As someone with PCOS, you’ll know that one of the most common (and most embarrassing) symptoms is excessive hair growth. The cause of this is excess testosterone produced by the ovaries, as a result of hormonal changes associated with PCOS.
No one likes hair growing where they don’t want it, and with PCOS that hair tends to crop up in more places than we expect – places like the chin, upper lip and even the stomach and back. Keeping on top of it can feel like a full time job, but leaving it to grow unchecked isn’t an option.
Tackling the excess hair medically
There are some medications that can manage excess hair growth (or hirsutism) – androgen receptor blockers, androgen suppressors, or 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors.
The problem with these medications, aside from the fact that not everyone likes to take long-term drugs that affect the hormones, is that they’re usually only effective while you’re taking them. They take around 6 months to start working and they don’t really address the underlying cause.
Other options for PCOS hair reduction
One of the most common ways to tackle excess hair is by plucking – especially on the face (because really, most women hate the idea of having to shave their faces). But it’s time consuming, painful, and doesn’t last very long. Shaving is an option for unruly bikini lines and other body hair, but again, it’s not very long lasting and can take ages.
Electrolysis is an option, but not only is it expensive, it can be extremely painful and slow going. IPL isn’t particularly effective on the types of hairs caused by PCOS – they tend to be thicker and darker than IPL can cope with, leaving you with disappointing results that take many, many treatments to improve.
Laser hair removal is a popular alternative – it’s more effective than IPL and less painful than electrolysis. Salon treatments can still be expensive, however, especially when you have lots of areas of the body that you want to treat.
At-home laser hair removal machines are an option – choose the right one and it should have enough power to give you professional results. Plus you’ll have the device on hand to do any top ups you may want.
Is Laser Hair Removal safe when you have PCOS?
Yes, there is nothing about PCOS that will make laser hair removal less safe than for anyone else. It may take a few more treatments to see results, however, and you may need more top ups if you’re not also having hormonal treatments to tackle the underlying cause of the hair growth.
Not only is laser hair removal safe, it’s generally the most popular approach to dealing with excess hair from PCOS – many doctors and dermatologists recommend it as the best in long-lasting hair reduction for women with PCOS.