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I’m A Woman With A Beard But I Don’t Care What People Says

Khosi Nkanyezi Buthelezi, 42, from Johannesburg, South Africa, suffers from excessive hair growth, which mostly affects her face, chest, back, arms and legs.

The freelance book editor said she first noticed the extremity when she was just a teenager, but thought nothing of it as other women in her family looked the same.

But late last year, a flash of curiosity lead her to seek answers from a professional, however doctors came up stumped. She has since decided to embrace her look, even taking to TikTok to document her hair growth.

She said that while stares and verbal abuse came with the territory, it was time to hit back at trolls who sometimes took things too far, including one person who called her a ‘male’.

She explained: ‘I grew up accustomed to hairy women like my aunts being seen as blessed, strong and strict so I figured it was something I had inherited.

‘Hence, I never approached a doctor about my body hair, I had no physical issues.

‘But when I finally visited my GP, they suggested hormone-level tests for fertility and Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, they both came back negative.

‘I could have children if I wanted to and there was no need for hormonal treatment, it all seemed fine’.

However one doctor suggested Khosi might have hirsutism, a condition that mostly affects women and causes excess hair to grow on certain parts of your body.

Hirsutism is a condition that mostly affects women and causes excess hair to grow on certain parts of your body
Khosi decided to try shaving her hair, despite family members warning her against it

Khosi said she’d never heard of the condition, but as it sounded serious she decided to try shaving her hair, despite family members warning her against it.

She added: ‘I’d never heard of it before, but it did make sense.

‘I remember talking to my family members about it, who warned me that shaving would cause it to grow more, but I thought that was just a myth.

At one point, Khosi tried shaving her beard despite family members warning her against it – but it just grew back even more.

She then opted for laser hair removal treatment instead, which worked for a while, but the hair soon came back with force.

Khosi has since decided to embrace her look, even taking to TikTok to document her hair growth

‘Plus, the nature of my job required me to be presentable, so I began razor-shaving weekly. But the more I shaved it, the more it grew.

‘Then I tried waxing, but it proved to be both costly and painful’.

She continued: ‘After 10 sessions, the hair became finer and my skin was smooth. I was convinced it worked.

‘However when I stopped for a year the hair started growing back and I had to go back to razor shaving’.

At her wits end with the growth, Khosi abandoned the battle and instead decided to ‘love’ herself – adding that beauty comes in all forms.

‘I stopped shaving and instead, started to love myself’ said Khosi. ‘I learned that self-acceptance is a crucial aspect of self-care.

‘It is the foundation for our confidence and self-esteem.

Khosi said she first noticed the extremity when she was just a teenager, but thought nothing of it as other women in her family looked the same.

The influencer said people often stared at her with ‘fascination’ whenever she was out, and although she first embraced it, she is now demanding the ‘respect’ she deserves

‘I’ve had to remember that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms, and I am bringing body hair to the beauty equation’.

Khosi has a TikTok account which she uses to help tackle the stigma surrounding excess hair growth.

But despite her unwavering display of confidence, it has not been an easy journey for the influencer, with people often sharing unwanted comments both online and in public.

She said people often stared at her with ‘fascination’ whenever she was out, and although she first embraced it, she is now demanding the ‘respect’ she deserves.

She added: ‘People in public have reacted with shock, fascination, disgust and disapproval of my beard, but I am actively working on unlearning the need for external validation.

One doctor suggested Khosi might have hirsutism, a condition that mostly affects women and causes excess hair to grow on certain parts of your body.

Hirsutism is caused by an excess of male hormones called androgens in the body, or by the body being more sensitive to these hormones.

In many cases, it’s not clear why this happens. Some women just seem to develop extra hair growth as they get older, particularly after the menopause.

In younger women, the most common cause is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that can cause irregular periods and fluid-filled sacs (cysts) on the ovaries.

‘Unfortunately, people can be judgmental and cruel towards someone who looks different in some way, so, it’s important to remember that their opinions and comments do not define my worth.

‘I walk around anywhere and everywhere including the mall, restaurants, and events and I have learned to ignore stares and comments as much as possible.

‘If someone is particularly rude or offensive, I speak up and assert boundaries. I deserve respect and dignity.

‘One guy stated that I just need a penis and that I’m a male’.

A self-assured Khosi now takes great pride in her look although she wished it was ‘softer’ and easier to tame.

‘I take great pride in my facial hair and incorporate beard maintenance into my daily hygiene routine’ she said.

‘I do wish that it was softer but due to my thick, curly hair, it appears like a dense bush despite having long strands.

‘But now I am so accustomed to it that I often forget I have hair on my face!

‘Ultimately, it is up to me to decide how I want to present and express myself and whether or not I want to keep the beard.

‘It has become an important part of my identity’.

Khosi has a TikTok account which she uses to help tackle the stigma surrounding excess hair growth

Courtesy: DAILY MAIL

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