Knuckle hair – or mid-phalangeal hair – appears to be of no use, especially compared to the hair found on other body parts. Your eyelashes, for example, don’t just make your eyes look more beautiful but also stop dust from entering and irritating them. And, hair on your head keeps it warm as well as provides a cushioning to the skull.
Scientists haven’t found any biological reason for hair growth on knuckles yet. However, they comprehend that androgens and genetics are two important factors that cause it mostly in men and sometimes in women (with special cases).
At SkinVeteran, we are a team of experts who believe in helping our readers maintain healthy skin. This article will spell out everything you need to know about knuckle hair and its removal.
Exactly What Causes Knuckle Hair Growth?
Androgens are a class of hormones mainly present in men and cause body hair growth (with many other functions). Their level starts rising during puberty, and sometimes it gets a bit higher, resulting in excessive hair growth on different body parts.
Studies have also shown that people may experience hair growth on their knuckles because of their parents. How? So when your father or mother experiences higher androgen levels at a young age, they may grow hair on their fingers. And they then pass this trait to their children.
It is also a fact that different ethnicities have different hair growth patterns. Caucasians, for instance, have more body hair than others, whereas South Asians have the thickest and darkest body and facial hair.
Why do knuckle hair grow in women?
Women do have a small quantity of androgen, which is why they grow very small and colorless hair on their bodies, also referred to as ‘vellus hair.’ However, women’s increased androgen levels ( in special cases) can cause vellus hair to turn into terminal hair (thick black hair strand).
Androgens excess in the female body, a condition known as hyperandrogenism, increases body and facial hair density, even on unusual areas like knuckles. This condition affects around 5% of females of reproductive age, the most common cause of which is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
How To Remove Knuckle Hair?
Knuckle hair growth is more common than you think, and whether it is light or thick, it sometimes does not look good aesthetically. So, let’s look at some of the most effective ways of removing knuckle hair.
Waxing is the most efficient method of hair removal, especially for thick hair. You can either get it done professionally or do it yourself at home.
Waxing gives long-lasting results as it completely pulls out the hair from its root, which then takes upto three weeks to grow back fully. With continued waxing, your hair becomes thinner and lighter, making it less visible.
Here’s a complete guide on how you can make your sugar wax at home and use it safely. However, since waxing can cause rashes and allergic reactions to your skin, it’s better to visit an expert.
2. Shaving Knuckle Hair Off
If you’re looking for a quick, easy and cheap method to get rid of your knuckle hair, shaving is the best option. All you need is a razor and a good shaving cream, and you’re good to go! After completing the task, moisturize your fingers with aloe vera.
However, according to anecdotal pieces of evidence, shaving your hair makes it grow back thicker and darker, and not to forget, very quickly too. It means that you will have to shave your knuckles every 3-4 days. Shaving also has other downsides, such as giving you nicks and cuts as well as ingrown hairs, which can be painful.
3. Laser Hair Removal
Laser treatment is a long-lasting, effective, but expensive method of hair removal. It costs a minimum of $75 per session, and it often takes up to 10 sessions to get rid of knuckle hair almost permanently.
With that being said, there is no doubt that laser treatment does a thorough job of getting rid of hair for good, as it heats the hair follicle and makes it inactive and unable to grow hair strands again.
Although some people find this method painful, it is undoubtedly the best hair removal method with almost no side effects, especially if you have dark and coarse hair.
It is a chemical way of removing your knuckle hair in which a potent and skin-friendly chemical dissolves the hair strands to fall away. Various products like creams and lotions are available on the market to get this job done for you.
Depilatory creams contain chemicals that dissolve the hair in just 5-6 minutes, making them very quick and easy to use. The results last about a week, and your hair does not grow back denser.
However, the chemicals in these creams are harsh and may cause adverse reactions on sensitive skin. Therefore, this method should be used with caution and must be patch-tested first.
Threading only involves the use of a thin thread knotted into a loop. This thread pulls out the hair from its root, which means that it takes about three weeks to grow back fully. Although this method is painful as the hairs are pulled out individually, it is extremely cost-effective and efficient.
The downside of this technique can be scars and pigmentation in people with light to medium brown skin. So, they should opt for some other method.
Does Knuckle Hair Grow Back?
The techniques mentioned above, like threading, depilation, and waxing, do not permanently remove the knuckle hair. Therefore, It continues growing back.
However, Food and Drug Administration Authority (FDA) has advocated a hair removal technique called electrolysis, which permanently removes the knuckle hair. After its recommended number of procedures, the hair on your fingers will not grow back.
Electrolysis employs short radiofrequency waves to destroy the hair follicles on your knuckles. It is an effective and safe hair removal technique when administered by expert dermatologists. However, it can be a little costly compared to other methods.
Although it might seem unsightly to you, Knuckle hair growth is very normal and most likely inherited from your parents. They are usually so light that they go unnoticed; however, if your knuckle hair does bother you, there are several methods you can use to remove them.