Excess Hair: Removal Methods

A lot of women with PCOS have to deal with excess hair. It can occur anywhere on the face and body but it seems to be a big problem on our faces (chin and upper lip area). Having to deal with this is hard and can bring one’s self esteem down.

I wanted to look at pros and cons of all the different methods of hair removal. This is because I am getting so sick of my facial hair and would really like to find a longer lasting way to get rid of it.

If I left anything out, let me know.

The methods

Shaving and trimming:


*Can be quick

* Can be relatively easy

* Can be relatively inexpensive

* Can do at home

* Razors and trimmers can be portable


*Can cause irritation (razor bumps,rashes)

*Can cause scratches

* Does not remove the entire hair

* Might not get the areas as smooth as you want

* Not permanent



*Removes the entire hair

* Removes large amounts of hair at one time

* Gets things smoother than shaving does

* Causes softer regrowth of hair than shaving does

* Longer lasting than shaving


* Can be very painful

* Can experience irritation with this method too (allergic reactions and infections)

* Can be expensive

Depilatory cream:


*Dissolves hair so area is smoother than shaving

* No razor burns or nicks

* Can be quick


* Can cause irritation and allergic reactions

* Can cause burns

*Might smell bad for a while

* Areas may be uneven due to how it was applied

Coil spring remover :


*Might leave the area smoother than shaving

*Can be quick and easy

*Some say it is painless


* Many say it is quite painful

* Doesn’t work for a lot of women with excess upper hair

* Seems overpriced

Vaniqa (elflornithine):

This is a cream that slows hair growth by working on an enzyme in the hair follicle. It is applied twice a day.


*FDA approved

* Easy to apply

* Have to shave/wax/tweeze/trim less over time


*Can be expensive

* Cause acne in a lot of people

* Has other side effects such as redness, stinging, burning and folliculitis.


Disrupts hair growth by using shortwave radio frequencies in the hair follicles.


*Backed by FDA

*Seems as though many women with PCOS have been happy with it

*Considered permanent

*Can be used anywhere on the body

* Usually minor side effects


*Expensive ($30-$100 per session)

* Not covered by insurance

*Requires multiple sessions to get the results

* Could have major side effects such as infections and/or scars

Laser hair removal:

Damages hair follicles by using mild radiation through lasers.


*Can be done anywhere on the face and body (except eye area)

*Very little recovery time

* Hair regrowth is finer


*Not covered by insurance

*Can be expensive to some (average cost is $429)

* Results are not permanent

* Many women with PCOS were not happy with it

* Can cause scars and changes to skin texture


Used for women with hormonal acne and excess hair. Common dosages range from 50-300 mg.


*Brings blood pressure down

* Reduces bloat

* Makes the excess male-pattern hair grow slower

* Can reduce oiliness of the skin

*Can reduce acne

*May help with hair loss on scalp


* Can cause side effects such as dizziness, thirstiness, GI problems, breast pain and more

* Potassium-sparing so have to get blood testing done periodically and watch out for potassium intake

*Slow to work (takes about three months more to see results)


Possible effect according to a couple studies. Very weak evidence.


* Spearmint is available in capsules if you don’t like drinking tea

*Might have anti-androgen effects for women with excess hair


*Might make things worse or do nothing

My experiences with hair removal methods

In the past I was shaving my body and waxing my upper lip/eyebrows once a month. The waxing was enough for me as my facial hair grew very slow at that time. That has changed unfortunately!

After I gave birth, my facial hair started getting out of control. Ever since then I have to shave my face morning and night. It is obnoxious to say the least.

After researching all of these methods, I decided that I really want to try electrolysis. The problem with this method is the expense. Once my business gets off the ground I want to put aside some money each month so that I can possibly afford sessions of it.

What hair removal methods have you tried and what do you like the best?

Thanks for reading!









#pcos #pcosawareness #excesshair #hormones #beauty