health

7 Causes Of Belly Button Hair Women Should All Know About

by Kate Taylor
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

As a woman, there are specific places on our bodies where hair is expected to be. For instance, we’re supposed to have luscious locks on our heads but be more or less silky smooth everywhere else.

As a female, I know that a hairless body isn’t the reality. In fact, one characteristic of being a mammal is having hair on your body, according to the San Diego Zoo. It is this hair that helps regulate a mammal’s body temperature and make them adaptable to so many habitats all over the world.

However, unlike most mammals, we don’t have fur. Rather, we have fine hair. At least, for the most part.

As you probably know, men tend to have thicker and darker hair than women usually do, and it grows in places that it usually doesn’t for women, like on your chin or back.

Another spot where women aren’t supposed to grow thick hair is below the belly button, a spot often called a “happy trail” or “treasure trail.” Even though belly button hair isn’t considered “normal” for women to have by most of society, almost all women still have hairs sprouting up in the region.

Learn what is and isn’t normal for belly button hair, and what might be causing abnormal growth:

Thumbnail Photo: Wikimedia Commons / ParentingPatch

What Does Belly Button Hair Look Like?

What Does Belly Button Hair Look Like?
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Since we have hair all over our bodies, it’s completely normal to have some hair that matches the rest of your body hair on the abdomen, underneath your belly button, or even inside your belly button.

In fact, the experts at the Mayo Clinic assure us that a certain degree of abdominal hair is completely normal.

However, if the hair is visibly thicker and darker than the rest of your body hair, it might be an indicator of something else going on beneath the surface.

Cause 1: Genetics

Cause 1: Genetics
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

As with everything, our genes play a huge role in the amount or type of hair we grow on our bodies.

According to Science Brain Waves, abundant body hair is a dominant gene, meaning you are likely to inherit it if even one of your parents is a carrier.

If one of your parents has particularly thick, dark body hair, you might have inherited it.

Cause 2: Hirsutism

Cause 2: Hirsutism
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Hirsutism may sound scary, but it’s a condition that looks worse than it really is.

The Mayo Clinic describes hirsutism as: “a condition of unwanted, male-pattern hair growth in women. Hirsutism results in excessive amounts of dark, coarse hair on body areas where men typically grow hair.”

It is caused by an excess of male hormones called androgens that tip the scale in your body to show signs of masculine hair-growth traits. A doctor can test your hormone levels to see if hirsutism could be contributing to your hair growth.

Cause 3: Age

Cause 3: Age
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

When women reach menopause, their bodies stop producing as much estrogen as they did before. This is because their bodies are gearing up to no longer bear the burden of reproducing.

Often, body and head hair will thin as a result of these changes, according to Women’s Health. However, all these changes can also result in the cropping up of coarse body hair in strange places like your chin or happy trail.

Cause 4: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Cause 4: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

PCOS has a long name, but it also happens to be the most common hormone abnormality amongst reproductive age women.

According to UCLA Health the condition affects 10% of women and occurs when your body produces more testosterone than what is considered normal.

Women with PCOS may experience menstrual irregularities and side effects that include excess body hair growth.

Cause 5: Cushing's Syndrome

Cause 5: Cushing's Syndrome
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Excess body hair can be a symptom of a condition called Cushing’s syndrome, according to the National Adrenal Diseases Foundation.

Cushing’s syndrome is seen when your body produces too much of the hormone cortisol. At normal levels, cortisol helps the body respond to stress and change by regulating the amount of water your body retains and keeping your blood sugar level in your liver intact.

When you body produces too much cortisol, it can make our tissues react in strange ways. And that can include producing hair in places it might not normally grow.

Cause 6: Adrenal Hyperplasia

Cause 6: Adrenal Hyperplasia
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you have adrenal hyperplasia, you were probably diagnosed at birth and have been living with it, because there is no known cure.

According to Medline Plus, this birth defect occurs in about 1 in 15,000 children.

People with this condition have adrenal glands that are missing an essential enzyme responsible for releasing hormones. This, in turn, can cause your body to overproduce other hormones, including male hormones that spur abnormal hair growth.

Cause 7: Hormone Change

Cause 7: Hormone Change
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The hormones in our bodies — and their levels — change many times throughout our lives, and this can sometimes wreak havoc on their normal bodily functions.

If you’re undergoing a hormone change from puberty, pregnancy, birth control, or even menopause, your body might just be finding its footing and sprouting up a few unwanted hairs in the process.

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