Why Some Women Have Hairy Nipples And What It Means

Hair in the chest area, especially around the nipples, is something that we tend to associate with men, but women can get hair there, too. In fact, hair around the nipples is not uncommon in women. Why do some women have hairy nipples? Is it a sign that there is something wrong? 

Nipple hair is actually totally normal, and it's not something that you typically need to worry about. It's completely useless, of course, but a long, long time ago our hairy-nippled ancestresses may have benefited from it. "Once upon a time, they may have conferred some evolutionary advantage to perform tasks such as to lubricate the skin surface and secrete pheromones," Dr. Marc Everett told Cosmopolitan.

Nipple hairs are more likely to grow around the areola (the skin around your nipple) than on the nipple itself. This is because your areolas have glands called Montgomery glands that secrete a material that keeps the skin around your nipples moist, which keeps them healthy for breastfeeding. These Mongtomery glands sometimes produce hair. 

While hairy nipples are common and aren't a cause for medical concern, you might want to visit your doctor if you see a sudden increase in the amount of hair around your nipples, or if you see hair also starting to grow in other typically "masculine" places such as your upper lip or chin. This hair growth could be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome. 

In all likelihood, though, your nipple hair is just, well, hair, and you shouldn't give it a second thought. If it makes you uncomfortable, you can always remove it. Everett recommends cutting your nipple hair with scissors, waxing, or using tweezers. Whatever you do, though, never ever shave hairy nipples as this could "lead to skin infections, infections of the follicle, and inadvertent injury to the irregularly bumpy skin of the areola."