How to Deal with Stubborn Facial Hair in PCOS - The Complete Guide.

/ PCOS

According to statistics, around 2 in every 10 women today have PCOS. It means that if you’re in a room with 20 women, 10 of them may have trouble conceiving and 5 of them may be completely infertile. That’s a lot to take in, no?

So before we tell you how to deal with facial hair in PCOS, let us tell you what PCOS actually is.

What is PCOS?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in which the word, ‘polycystic’ means ‘many cysts’. In this disorder, a female’s hormonal levels are altered. They produce more male hormones such as androgen and that leads to irregular menstrual periods, hair thinning, obesity, facial hair, and infertility. There’s no specific cause of PCOS but studies suggest many women have it because it runs in their family tree.

Hakeem Fact: More than 50% of the women with PCOS will have diabetes or pre-diabetes before they turn 40.

Find highly qualified doctors for PCOS treatment here.

Common Symptoms:

·         Irregular periods

·         Weight gain around the belly area

·         Heavy bleeding or constant spotting even after the period has ended

·         Acne

·         Excessive hair growth, mainly on the face

·         Male pattern baldness (get treatment from the best hair specialists now!)

·         Nausea

·         Mood swings

If you have any of the above symptoms, don’t delay your visit to an endocrinologist, when left untreated PCOS puts you on risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It may even cause endometrial cancer.

Read: 6 Natural Tips to Get Rid of Hair Fall

How to deal with excessive hair growth in PCOS?

Since the body of the affected produces male hormones, the individual can suffer from Hirsutism – the growth of facial or body hair in women. Normally hairy women who do not have PCOS can have their hair removed after a significant period. But, women with PCOS remove their hair after short intervals, may suffer from rapid, coarse hair growth, removal of which can be painful, can get scarring and might never fully get rid of their hair.

Here are some ways that can help women with PCOS eliminate facial hair and lead normal lives:

Hair Removal Techniques

1)      Laser treatment

This treatment is suitable for women with fair skin and dark black or brown hair. With the heat generated by a laser the follicle of the hair is damaged, which prolongs hair growth. This treatment may require a number of sittings before the results start showing.

Expense: $$$$

Effectiveness:9.5/10

Pain: Moderately Painful

Woman getting a facial laser done.
Just little pricks to get rid of those nasty hair for good!

2)      Waxing

This treatment has been out there since the ancient times. There are many different types of wax available in the market. Store brought waxing materials also include ready to use wax strips and wax bean heating machines. Some women prefer making their wax at home with sugar, lemon, and water. Waxing plucks the hair from its root and makes hair grow slower. For some people, waxing causes scarring and acne.

Hakeem’s Stats:

Expense: (Salon: $$. At home: $)

Effectiveness: 8/10

Pain: Painful

Animation showing how to use wax strips.
Waxing strips are so convenient!

3)      Threading

Similar to waxing, threading plucks out the hair. Little hair which cannot be removed through waxing can be eliminated through threading. Unlike waxing, the process is longer and more painful. These days, there are different tools available for threading.

Hakeem’s Stats:

Expense: (Salon: $. At home: No cost. Epilator tool: $$ one-time expense)

Effectiveness: 8.5/10

Pain: Painful

Attractive Brazilian woman getting her upper-lip threaded.
The aftermath is clear looking, hair-free skin!

4)      Shaving

There are many types of facial razors available for women. There is a specific way to shave so that accidentally cutting yourself is avoided. Shaving removes the hair from the surface but the hair grows back quicker and some women have to shave every day. Shaving is not a permanent solution and does not hinder the growth span of the hair. It may even irritate skin and cause acne.

Hakeem’s Stats:

Expense: $

Effectiveness: 6/10

Pain: Not Painful

American woman not satisfied with shaving her face.
To shave or not to shave?

5)      Electrolysis

This treatment uses electric current to permanently get rid of the hair follicle. The current is passed through a needle and more than one sitting might be needed. An average session for the face lasts about 30 minutes.

Hakeem’s Stats:

Expense: $$$$

Effectiveness: 9/10

Pain: Painful

Woman getting electrolysis done in a female doctor's clinic.
The pain is worth it!

6)      Depilatories

This is a common procedure that women can carry out in the comfort of their homes. Howsoever, similar to shaving, depilatory creams do not provide any solution for hair growth and just acts as a temporary hair removal treatment. The chemicals in the cream might harm the skin. Before applying, a little patch of hair should be tested to see if the skin reacts to it.

Hakeem’s Stats:

Expense: $$

Effectiveness: 6/10

Pain: Not Painful

Cartoon of a woman's upper-lip hair being removed with hair removal cream.
Quick and easy, but gotta look out for those nasty chemicals. 

Lifestyle and other changes

1)      Diet change

Losing just 5% of the body weight can decrease the symptoms of PCOS. In a PCOS diet, sugar, processed food, junk food, dairy food, sugary drinks, and red meat should be avoided.

Read: Eating Healthy to Boost Your Mechanism (Free Recipes Included!)

2)      Birth control pills

Oral contraceptive pills help lessen PCOS symptoms and regulate the period cycle. This is a widely used treatment for PCOS since a definite cure isn’t available. Before taking any pills, please consult your doctor.

3)      Exercise

Moderate exercise, jogging, sports activities, and even brisk walking can help greatly with PCOS. It also helps manage mood-swings by releasing endorphins.

4)      Bleaching

This chemical product helps lighten the color of the hair. The hair becomes less evident and can be concealed with make-up. This is for women who have mild hair growth and do not want to opt for any hair removal procedure.

Remember, PCOS can be a struggle but with a healthy lifestyle, medication and regular doctor check-ups, you can be PCOS-free.

How to Deal with Stubborn Facial Hair in PCOS - The Complete Guide.
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