with an adult. So, to help, we did the asking for you.

We talked with board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Felice Gersh about the unfamiliar world of hair growth during puberty and compiled a list of hairy facts that every teen girl should know to ease puberty jitters.

Even though it can be embarrassing to talk about, it’s really important that you ask your doctor puberty-related questions. That’s what they’re there for, after all! And besides, puberty is something we all go through, so chances are, you’re not the first person to ask.

But for now, let’s dive into some of the basic questions you may have about hair popping up all over.

1A small amount of breast hair is completely normal.

Just like our arms, legs, and pretty much our entire body, our breasts and nipples have hair follicles within the skin. Dr. Gersh told HelloGiggles,

According to Columbia University’s Go Ask Alice! forum, excess female nipple or breast hair can be a symptom of hormonal fluctuation or even an overproduction of male-linked hormones. Excess hair growth can also be a warning sign of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Cushing’s Syndrome, or a thyroid problem. So, as Dr. Gersh noted, if you’re concerned about the amount of breast hair around your nipples, make an appointment with your doctor to get things checked out.

But, if there are just a few hairs here and there around your nipples, Dr. Gersh says plucking them or trimming them short is perfectly fine.

2Hello, armpit and leg hair.

Armpit and leg hair may be the most embarrassing hair to emerge from puberty, solely because it’s the only hair growth that gets exposed to the public, and your peers. But armpit and leg hair isn’t something you should ever be ashamed of. Some women even flaunt it by growing their armpit hair long and dying it funky colors:

If you wish to remove your armpit or leg hair, shaving is probably the best option. Dr. Gersh recommends to “generously moisturize the skin before and after shaving and use a high quality razor.”

3And hello to you too, pubic hair.

At the beginning of puberty, you’ll notice that hair will start to grow around your genital region. This is pubic hair, and it will turn into a full bush soon enough.

If you begin to notice that your pubic hair is growing upwards towards the navel and/or further downwards, reaching the front of the thighs, you should call your doctor. Too much pubic hair could be a sign that your body is producing too much of the male sex hormone androgen. An influx of pubic hair can also be a symptom of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), so it’s important to recognize the warning signs and get checked out to make sure everything is copacetic.

4Some hair growth is not normal for puberty.

Don’t be so quick to use puberty as an excuse for all the hair growth you begin to notice. Dr. Gersh told us that there shouldn’t be any hair growth going on on the face, back, or chest, “though some ethnic groups do have some mild facial hair on women.”

If hair pops up where it shouldn’t, get to your doctor’s office to see what’s going on. It could be nothing, or it could be a sign that your hormones aren’t doing what they should be doing. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Armpit, leg, and pubic hair ais natural and totally normal. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it around if you aren’t keen with a razor, or if you just want be au naturale. And remember, don’t hesitate to approach your doctor with any questions you may have about things going on with your body.

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