Occasional Mutant Facial Hair?

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by dgauvreau, Jan 17, 2007.

    Every now and then I notice that some of my razor bumps are not just due to my normal curly hair that curled back in, but also from these "mutant" hairs that seem about 2-3 times as thick as normal hair. It's almost as if some of my hair follicles occasionally have Siamese twins. I was wondering if anyone else (or perhaps everyone else) has the same issue. It seems these big-little guys are that much tougher for my blade to work through, though using a sharp blade in a slant-bar seems to help.
  1. Danny, I love that Avatar. Yummy beer!

    I haven't noticed any double hairs but I do get a few thicker hairs in places. Maybe these do become ingrown, but then if the blade finds chopping that hair more difficult surely it is less likely to be cut to the surface of the skin and become ingrown. Maybe they get plucked out if they are so tough, but then I change my blade every 1-2 shaves so I should have a very very sharp razor with little problem.

  2. I've had this happen once... Got one growing in my goatee. Your right, it was literally the thickness of probably 3 of my normal hairs. It was like a piece of wire, plastic, something... Very strange indeed. I yanked the sucker out :eek: and it's never grown back since (well, i'm sure it's grown back, but apparently grown back at normal size). I dunno what causes it or why, nor why it would apparently be occuring so frequently in you. Maybe ask a dermatologist. There might be something to reduce or eliminate whatever it is.
  3. I also get these occasionally. It is like there are several hairs that are growing out of one root. I pluck them once aware, as they become uncomfortable. In fact, if you take the plucked hair and rub between your fingers (to marvel at the 18 gauge thickness of that wire, I mean hair) I find that the fused hair actually breaks up into seperate, distinct hairs.

    I'm only aware of them if I take at least a two day shave break. Hmmm...since I've joined this board I seem to be shaving much more often, and have not seen evidence of the mutant hairs. Maybe the cure??
  4. Well, it's at least good to know that I'm not the only one who gets these things. I have actually noticed that they sometimes separate into distinct individual hairs if I rub them. I also seem to get them less frequently now than when I was using an electric razor. The reason I asked is that they're much more painful if I happen to shave and get one dug in under my skin as an ingrown hair. They're large enough in diameter that the whole area of the ingrown hair gets very sore.
  5. I get these from time to time... but with a vengeance. The first time I noticed it, was around 18 years ago, and it was an ingrowing hair (had I but realised sooner) which went a bit septic. The 'hair' when finally extracted and removed, was like what you're describing, only it had become well over a hundred hairs clumped together (people will probably think I'm exaggerating here, but I truly am not)

    Since then, given the amount of pain that incident caused, I've been on the lookout for the beginnings of such things, and usually tweeze out three or four '5/6 hair clumps' per year. Luckily, nothing on the scale of the first incident has ever been repeated.
  6. Yes, if one of those becomes ingrown then it is similar to a boil -- very painful. I would recommend shaving around the inflammation, or just take a few days off if you can. A hot compress is your friend if this happens.

    [graphic warning: ON]
    I do recall having one of these on my neck that I was unable to pluck out with tweezers - they would only slip due to a strong resistance to extraction. I kid you not, I resorted to grabbing one of my serrated needle-nose pliers from the toolbox in order to get a grip on that thing. When it came out the root was significantly larger than the fused hairs. It was literally like pulling an onion from the ground, only there was blood, and yet an intense feeling of relief (and disgust) once it was removed. The root was very hard, almost mineral like. I'm glad that never happened again...:a46:
    [graphic warning: OFF]

    And no, I don't live next to a nuclear power plant.:frown2:

    Although I haven't been doing this very long, since switching to a DE I have not had any new ingrown hairs (mutant or otherwise) -- it was a constant problem with me beforehand.
  7. ... those are some horror stories. To bring a little light and reason to the subject, I think the condition is called Pili multigemini. From Wikipeida:

    Pili multigemini hair follicles, also called compound hairs, are considered rare although there have been no studies to define the actual frequency in the general population.

    The name describes a condition where several separate hair fibers bunch together and emerge from the skin through a single hair canal. The hair looks like a bunch of flower stalks in a vase. Pathology shows that deep in the skin several dermal papillae are closely situated with each producing a fiber, but these separate hair follicle bulbs combine together into one hair canal towards the skin surface. Folliculitis can sometimes be associated with this condition.

    There is very little information published on the treatment of pili multigemini. Plucking the hair seems to be very difficult as the hair fibers are deep rooted and difficult to extract, plus it does not stop the hair growth anyway. Shaving the hair may stop any associated folliculitis and electrolysis has been suggested for permanent hair removal, but no studies have been published to show how effective shaving or electrolysis would be. Cryosurgery has been suggested to remove the follicle(s) entirely.
  8. I also get super thick hairs on occasion, but I don't think mine are compound hairs. When I find them I pluck them out. They almost never hurt and usually slip right out as if they were rootless. If it's a tough one, then I use some medical tweezers that I have. Those have a sort of single tooth "claw" on one end and a matching notch on the other. Whatever it grips won't slip.
  9. :eek:
    This in fact describes me perfectly.
    Not so rare it seems.:frown:
  10. I've gotten those 'compound hairs' on and off. Mine, fortunately, have had almost no resistance when tweezed. Tweezing them was the only way to get relief from the inevitable inflammation if left alone.

  11. Too right....I get the afformentioned 'hairs from hell' in my beard from time to time. Gotta pluck them out or they cause me nothing but grief, and when I do, I'm amazed that there are actually several 'hairs' attached to the bundle.
  12. This is how my mutant hair is. Yup, I just get the one.....it grows in my goatee and makes an appearance roughly every 6-8 weeks. My wife spotted it last time and begged to be able to pluck it out.:yikes: I let her only because I knew from prior experience that bad boy was gonna slip right out with no trouble as JP's did. It's definitely not several hairs stuck together, just one thick hair and it has a slightly rubbery consistency.

    This topic is fascinating :idea: yet slightly gross at the same time.:18:
  13. Limey

    Limey Moderator Emeritus

    I have gotten a few of these over my lifetime. I think the description of painful but a sense of relief when removed describes them perfectly.
  14. Lol, absolutely agree....but it is nice to know that I'm not alone in this...
  15. yeah, it occurred to me when I made my first post that I could have been the only one to experience this, in which case it would be disgusting and depressing all at the same time. Misery loves company.
  16. It seems that there are two kinds: the "rootless" kind that slip out easily, and the Pili multigemini, which hurt.

    I've had both. The rootless ones are frequently wiry and kinked, whereas the rest of my beard tends to be straight-haired. I experienced the Latin version when I was about 20. I extracted what appeared to be hundreds from a spot on my jawline which had been bothering me for some time. I would have to say that the extraction was incredibly relieving.

    Of greater relief is the knowledge that this isn't a me-only mutation.

    -- Sean
  17. I thought I was the only one who had this and I didn't think I would find anything on Google about this but I found this thread.

    In my beard, I have two thicker-than-normal hair follicles, one on each side of my chin. This led me to believe maybe it was natural to have two huge whiskers. Mine didn't look like multiple hairs but just one hair that was much thicker than the others.

    It's almost a fetish now to feel around the beard searching for those hairs just so I can pull them out since those hairs in particular do not hurt when pulled. Also, I play around with them for a few minutes, bend them around and stuff because it's kind of neat.

    One thing I noticed is that those mutant hairs can be flattened, as if the hair folical is hollow or something, which makes it even more interesting.

    This is a curious find that definitely needs to be explored more. I would really like to get to the bottom of it.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2010
  18. These are the exact reason I started wet shaving and joined this site! I get these on my neck and jawline and they are extremely uncomfortable when they get ingrown. Since starting with DE shaving I've had less, but had 2 earlier this week. Most of the time, they don't come out and end up leaving a knot under the skin. The ones I can see, I yank before they become a problem. I hope by sticking with DE shaving, they will gradually go away. The weird thing is I didn't not have this problem until 3-4 years ago.
  19. I've gotten these occasionally. It never occurred to me to tweeze them. I just shave them, and it seems like eventually they go away. I've never had an ingrown hair, so I don't know what that's like.

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