We regularly get asked by our clients if laser hair removal can help with excessive PCOS hair growth (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

The answer is yes, absolutely!

This instigated us to write a blog about the topic, as let’s face it, talking about excessive body hair isn’t always an easy conversation to have.

In today’s society, women feel a subconscious pressure on how they must look and appear to the outside world.

When excess PCOS hair appears in areas it shouldn’t, the effects can be frustrating and distressing for those involved.

Images of sleek celebrities and smooth models litter Instagram, leaving us reaching for the razor, or the dreaded wax strips to fit into the socially acceptable norm without fully understanding the issue!

The biggest contradiction is that PCOS facial hair is SO common, yet considered abnormal.

Around 40% of women naturally have some sort of hair on their faces. Also according to a UK survey of average women with PCOS facial hair spend 104 minutes a week managing it.

After all, who hasn’t spotted a rogue hair in the rearview mirror resulting in a desperate lunge for the handbag emergency tweezers?

SO WHAT IS PCOS, AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT HAIR GROWTH?

What is PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, (or PCOS), is a health condition that affects 1 in 5 women in the UK affecting how the ovaries work.

Worldwide, as a hormonal disorder, PCOS affects between eight and 20% of women.

Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. This hormone imbalance causes them to skip menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to fall pregnant.

PCOS is known to cause excessive hair growth, which often follows a masculine pattern, with thicker hair growth on the face, (especially upper lip), arms, legs, chest, and bikini area.

Here at Calveo, we have many clients coming into the hair removal clinic who sit in the consultation room and tell us that their facial hair is getting them down — affecting them emotionally & mentally.

For many, it’s a secret hidden from friends and partners. It’s not until they hear that half our laser hair removal procedures (like PCOS chin hair removal) is on the facial area that the wave of relief washes over them…

YOU MEAN IT’S NOT JUST ME!

SOME OF THE CRITICAL FACTORS THAT ARE COMMON TO PCOS INCLUDE:

Polycystic Ovaries

POLYCYSTIC OVARIES

When the ovaries become enlarged, fluid-filled sacs form to create follicles which surround the eggs. These sacs are unable to release the egg and ovulation doesn’t happen. This can cause irregular periods and pregnancy difficulties.

EXCESSIVE PRODUCTION OF ANDROGEN

All women produce androgens, (more commonly known as male hormones); yet, levels tend to be higher in women with PCOS hair.

It is these excessive androgens that are responsible for symptoms, including unwanted or excessive hair growth, (also known as hirsutism), acne-prone skin and weight gain.

Androgens act on the growth phase of the hair cycle, causing the hair to change from fine vellus hair to thicker darker hairs.

There is ongoing research into the cause of PCOS hair, which focuses on a hormone called Anti Mullerian Hormone, (AMH).

The ovaries produce AMH. This happens when an egg released during the menstrual cycle. Studies have shown that women with PCOS hair growth have higher levels of AMH. Thus suggesting foetal exposure to the hormone during pregnancy may be a contributory factor. As there is still no established treatment for PCOS, thus people with PCOS have to manage the symptoms.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Lorna and Cherise at CALVEO

At the clinic, we treat a large number of women with PCOS who come to us for laser hair removal.

Although excessive hair growth isn’t the primary medical issue associated with PCOS, it can be one of the most prominent and visual symptoms. It can affect confidence in social situations and relationships.

In some circumstances, excessive facial and body hair can lead to depression and anxiety. Many women finding it difficult to talk about the problem, or not knowing how to treat unwanted hair.

According to a survey of 1000 women which was a campaign called We Can Face from the Channel 4 series, Embarrassing Bodies, 30% of those with unwanted facial hair suffer clinical depression. And one quarter believes it has impacted on their ability to form relationships and progress in the workplace.

IS LASER HAIR REMOVAL EFFECTIVE FOR PCOS?

In short, the answer is yes!

Laser Hair Removal is the only treatment available that offers permanent hair reduction quickly and efficiently.

For many of our clients dealing with ongoing waxing, shaving and depilatory creams can become a problem in itself.

These methods of hair removal can result in skin irritation, in growing hairs and an ongoing financial outlay to which there is no end.

HERE AT CALVEO

We offer tailored treatments for clients, including the face, bikini, underarms and legs.

Our clinic has a range of both small and large laser Handpieces, making it ideal for clients suffering from PCOS as we can be flexible in terms of the body area being treated, like chin, upper lip.

Many of our PCOS clients have previously used IPL, electrolysis and waxing. They cannot believe the difference in terms of results and comfort in comparison to other methods.

Our medical-grade Lumenis machine is proven to achieve superb results. Both myself and Cherise are qualified laser technicians with Level 4 qualifications in both laser & skin rejuvenation.

A course of 6-8 treatments is usually required to achieve up to 95% hair reduction.

At CALVEO, we offer a 20% discount to PCOS clients as standard and provide multi-treatment discounts to make it more affordable.

Top-up sessions may be required for PCOS clients as the laser cannot influence the body’s hormone levels. The good news is that any hair that does return will be lighter, finer and far less noticeable with a much slower growth rate.

THE RESULTS

In most cases the results are amazing, and the benefits seen by our clients can be life-changing. Maintenance programmes are tailored to each client, depending on the body area.

Before commencing any laser hair removal treatment, CALVEO carries out a free of charge, no-obligation consultation. This is to assess each client’s needs and determine a suitable laser hair removal programme.

The clinic should carry out a patch test, not only to determine the correct settings to achieve optimum results but also to enable the client to experience the sensation of the laser.

In almost every case, clients are surprised finding the feeling similar to an ‘elastic band ping’ sensation.

Although it is reasonable to start seeing results around halfway through the course. Many of our clients are seeing a dramatic difference after one treatment with PCOS hair growth slowing down and patches of hair-free skin appearing.

All our clients are provided with the laser hair removal aftercare advice. We stock a range of skincare products, namely Alumier and Obagi. We encourage good skincare regimes and SPF protection.

SO TO CONCLUDE

We are all individuals with our unique hang-ups!

Some of us have more hair than others, some have more hair in different body areas than others, and some of us are happier with hair than others!

Most importantly, it’s normal to have hair, and we are all unique individuals with our own needs and concerns.

PCOS is manageable in the sense of removing the hair. In our experience, laser hair removal is the most effective method, for example, to treat PCOS chin hair and upper lip areas in particular.

At CALVEO, we are all about body confidence, whatever that confidence means to you.

Being happy in your skin or being the best version of yourself.

For those who want a bit or a lot of help with the hairy bits they are not so keen on, we are here and happy to help!

Please leave any questions you may have below!

CALVEO is located in Rutland, near Oakham. We are open seven days a week, typically from 9:30 am till late. To book a friendly, no-obligation consultation, please email us at contactus@calveo.co.uk or call 01572 490950

Lorna