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Learn about your coarse hair, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your coarse hair from our A.I. Symptom Checker. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Your Coarse Hair May Also be Known as:
Rough hair
Thick hair

Coarse Hair Symptoms

Hair comes in all lengths and colors and can be found all over the body. Hair and the products that go with it is everywhere, but, sometimes, particular aspects of your hair may warrant a closer look.

Each of our hairs is composed of protein strands and rooted in our skin. Every strand lives for two to seven years before falling out and being replaced. Much like the rest of our body, hair changes in thickness and color as we age.

Coarse hair has the largest diameter of all hair textures and contains the cortex, cuticle, and medulla. Maybe coarse hair is the norm for you and some over the counter products can help manage it, but, if coarse hair appears where it was not before, it may be the sign of a medical condition.

Since hair largely grows on the exterior of the body, symptoms are easy to spot.

Checking to see if any of the following apply will be beneficial in identifying if you have coarse hair:

  • Dry hair ends
  • Thick patches of hair
  • Hair that is rough or hard to the touch
  • Hair that is difficult to work with

Coarse hair on the head can be normal and, in many cases, desired. Hair product manufacturers specifically advertise products that add volume and thickness to hair, both of which are components of coarse hair.

Concern over coarse hair is typically minimal, however, when coarse hair begins to grow unexpectedly, other factors may be in play.

Coarse Hair Causes Overview

Most people have hair covering one or more parts of their body. In fact, hair growth on people on all but a handful of places on the human body. If your normal hair is coarse, it is likely due to genetics. If your hair is not typically coarse, but coarse hairs are beginning to appear, there are several potential causes.

Hereditary coarse hair causes:

  • Family Tree: Your family background and ethnicity influence your hair texture in different ways.
  • Systemic Disease: Unusual hair texture may also result from inherited genetic syndromes.

Medical coarse hair causes:

  • Hormonal Imbalance: Over- or underproduction of several types of hormones has been known to cause the growth of coarse hair. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Pituitary Cushing's and tumors have also been linked to coarse hair symptoms.

Environmental coarse hair causes:

  • Medicinal: Several medicines have been linked to the growth of coarse hair including testosterone, DHEA, anabolic steroids, and Minoxidil.

Top 2 Coarse Hair Causes

  1. 1.Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

    Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormone disorder characterized by irregular period, acne, and fertility issues.

    You should visit your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal bleeding, fatigue, pelvis pain, painful periods, depressed mood
    Symptoms that always occur with polycystic ovary syndrome:
    oligo/amenorrhea or hyperandrogenism
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  2. 2.Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck, no longer produces adequate levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions including breathing, heart rate, and metabolism.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Hypothyroidism is a complex condition that is usually treated with hormone replacement therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Coarse Hair Treatments and Relief

If your coarse hair symptoms are sudden and you have other coinciding symptoms, then it may be time to call your doctor.

Consult your doctor if coarse hair is found in conjunction with:

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with coarse hair, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with a physician. The conditions listed above do not lend themselves to home remedies Over the counter pain medication may provide temporary relief, but only a doctor can determine if the symptoms are related and what the underlying cause may be.

Professional coarse hair treatments:

  • Prescription Medications: Your doctor may prescribe a variety of medications to help manage the growth of coarse hair.
  • Removal: Professional techniques such as electrolysis provide some form of temporary or permanent removal.
  • Surgery: Certain surgical procedures may be necessary if hormonal imbalances are the result of pituitary issues. A pituitary tumor causing, among other things, coarse hair requires surgical removal.

At-home coarse hair treatments:

  • Removal: Controlling coarse hair can be done through a variety of at-home treatment including shaving, chemicals, and waxing.
  • Hair products: A wide range of hair products designed to manage coarse hair on the head are available.

Oftentimes, coarse hair is unavoidable. Thyroid disorders and hormonal imbalances are treatable. If, however, your coarse hair is natural and expected, but difficult to manage, you may simply need one of the wide range of hair products that can help have your hair looking and feeling its best.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Coarse Hair

  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Have you had any changes in your weight?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Do you currently smoke?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our coarse hair symptom checker.

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Coarse Hair Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced coarse hair have also experienced:

    • 4% Hair Loss
    • 4% Fatigue
    • 4% Rash With Bumps or Blisters
  • People who have experienced coarse hair were most often matched with:

    • 17% Hypothyroidism
    • 15% Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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Try our coarse hair symptom checker to diagnose your current condition

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Check my coarse hair symptoms

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having coarse hair symptoms

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