Is Nipple Hair Normal For Women? Everything You Need To Know About Nip Growth And Removal

There's not a ton of information out there about nipple hair on women. And god knows I looked — because a few years ago, at the tender age of 29, my previously silky-smooth nips suddenly sprouted three black, wiry, pube-like strands of hair (two on the right and one on the left, in case you'd like to draw a technically accurate nude portrait of me). I freaked the hell out — even though several of my friends and I had spent the past few years commiserating about our chin hairs, joking that they made us witches and gave us secret powers, I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about my three new below-the-blouse friends. What if I was the only person who had them? I felt completely alone (except for my nipple hairs, of course, who are always good company).

It turns out that I — and you, possibly nipple-haired reader — are not alone. Rough estimates by ob/gyns claim that 30 percent of the female population has nipple hair; though considering that I, a person whose job it is to write about her vagina on the Internet, was too ashamed to tell anyone about my nipple hair, the real stats may be much higher.

But if it's so common, why do we know so little about it? And why are we so embarrassed about it? Here's what you need to know about this perfectly normal phenomenon.

Is There Something Wrong With My Body If I Have Nipple Hair?

No, nipple hair is totally normal, and not typically caused by any health problems. The only health issue associated with nipple hair is polycystic ovary syndrome, but nipple hair is never the only symptom if you have it, so there's no need to worry that a few hair sprouts mean that you have PCOS.

In rare cases, nipple hair growth can be caused by taking certain medications. But most commonly, a sudden growth in nipple hair is caused by regular hormonal changes, such as the major ones that accompany pregnancy or puberty, or the more subtle ones that occur throughout your twenties and thirties. We all have hair follicles in our nipple areas (a biological trait that we share with men), so if a hair suddenly pops out of one of them, it's generally not worth worrying about.

If I Want To Remove My Nipple Hair, What's The Best Way?

Ah, the eternal debate. Of course, there's no reason you need to remove them at all — the only reason to remove your nipple hairs should be that it makes you feel more confident, so if it doesn't, you should feel under no obligation to do anything about your wee nip tresses.

But if you do decide to remove your nipple hairs, there are a few different methods to try. And while nipple plucking devotee and nipple shaving devotees are continually at war with each other, we can all agree on one thing: DO NOT PUT NAIR ON YOUR NIPPLES! It will inflame your girls so badly, you'll pray to go back in time, when having a few stray hairs on them was your worst problem.

Plucking your nipple hairs: Nip-tweezin' enthusiasts claim that a plucked nipple hair will take three weeks to grow back and that you're less likely to get ingrown hairs (though some other sources claim that you're actually more likely to get ingrown hairs while using this technique).

Try: Regine Stainless Steel Point Tweezer, $30, Amazon

Shaving your nipple hairs: I already have a razor in the shower, and I found the experience of trying to hold the skin on a large breast taut enough to pluck it to be painful and frustrating, so I just shave. It takes one second to do, is not painful, and as long as you're careful about it, won't result in any ingrown nip hairs (in my own experience, of course; buyer/nip-hair-haver beware). There is certainly still a risk of ingrown hairs and even infection.

Try: Gillette Venus Sensitive Skin, $12, Amazon

Trimming Your Nipple Hairs: I have never heard about anyone using this technique in real life, but if you can swing trimming your nipple hair with a pair of manicure scissors, go for it. Apparently, this is your least risky option.

Try: Tweezerman Moustache Scissors, $12, Amazon

Waxing Your Nipple Hair: Some salons offer nipple hair waxing; the process does run the risk of ingrown hairs and irritation, just like any wax. But definitely don't try to wax this at home — it's not worth explaining what went wrong to your roommates when they come home to find you clutching a bag of frozen peas to your tatas.

Laser/Electrolysis Removal for Your Nipple Hairs: You can get your nipple hair permanently removed at pretty much any place that does laser hair removal. It hurts, and it's pretty expensive, but it also eliminates it forever, so if it really bugs you/you're just really into lasers, that is always an option.

Will My Partners Be Grossed Out If I Have Nipple Hair?

No way. Like many women's beauty issues, this is more about what makes you personally feel confident than what your sexual partners will "expect." Anyone who's slept with a few women — or even one woman with nipple hair — will know that this nipple hair is a totally normal thing to find on a woman's body, and nothing to be rude or creeped out about.

In fact, I have noticed more than once that I had a prominent nip hair going while having sex, and no one ever brought it up to me. Odds are, anyone having sex with you is just happy to be having sex with you, and is not furiously deconstructing your various bodily quirks. And if someone is, that's obviously a sign to stop banging them, and go find someone who accepts you for you (and your nipple hairs, too).

Images: CEBImagery/Flickr, Giphy (4)