Vellus hair is the short, fine, light-colored hair that covers the majority of the body; most of us know it as “peach fuzz” because it resembles the thin layer of fuzz on the outside of a peach. The amount of vellus hair a person has varies according to certain factors, such as hormone levels and age. In addition, some people have vellus hair that is more prominent, either because it is longer or more visible due to its contrast against the color of their skin. As a result, many choose to remove peach fuzz. If you’re one of these people, consider these three tips:
Tip #1: Know that Everyone Has Peach Fuzz
Humans are born with vellus hair over most parts of the body, where its primary purpose is threefold: to help regulate body temperature, protect the skin and wick away sweat. It’s a natural biological adaptation that allows us to better withstand environmental elements. Some people, however, either have — or appear to have — more vellus hair than others. Children usually have more vellus hair than adults, for instance, but during puberty a surge of androgen hormones triggers certain areas of vellus hair to become what is called “terminal hair.” Terminal hair (like head hair, eyelashes and eyebrows) is able to grow longer and thicker than vellus hair, and the hormonal changes that occur during puberty can trigger its development, which is what happens when adolescents experience armpit and pubic hair growth during this stage of their lives. Men, who naturally produce higher levels of androgens, begin to grow this type of (terminal) hair on the chest and face, as well. The result might be the diminished appearance of vellus hair as areas of terminal hair growth combine to conceal it, but it’s still always there!
Tip #2: Consider Why You Need/Want to Remove Peach Fuzz
Although everyone has peach fuzz, some people believe they have too much and want to remove it. It’s usually a result of cosmetic preferences, but sometimes a sudden overgrowth of vellus hair indicates a medical condition. Hormonal imbalances in particular can lead to an increase in vellus hair, as can eating disorders and other significant modifications to diet. Any unusual increase in the appearance of vellus hair should be discussed with a medical professional to rule out disease as its catalyst. Diagnostic testing like we do here at The Institute of Natural Health can uncover a physical reason for the overgrowth, possibly leading to treatments like hormone replacement therapy, nutrition counseling and therapy and/or other therapeutics designed to actually treat the root cause of the vellus hair growth instead of just its symptom!
Tip #3: Pick an Option to Remove Peach Fuzz That Actually Works
There’s no permanent way to remove peach fuzz, but certain procedures work better for removing vellus hair than others. Laser removal is hard to use on peach fuzz because vellus hair is too light to accurately pinpoint via laser. Electrolysis is similarly inadequate since vellus hair follicles are too tiny for an electric current to adequately penetrate them for their destruction. Waxing hurts and can lead to skin irritation, as can chemical depilatories. Really, the best option to remove peach fuzz is dermaplaning, which relies on a small medical blade (not your average razor) to exfoliate dead skin and delicately shave away hair. A dermaplane treatment ensures not only that hair is removed as close to the skin as possible but that it is done in a way that exposes the underlying skin to the smallest amount of irritation.
Want to Learn More?
Everyone has peach fuzz, but if it makes you uncomfortable, you can remove a lot of it! To learn more about all the options to remove peach fuzz that are available to you and your unique circumstances (whatever they may be — medical or cosmetic!), please contact our team of clinicians at The Institute of Natural Health. We offer both natural health services, as well as medical spa treatments, that can effectively remove peach fuzz across the body as needed.