PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of childbearing age. While there is no cure for PCOS, there are treatments that can help manage its symptoms. 


Excess facial hair is one of the most common and distressing symptoms of PCOS. It’s one of the main reasons why women with PCOS seek treatment.


If you’re dealing with excess facial hair, you’re not alone. Approximately 70-80% of women with PCOS have excess facial hair, while only 4-11% of women in the general population do.


So, let’s learn more! Please read on.



Here are the two main reasons why PCOS can cause excess facial hair.


1. Imbalance of Androgens and Male Hormones

Androgen, like testosterone, can stimulate the growth of facial hair. Women with PCOS often have higher than normal levels of androgen.   


Androgen can also affect the growth of other body hair, including chest and pubic hair. They can also cause the skin to become oily, leading to acne. Androgen can also cause irregular periods, weight gain, and mood changes. 


2. Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels. When your body is resistant to insulin, it can lead to high insulin levels in the blood. Insulin resistance is common in women with PCOS and can contribute to excess facial hair growth.  


Treatment for insulin resistance usually involves lifestyle changes to help lower blood sugar levels, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight.  


Medications like metformin may also be prescribed to help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. Additionally, medical treatments, such as laser hair removal, may be recommended to reduce excess facial hair growth. 



Here are 5 treatments for women with PCOS struggling with excess facial hair.


1. Shaving

Shaving is a quick and easy way to remove unwanted hair but can also be painful.   


Shaving can cause ingrown hair, razor burns, and other skin irritations. To minimise these problems, use a sharp razor, shave with the grain of the hair, and use a moisturising aftershave or balm. Keeping the skin clean and exfoliated before and after shaving is also important to help prevent irritation.


2. Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a popular treatment option for excess facial hair caused by PCOS. The type of hair resulting from PCOS is particularly responsive to the laser as it absorbs the maximum energy required to destroy the follicle. Clients often see a huge improvement after just one treatment. Laser hair removal targets the pigment in the hair follicle with a concentrated light beam. The light energy is absorbed by the pigment and converted into heat, which destroys the hair follicle.


Laser hair removal is typically done as a series of treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Most people need 6-8 treatments to see the desired results and may occasionally require regular top-up treatments. 


To maintain hair-free skin. The treatment is safe and effective and can be used on most skin types and tones. It is important to note that laser hair removal only works on hair in an active growth stage, so it may take several treatments to completely clear the area of unwanted hair. 


3. Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills can help regulate hormone levels and reduce the amount of facial hair. This is not always viable, particularly if someone hopes to become pregnant.  


4. Electrolysis

Electrolysis is a treatment that uses electrical currents to destroy hair follicles. It can be effective but painful and may need to be repeated multiple times.   


Electrolysis passes a small electric current through a thin needle inserted into the hair follicle. The current destroys the follicle, resulting in permanent hair removal. The area of skin surrounding the treatment area may be red, swollen, or sore for a few days after the treatment. It is important to follow the instructions of a trained professional when undergoing electrolysis. 


5. Depilatory Creams

Depilatory creams work by dissolving the hair shaft, which can then be wiped away. They are generally safe to use, but it is important to follow the instructions on the package carefully. Some people may experience skin irritation after using depilatory creams. If this occurs, discontinue use and consult a doctor. This is also not a permanent option and will require regular applications.



Having excess facial hair is a distressing symptom of PCOS and can be a source of great anxiety, profoundly affecting self-esteem. 


There are many treatments available for excess facial hair due to PCOS. The five most common treatments are shaving, laser hair removal, birth control pills, electrolysis, and depilatory creams. However, if you have PCOS and are struggling with unwanted hair growth, laser hair removal with PCOS can be an effective solution and is the only treatment that can provide permanent hair reduction. 


These treatments can help you eliminate unwanted facial hair and improve your appearance. If you are considering these treatments, consult a qualified medical professional to ensure they are right. 


If you are considering laser hair removal treatment, you have come to the right place. Calveo offers the best laser hair removal service, HydraFacial, and other skin-boosting treatments to restore confidence. Book a consultation today!