Our clients regularly ask us 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.

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

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 hair on their faces. According to a UK survey, the average woman with PCOS facial hair manages it for 104 minutes weekly.

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

SO WHAT ARE 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.

As a hormonal disorder, PCOS affects between eight and 20% of women worldwide.

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 the upper lip), arms, legs, chest, and bikini area.

Here at Calveo, many clients come into the hair removal clinic, 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 of our laser hair removal procedures (like PCOS chin hair removal) are 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 enlarge, fluid-filled sacs create follicles surrounding the eggs. These sacs cannot release the egg, and ovulation doesn’t happen. This can cause irregular periods and pregnancy difficulties.

EXCESSIVE PRODUCTION OF ANDROGEN

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

These excessive androgens are responsible for symptoms including unwanted or excessive hair growth (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 hair.

Ongoing research into the cause of PCOS hair focuses on Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH).

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

HOW CAN WE HELP

Calveo | Laser Hair Removal Clinic in Rutland

We treat many women with PCOS at the clinic 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 struggle to discuss the problem or do not know 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. One-quarter of them believe it has impacted 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.

Ongoing waxing, shaving, and depilatory creams can become problematic for many clients.

These hair removal methods can lead to skin irritation, growing hairs, and ongoing financial outlays 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 small and large laser headpieces, making it ideal for clients suffering from PCOS. We can also be flexible regarding the body area being treated, like the chin and upper lip.

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

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

6-8 treatments are usually required to achieve up to 95% hair reduction.

At CALVEO, we offer PCOS clients a standard 20% discount 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 returning 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 conducts a free, no-obligation consultation. This assessment assesses each client’s needs and determines 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 to find the feeling similar to an ‘elastic band ping’ sensation.

Although it is reasonable to start seeing results halfway through the course, many of our clients are witnessing 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 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 are happier with hair than others!

Most importantly, it’s normal to have hair; 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.

It is 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 below!

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

Lorna