What You Really Want to Know About Unwanted Hair With PCOS
Are you frustrated with your unwanted hair from PCOS? You are not alone! While I have struggled for years with this problem, I feel like I have finally accepted these extra hairs and learned how to get rid of them to feel like my beautiful, confident self.
I came out of the closet recently. No, not because of my sexuality, but because of my hormonal disorder. I was so scared to share with the world that I had PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It felt like saying it out loud admitted that I was a freak, a broken woman that deserved to be hated and ridiculed. I had major pity party festivities on the daily. It was great.
While I’m not going to get into the details of the hormonal disorder (you can read my recent blog about how I’m living with PCOS here if you like), I did want to talk about one thing that no one ever talks about. Facial hair.
Yes, ladies, we all have unwanted hair- some of us more than others (especially gals with PCOS). Back in the day, I used to wake up before my fiance and shave everything to perfection. I started realizing that the five o’clock shadow was a real thing, and it sucked ass. I also realized that the smoothing tool in Facetune could not completely blur out my stubble.
I’ve cried a lot, I’ve hated myself a lot. I’ve spent hours tweezing, waxing, and putting harmful chemicals onto my skin in hopes of getting rid of my Unwanted Hair From PCOS.
The fact remains, I have a freaking beard. Not just peach fuzz. Dark, thick hairs that have doubled in amount throughout the years. They start under my chin and work their way up to my sideburns. And they are going to be the death of me.
If you came here to see a girl that has fully embraced these rebellious hairs, you’ve come to the wrong place. I hate them and hope each and every one of them dies a painful, yet fast, death. I wish I could be those girls who grow out their beards and show the world that they are beautiful and flawless just the way they are. Because they ARE all of those things. However, that is not going to be me.
Okay, before I go into full pity party mode, I guess I should explain exactly why I have these hairs and why other girls might not.
Well, if you read my article on natural treatments for PCOS or simply researched unwanted hair in PCOS, you’ll know that it is a hormonal disorder that can cause your body to produce an excess of androgen.
What the hell is an androgen?
Glad you asked. This is when you have elevated levels of male hormones in your body. As in my balls are bigger than yours (not really…no, really, I don’t have male body parts). Now, this doesn’t always mean that you are required to grow a beard if you have PCOS. It also doesn’t mean that, if you do have higher levels of androgen’s, that you will develop facial hair. I just picked the short straw.
Excess androgen levels can show up in signs of excess facial or body hair, severe acne, and male-patterned baldness. You can have one of these, none of these, or all of them. It’s like the world’s worst lottery. No matter how you play, you usually lose.
So, why are we talking about Unwanted Hair In PCOS?
Great question. Mostly, I want to vent about my chin rebels. But also, I’ve noticed that no one talks about this at all. As in, you can research all you want about PCOS, but it is hard to find real people talking about their symptoms. Yes, there are support groups out there (I recommend any on Reddit or Facebook if you suffer from PCOS).
It’s not necessarily our fault, though. It’s society as a whole. If you have been diagnosed with PCOS (or even think you have it), chances are you’ve figured out that doctors aren’t well-read in this topic. Even though it affects A LOT of women, they usually just throw birth control at you and don’t do anything else. It is truly infuriating to find out you have a hormonal disorder only to realize there is nothing anyone is doing about it.
This doesn’t mean all doctors suck at their job, so don’t come for me. It merely means that some are not well informed, and others really do suck at their job (sorry, but someone had to say it).
Unless you spend a ridiculous amount of money on a specialist (who might not even be anywhere near where you live), you have to rely on birth control to help you.
However, what doctors don’t tell you is that birth control doesn’t always work. In fact, it could make things worse. Also, if you want a baby, birth control is really not going to help you. They also don’t tell you about any other options you can try because, well, they are doctors who believe in western medicine. I believe in western medicine (hell, my mom is a nurse), but I also am aware that other things might need to happen for healthy bodies to form.
Another medication that a doctor usually prescribes in this situation is spironolactone. This has been proven to help stop hair growth by reducing androgen levels. It is also been shown to cause irregular bleeding, which is why it is recommended to take along with birth control.
Again, these are perfectly fine medications to use and have helped a lot of women suffering from PCOS. Always do your research and find out what works best for you and your body.
After doing so much research I could potentially be considered an expert, I realized that there is SO much us PCOS gals can do to help ourselves. That is why we are here. Because I know if it was hard for me to find information, it is probably hard for you as well.
I do want to point out that, while I have done plenty of research, not all of these methods will work for you. Every case of PCOS is different. Always do your own research and, when possible, talk to a professional about these things. That means either going to an OBGYN, Endocrinologist, or other specialists in the field. After all, everybody has a different body.
So, how do you live with a beard?
After too many tears, I finally realized that I needed to suck it up and learn that this is my body, and crying about it won’t change matters. There are a few things I have learned that, naturally, could potentially help lower your testosterone levels and remove unwanted hair due to PCOS.
- Low-intensity workouts (like pilates or strength training)
- Cutting out dairy and gluten
- Drinking spearmint tea regularly
- Loading up on Omega-3’s
- Eating balanced meals throughout the day
- Taking ashwagandha to lower stress levels
- Taking maca powder
- Cutting out sugar
- Incorporating Inositol and Folate to your diet
These are just some of the natural ways you can help your body decrease androgen levels. Even if you don’t have facial hair but DO have PCOS, these are fantastic things to incorporate into your daily routines. They can help you lose weight, improve your sex drive, combat depression, increase fertility, and so much more.\
I talk more about each individual bullet point in my natural remedies and give a few great products that are budget-friendly if you are looking for daily supplements.
Now, these things will potentially help you with those pesky side effects over time. The question is, how do you live with them in the present day? Personally, I shave every day. It takes me only a minute to do in the morning. I do recommend a men’s razor for a closer shave (or at least a razor with five blades) because, well, they are made for the facial region.
Doesn’t your hair grow back darker, though?
No, that is a common myth. The reason you see darker hair when you shave is not that they are growing darker, but because you just cut it instead of pulling the hair from the root. A cut piece of hair will look thicker than the tip of a hair. Besides, most of us PCOS gals who are suffering from facial hair already have dark, coarse hair. In my opinion, there isn’t much that could make that worse.
Now, you could go with laser treatments, waxing, tweezing, or any of the other methods out there for removing hair. I’ve never personally done laser treatments for the fact that I’m cheap, and, for some women with a hormonal disorder, it doesn’t do sh!t. That doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, it just means there is a possibility.
I’m also not a fan of waxing, epilating, or using things like Nair for Unwanted Hair From PCOS.
Waxing means you have to wait for your hairs to get long enough to pull them. I’m not about that no filter type of life. There are benefits, however, like not having to shave every day and having absolutely zero traces of stubble.
I also have sensitive skin, which makes Nair turn my face into a bald pizza. I won’t have hair, but I don’t know if that would be considered a win at that point.
Saying this doesn’t mean these options aren’t valid. I would recommend trying each out to see which works best for you and your lifestyle. If you can get rid of that unwanted hair due to PCOS (in a healthy way), then it is worth trying!
For me, I use a men’s razor and shave the stubble every day to every other day. I have a specific razor that I keep for my face so that it stays sharp longer (go for at least 5 blades when shopping for razors). I also use a little bit of shaving cream or, if I’m out, a little bit of conditioner.
I know this might seem high maintenance, but the routine usually takes me less than a minute and can be done in the shower or with your morning face wash. Plus, switching out my razor has 100% helped keep stubble from showing up in the day!
Now let’s talk about mental health.
You might not think mental health would come up with this topic, but it does. It doesn’t matter how empowered a woman you are, we all have insecurities. I know for me, the hair I grow is on the top of that list. I’ve hated myself and my body for years because of it. Part of my emotional roller coaster can be blamed on PCOS (that is one of the symptoms after all), but it also is blamed on me not learning to love myself.
We always hear to love ourselves just the way we are. So when we don’t like something, we feel even more ashamed. I’m here to tell you that it is okay not to love everything about yourself. Guess what? You are an empowered woman who can change things you don’t like about yourself. Don’t like that extra weight? Work out and find the right meal plan that works for your body. Don’t like the size of your nose? Have surgery to get it reduced.
Have a beard that makes you hate your body?
Get laser treatments or shave it. If you’ve spent years hating a part of yourself, then it is okay to get help to ‘fix’ it. It’s also okay to feel sad every now and again. You’re allowed to, I promise.
This article isn’t just to teach you how to improve your hair problems but to hold out a hand in hopes of someone grabbing it. I want to start a community where women and men can talk about their issues without feeling embarrassed or judged. We are all trying to live our best life, whatever that may look like.
I’m here to start a discussion on PCOS and to say, “Hey, PCOS is a big freaking deal, and we need to talk about it more.”
I’m here to let you know that your extra weight, facial hair, and missed periods happen to a lot of women. You are not alone.
While I continue to talk about PCOS, mental health, and staying sane while plucking every hair on your face (I don’t recommend that), I do have one question. What would you like to hear about? What are things you suffer through that you feel needs some light shed on it?
Let me know in the comments below or on my contact page, and, together, we can start shedding light on mental health, wellbeing, and the difficulties we face being alive in this world. At the end of the day, us cysters have got to stick together.
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**While I do research and find reliable information to share for each article, I am by no means a professional. Make sure to speak with a healthcare professional before changing anything in your health. Also, I do have affiliate links that, if used, will give me a small commission. While I do make a profit, I will never share a product/service that I do not 100% stand behind.