Why Do Moles Grow Hair and What to Do About It
Moles. The very word tends to elicit an intrinsic negative reaction. Sure, there have been a few celebrities who made them look good, but for the most part, nobody really likes moles. The truth is that the majority of moles that afflict mankind are barely noticeable and harmless, but sometimes, they cross the line. If you’ve ever had to deal with one of those long, dark, coarse mole hairs, you understand. Well, today, we’re going to liberate you from mole hair. We’re going to get deep and technical, but you’ll learn everything that is necessary to banish this horror from your life.
What Is a Mole?
We have to start this discussion by being a little specific. We need to know what a mole really is. From there, we can talk about why things happen and what you can do about it. With that in mind, a mole is a clump of pigment cells. It can appear at any point in your life, and moles can be temporary or permanent. They can be flat or raised, and many moles will spend time as both.
There are a few important things to understand. First, anyone can get moles and they can pop on any part of your skin. Second, moles are not typically caused by exposure to the sun. That’s a freckle, and it’s fundamentally different. Freckles are caused by uneven development of pigmentation; they are not clumps of pigmented cells.
The last thing to understand is that the nature of moles makes them special when it comes to skin care. It’s not safe to remove a mole on your own. The dense cell clumping needs to be treated properly for removal. Going at it yourself will cause scarring at a minimum and serious repercussions at worst. So, if you want to get rid of a mole, involve your doctor.
Let’s Learn About Mole Hair!
Now that we’re being a little more specific about moles, we can look at mole hair itself. There’s a good chance that at some point you’re going to have a stiff, dark hair pop out of a mole somewhere. Aesthetically, it’s not the most attractive feature. And, with all of the concern about skin cancer (we’ll get deeper into this later), it can be a little scary.
Let’s start with a little ease of mind. Hair coming out of a mole is not a sign of melanoma or skin cancer. It’s perfectly normal, and literally everybody has a hairy mole somewhere at some point. Rest at ease.
Why Is Mole Hair Coarse and Dark?
With all of that covered, let’s talk about those signature features of your mole hair. It’s not always the case, but pretty often, you’ll find your mole hairs are much darker and coarser than the rest of your body hair. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s also not a curse. The dark pigmentation isn’t casting a spell on your hair to make it more noticeable.
The coarseness and darkness are both extremely predictable. Mole hair tends to be coarse because it has to push through denser, tougher skin cells. Getting through that moly outer layer of skin is harder, and the hair has to bristle in order to do its thing. So, when a hair follicle is covered by a mole, the hair often gets trapped. The follicle responds by making the hair denser. This gives you the coarse, thick mole hair. Fun, right?
As for darkness, that’s no real mystery either. Mole hair is pushing its way through extra pigmented skin. Some of the pigment sticks to the hair. That’s really it.
Why Does Mole Hair Grow So Fast?
You’re dealing with these hairs that are tougher and darker than normal. If that weren’t enough, they tend to grow like friggin weeds. Calm down, body hair!
If you want to know why mole hair is so resilient, there isn’t a definitive answer. Dermatologists aren’t completely sure what the deal is. In reality, they haven’t perfectly pinned down why moles form in the first place. They understand a lot of contributing factors, but the final why is still being researched.
Within that research, doctors have come up with some leading theories on what makes mole hair grow quickly. The most compelling has to do with hormones. You see, most mole formation happens during puberty. This is when your body produces way more androgens than normal (even for the ladies), and those stimulating hormones are at least associated with a lot of mole formations.
Basically, your body is using hormones to tell a bunch of parts to do a better job growing. If you get an extra dose to an area of the skin, it could lead to a mole. With that in mind, those same hormones could also stimulate hair growth. If your mole is responding to a surge of androgens, it’s not a stretch to think the hair follicle right there is doing the same.
That’s the leading idea, but science has yet to prove it. For now, we’ll assume that whatever can make your skin clump up in a mole can also stimulate hair growth. That might not make you feel better about the mole hair, but it can help you understand that you aren’t going to easily stunt this growth. If you’re against mole hair, you need a solid plan.
What Does Mole Hair Say About Your Health?
We already covered the fact that hairy moles are not a sign of cancer or danger. It turns out that there’s more to this story. The growth of your mole hair can actually tell you a lot about the health of your skin. In particular, you want to keep track of changes in the mole hair.
If it suddenly stops growing, the growing slows, or you notice changes in the hair, this signifies changes in your epidermis. The cause of the change can come from many sources, but there’s one golden rule. If mole hair is different, you should have a talk with your doctor about it. The one thing that is certain is that it’s showing you that your skin in the area isn’t the same as it was before, and you want to ensure that this isn’t a signal of something sinister.
One of the most common ways dermatologists identify skin cancer is moles that stop producing hair. That doesn’t mean every hairless mole is cancerous, but you want to take this seriously.
Removing Mole Hair
Despite what you just read, it really is ok to remove mole hair. The absence of hair isn’t what’s bad — only the change in how the hair grows. Since you know it's safe, you probably want some ideas on how to deal with the hair. We'll discuss the most common options and help you decide which is best for you.
Haircuts for Your Skin
You’ve already spent time and money learning to manscape. Why not apply it all to managing mole hair? It’s not an unreasonable idea, and it’s definitely an easy and cheap way to tackle the problem. Trimming, in particular, is completely harmless. You can go right over the mole and get the hair as short as you deem fit. Because the hair grows fast, you’ll have to keep an eye on it, but it doesn’t exactly take a lot of effort to manage a mole or two.
Shaving is a different story. Raised moles can easily snag, and you don’t want to cut yourself. Some guys have been tempted to just shave the whole mole off, but as we already established, that’s not safe. We’ll talk about mole removal more thoroughly in a minute. Even if you’re careful and shave the hair without cutting yourself, mole hair is a lot more likely to become ingrown. Remember how it gets coarse because pushing up through the mole is harder? That makes for ingrown hairs, and they’re far more annoying to deal with through a mole than under normal circumstances.
If cutting the hair is your plan, trimmers are better than razors.
For most of you, mole hair is not prolific across the body. You probably just have a few strands that need your attention. That’s why plucking is the golden standard. As long as you use clean tweezers, it’s perfectly safe. It comes with a little discomfort, but you should be tough enough to tweeze a few hairs every now and then.
There are a few things that make tweezing great. First, it actually takes less effort than trimming. You grab the tweezers, pull the hair, and clean the tweezers. The same process with a trimmer takes more setup. If that’s not convincing, there’s always the fact that tweezing lasts longer. Even though mole hair grows quickly, it still has to do more work to recover from tweezing than trimming.
On the down side, tweezing does come with a risk of ingrown hair. It’s not as likely as when you shave, but it could be a problem. If you try tweezing and the hair becomes ingrown every time, it’s ok to switch methods.
Alternative Hair Removal
While those are the staples, there are plenty of other ways to tackle mole hair. Anything that works on other parts of your body can conceivable solve the mole problem. Waxing, for instance, is extremely common. For the most part, waxing sessions don’t really care if there’s a mole in the treated area. They plow right through, and it has the same ultimate effect of tweezing. It would be weird to wax a single mole, but if you have one where you normally wax, continue without fear.
Laser hair removal is another way to go. People love it because it’s the most permanent solution of all. The drawback is that coarse, dark hair is a bad candidate for laser hair treatments. Not all mole hair is beyond this solution, but you might be disappointed when you look into this option.
Depilatories offer potentially painless hair removal, and they last a while too. You should treat depilatories like waxing. If it’s a part of the body you were going to use hair removal cream on anyways, then don’t worry about the mole. Trying to precision target a mole on a sensitive area or somewhere that shouldn’t go bald is risky.
Moles and Cancer
Managing mole hair is as easy as what you just read. But, we would be remiss to discuss moles and not mention the elephant in the room. Moles can be a sign of skin cancer, and you need to understand how to look for signs of trouble. Some of you will be adding this to a long list of advice you already know. Some of you haven’t taken the time to learn these important tips. Now is a great time to get started.
The Bad Signs
Here’s the general rule. Get to know your moles. The vast majority of moles in the world are harmless, but it’s the one that isn’t that is worth all of our worry. There are two primary things you need to watch among your moles. First, you need to know when they appear (or how long you’ve had them). More importantly, you need to know if they change.
It’s not the existence of a mole that is a bad sign. It’s when a mole changes color, shape or other signs that shows you the skin right there might not be too healthy. When it comes to skin cancer, catching it early improves your prognosis by a factor of about five to one. Watch your moles closely, and you’ll have a lot less to fear.
In particular, there are a few signs that a mole isn’t too healthy. We already mentioned the first — when hair stops growing. If it never had hair, that’s fine. But if the hair gives up, get it checked. Your second sign is inconsistent pigment. Some moles are dark. Some moles are light. You don’t want a mole that is both.
Your next sign is shape. First, you want your moles to have a regular shape with smooth edges. No matter how old it is, if it doesn’t have both, let a doctor look at it. Plenty of irregular moles are harmless, but you need to be sure. More importantly, if the shape (or consistency of the shape) changes, make an appointment.
Your last major sign is blood. Now, sometimes a mole will snag or get cut like any other part of your body. But, if it bleeds without being physically abused — and especially if it seems more prone to bleeding than the rest of your skin — it’s time to see the doctor.
Those are your major signs. Keep a fresh eye and you’ll probably ask a doctor about a mole that turns out to be harmless someday. Still, a few of you will catch something terrible early enough to beat it, and that’s what we all want.
For our last topic of the day, we come to mole removal. Whether or not the mole is dangerous, you may want to have it removed. That’s a normal response to a mole, especially when they sprout unsightly hair that is tough to beat. As we continue to say, if you want a mole removed, let a healthcare professional do the work.
When they remove the mole, they have a few methods that are far more precise and reliable than home remedies. They can surgically lance the mole, freeze it or burn it. The method used will depend on the mole and the doctor, but all three are normal. They can remove moles with incredibly low risk of scarring (although chicks still dig scars), and once it’s gone, you don’t have to worry about it. Most mole removal is an outpatient procedure that takes very little time. In the majority of cases, the dermatologist will assess and remove the mole in the same visit. There’s really nothing to fear about it, so feel free to make this your ultimate solution to mole hair. The moles can’t grow hair if they aren’t there.
Hopefully, you’ve learned something useful today. We covered everything you could need to know about a mole (unless you go into a medical career). We even got serious for a minute. It was a journey we’ll all cherish for the rest of our lives. In all seriousness, take care of your moles. It’s an important part of being healthy and sexy.