So, you happen to have noticed a strand or two of hair has taken residence on your areolas. Rest assured, you aren't alone and really, I swear, having hair on your nipples is totally normal. In fact, it's estimated that about 30 percent of women have it, despite how little it's discussed (which also means, in all likelihood, that percentage is probably much higher).
But what's the deal, exactly? Where does a sudden crop of tiny nip hairs come from?
Like most things related to women's health, it seems nipple hair growth mostly has to do with your hormones.
Most surges or changes in bodily hair growth come as a result of big hormonal shifts that happen during puberty, menopause, or pregnancy.
But other, more subtle hormonal changes during a woman's 20s and 30s can also affect hair growth as well, as can your personal levels of testosterone, which are highest for women during their late teens and early 20s.
And, of course, good old genetics can dictate your hair growth, too.
Some prescription medications can also cause hair growth around your nipples, although that's pretty rare.
The most important thing to remember here, guys?
We all have hair follicles in and around our nips.
So if a darker, more wiry hair starts growing, it just means those follicles are doing their damn job.
In fact, even if you've never noticed it before, you probably have little fuzzies all up on your breasts and/or nipples, because those suckers can be super transparent and super small.
(In fact, upon a close examination, I just found a few clear strands myself that I've never noticed before -- the wonders of the body, amirite?)
As for nipple hairs acting as tiny little red flags for major health concerns -- it's really unlikely.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one such possibility. PCOS is a relatively rare condition that affects about one in 10 women. It's caused by an imbalance in your reproductive hormones, and it's commonly associated with hair growth, potentially around the nipples, but again, it's pretty rare, and you would also be exhibiting other symptoms if that were the case.
But if you're concerned for whatever reason about your teeny hairy friends, or if the hair is growing coarsely between your breasts across your chest, just have a check-in with your gyno or a regular doc to put your mind at ease.
Although, I'm sure you're wondering at this point if you can pluck those little suckers, or get rid of them in another way.
I mean, you can if you want to! Just like your pubes, armpit hair, and everything else that comes along with having your own body, it's all about you, baby.
If you do want to get rid of those strands, most of the old tried and true methods apply -- trimming, waxing, plucking, or even just plain old shaving are all fair game.
But hair removal creams are a hard pass. They can cause some seriously uncomfortable burning and irritation.
Do be careful in general here, as I'm sure I don't need to tell you how sensitive the nips are. And as with all hair removal, there is a risk of irritation, infection, or ingrown hairs no matter which way you go about it.
Or, you can just avoid all that potentially annoying sh*t, and embrace your nipple hair! #FreeTheNippleHair, right?