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What Is Pili Multigemini?

Woman having electrolysis.
Normal hair follicle.
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  • Written By: Misty Wiser
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2014
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Pili multigemini is an uncommon hair condition also called compound hair follicles or pili bifurcati. A person with this disorder will notice several strands of hair that appear to be growing from a single hair follicle. It is usually present on the scalp of children and infants, and the facial hair of men. The cause of pili multigemini is unknown, although there may be a genetic link. Treatment for this condition focuses on the removal of the affected hair follicles to present the appearance of uniform hair growth.

Diagnosis of pili multigemini may occur after a physician makes a visual examination of the scalp and hair. Three or more strands of hair are commonly observed growing out of a single hair follicle. Some men have been diagnosed with pili multigemini of beard and facial hair, it has sometimes been located on the hairs on the back of males. The follicles with multiple strands exiting from them may appear in a linear formation on the face or the back.

Extreme cases of pili multigemini have been observed where as many as 36 strands of hair were observed exiting from one hair follicle. Less severe cases have been reported where the patient had an average of 20 hairs growing out of each follicle. Most people with pili multigemini average 3 to 10 hairs per hair cluster.

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Under microscopic examination, multiple strands of hair do not grow out of one hair follicle. The roots of several hair follicles are clustered together below the scalp. These strands of hair group together to exit from the scalp through a single hair canal. Normal hair grows from a single hair follicle and exits from one hair canal to the surface of the scalp.

Another pili multigemini symptom is the abnormal depth of the hair follicle within the scalp tissue. The roots are buried further within the scalp than normal hair follicles, making plucking the hairs difficult. Hair that is affected by this condition may be more coarse and curly than other normally growing hairs.

There are few treatments for pili multigemini. Electrolysis to destroy the affected hair follicle may be used if the appearance of the hair growth is unsightly. Some patients undergo cryosurgery to remove the hair follicles exhibiting signs of the condition. A simple method some people use is to shave the specific hair follicles that are growing more than one hair strand at a time.

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anon353927
Post 15

I get these down the outside of my breasts nearer the armpit area and I have done for as long as I can remember. They are not rooted very deep and I can usually pull them out just with my fingers. They come out with a sort of weird skin coating at the bottom and often looks like one big hair but if I rub it between my fingers they separate in 10 or more tiny fine light hairs. I also have more deeply rooted hairs which grow usually as two hairs coming out of one follicle but otherwise behave like normal body hair. I'm a Gemini, too!

anon348517
Post 14

I am a 30 year old female and have this only on my scalp. My hair is really thick. This started about three years ago when my dad had a massive heart attack.

I have a few pimple looking spots with 5- 50 hairs coming out of each one. I have shaved my head as low as I can go without nicking my head bald. Laser treatments are not really going to work here, so is there anything else I can do to prevent this? I also suffer from Psoriasis. Could this be related?

anon345002
Post 13

I'm a Gemini, and I get them in my beard, but I also get weird pimples on my scalp. I blame the multigemini.

anon343653
Post 12

I also get these just under my chin on one side. They usually become infected so I tweeze them out as soon as I see them. The hairs are usually either tightly bundled and can be unraveled with fingers or poke out in several direction and are more wiry. I have also found that the majority of these hairs are black. I have blond hair. None of my blond hairs are affected.

These mostly are localized to one spot, so I have a little patch in my beard from plucking them. I'm mot sure if this is related, but when I was a kid, I split my chin open in the same area. Although I didn't need stitches, I wonder if having tissue damage to that area has somehow caused this condition.

anon342694
Post 11

I have also been suffering from a similar kind of problem for the last five years. My age is 31. Most of my hair is turning grey in the affected area. I think it my be because of me plucking the clustered hair off the beard.

I would really appreciate any help if anyone comes across any kind of solution to fix this problem.

anon335885
Post 10

I have these in my beard. They are scattered randomly. I call them my alien hairs. I can pluck them by hand, as they come out easier than regular hair. I would also just like to point out what poster 1 said about the gelatinous sac around the root. It is strange and very sticky.

anon332222
Post 9

I thought this happened to me because I used to shave my body.

anon326479
Post 8

I have them in my neck. I didn't know what it was and looked it up. How random are these things? Mine are about 6-10 blonde/white hairs and I have a ginger/black beard.

I yank them out with tweezers, then investigate them. They are like wee tiny paint brushes.

anon320028
Post 7

@anon299624: I get these also and am a Gemini.

anon320026
Post 6

Or you can just pluck it out with tweezers.

anon316484
Post 5

I definitely have pili multigemini/compound hairs. I am a male in my early 20s and have noticed two or three hairs growing consistently on my legs. My abdomen area is scattered and my arms only have a few multiple hairs growing. It's irritating especially since some hairs are thick and become thicker as they double up. I second the post about being a candidate for test study or research. I am surprised how there is so little information on pili multigemini online.

anon313669
Post 4

I'm a female and it's only happened twice, but it happened exactly like post one said. The first time was along my coccyx and the second a bit to the left, yet still in the center of my back. I'm sixteen and I really hope this doesn't get worse and start happening all over my body.

anon308150
Post 3

My instance is exactly the same as post 1. Every description is right on.

anon303838
Post 2

If there's any ongoing research about this and test subjects are needed to participate in a study, I'm the perfect candidate. I look like an alien!

anon299624
Post 1

I was wanting to send samples to a lab but I'm positive this is what's been happening on my jaw line two times a year. It feels like a nail in my jaw and when I pluck them, which is easy with tweezers, it's instant relief but swells up big for a few hours then I'm good for a few months.

One thing I would like to note is a clear, strong, jelly looking sac forms around a large potion of the strands of hair, keeping them together upon removal. It just seems so very alien. Also I'm a gemini too, which makes it even more deeply strange.

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