Hirsutism is excessive body hair in men and women on parts of the body where hair is normally absent or minimal. It may refer to a "male" pattern of hair growth that may be a sign of a more serious medical condition,  especially if it develops well after puberty. Hirsutism is usually the result of an underlying endocrine imbalance, which may be adrenal , ovarian , or central. The amount and location of the hair is measured by a Ferriman-Gallwey score.
Polycystic ovary syndrome: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
Excessive facial hair growth occurs when the body produces too much male hormone. Causes of increased male hormone production include polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS , adrenal tumors, adrenal hyperplasia and ovarian tumors. While waxing and plucking remove hair temporarily, treating the underlying causes of excessive hair growth provides long-term results. Some birth control pills inhibit the production of testosterone in the ovaries.
Hypertrichosis is an abnormal amount of hair growth over the body. Several circus sideshow performers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Julia Pastrana , had hypertrichosis. Two methods of classification are used for hypertrichosis. Congenital forms of hypertrichosis are caused by genetic mutations, and are extremely rare, unlike acquired forms.
Back to Health A to Z. Hirsutism is where women have thick, dark hair on their face, neck, chest, tummy, lower back, buttocks or thighs. See a GP if it's a problem for you.