Blog Feb 2022 

Laser Hair Removal and PCOS

If you are among the millions of women in the UK that have PCOS, you may experience one of the key indicators, which is increased hair growth. It’s estimated that 70 to 80% of PCOS patients have hirsutism. For women, this can lead to an increase in male pattern hair growth on the face, neck, chest, nipples, abdomen, back, upper arms, or upper legs and finding the best way to manage or reduce it is the biggest worry. If you've considered laser hair removal and have PCOS or other hormonal hair growth, here are the most common questions we get asked about it.

ovaries womens health

Will laser work if I have PCOS

Yes! Although results are less permanent, laser hair removal is a great way to manage excess hair growth when you have a hormonal imbalance. Clients notice reduced hair and a slowing down of hair growth whilst undergoing laser hair removal. We will move clients onto our specialised maintenance program for PCOS once we have the growth under control. This involves regular top up sessions to reduce any new growth effectively. 

Vellus hair vs terminal hair

The imbalance of female hormones caused by PCOS can turn typically fine hair, dark and thick. Laser hair removal works by the laser emitting light energy that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. Therefore, dark hair is most effective, as it has the highest concentration of melanin. 

Whilst laser works well for dark, coarse hairs, it is ineffective on vellus hair - the light, often short, downy hair that covers our body, more commonly seen on the face, as it has very little to no pigment.

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Benefits of facial laser hair removal with PCOS

Improved skin tone and condition. One of the biggest things I see with clients is the improvement in their skin condition on the face. Regular plucking and tweezing of facial hairs can lead to skin damage. Although shaving rash can be an issue in the early days. Once you’ve got a good shaving technique and have had a couple of laser sessions, you’ll find that your complexion and skin condition improve. Hello glowing skin!

Do I really have to shave my face?

During laser hair removal treatment, we need the hair follicle to be present for the laser to work, so we ask that you refrain from waxing or tweezing before and during the treatment. This is necessary for the treatment to be effective. For the best results and comfort on the day of treatment, shave with a sharp razor the night before.

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Won’t my facial hair grow back thicker if I shave?

The worst part about starting a laser on the face is the transition to shaving, especially if you’re already tweezing or waxing. While hair growing back thicker is a myth, shaving blunts the hairs, making them feel sharper and thicker. Once you stop plucking, you are then allowing all the hairs to grow back through, which reveals how much hair is actually growing there. This can be quite a shock for many clients.

Will I always have to shave, even if I stop having laser?

This is down to personal preference. While there is an active hormonal condition, you will have new hair follicles becoming active and you will need to decide how you want to remove this hair when you are not actively having laser. If you stop shaving, the hair will eventually soften. Switching to a facial hair trimmer may give a softer feel. Using a hair retardant post treatment will also help to weaken any new hairs, try Lycon’s Hair on Strike.

Can I have laser on my face if I don’t have PCOS

Facial hair becomes more common as you age. This can be because of diminishing oestrogen levels. Successful removal of the hairs with laser will depend on the amount of hair that’s growing. – if it’s just a few hairs, or if they are white/grey, electrolysis will be a better option for you.

If you want to know more about laser and how it could work for you, you can make an appointment with a laser specialist at Beauty Therapy Brighton for a complimentary consultation or email us

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