PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder among women between the ages of 18 and 44. This health problem affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. It is a common hormonal disorder that causes the ovaries to produce excessive amounts of androgens (male hormone). The ovaries may become enlarged with many small follicles that appear like cysts (fluid-filled sacs), hence the term “polycystic”.
What are the symptoms:
- Irregular periods or no periods at all.
- Difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate).
- Excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, upper arms, back and buttocks.
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair and hair loss from the head.
- Oily skin or acne.
What can hair removal specialists do to help clients suffering with PCOS?
Take a full case history:
- When were they diagnosed?
- How long have they noticed their first symptoms?
- Are they on any medication and is it helping?
- When did they see a difference in their hair growth?
- What areas have stimulated hair growth.
- What forms of hair removal have they used in the past, how often?
- Have they noticed any difference better or worse?
- Is the hair growth stabilized or are they noticing hair turning darker and longer on other parts of the body?
- Is it having an effect on their social life?
- Do they have a specialist that is caring for them and are they seeing them on a regular basis?
It is important that you fully understand what the client has dealt with and what measures have they searched out to get help. Only then can you provide professional advice and be able to present options and encourage them that you can resolve the problem with their excessive hair growth.
Psychological aspects of Hirsutism and PCOS
Dealing with hirsutism and PCOS can be emotionally difficult. You may feel unfeminine, uncomfortable, or self-conscious about your excessive hair growth or weight, as well as worried about your ability to have children. It is difficult to share these feelings with others so make sure you see a specialist who can advise you on options available to treat this disorder.
Can PCOS clients achieve 100% Permanent Hair Removal?
Absolutely and don’t let anyone tell you differently. Yes, it takes time, patience and unfortunately money. Budgets can usually be worked with the understanding that the process will take longer.
So, what is the plan for treatment?
Hair will generally appear dark and coarse almost appearing like a full beard. Dense areas of growth appear on the corners of the chin and nape of neck. Due to previous temporary methods there may be the appearance of ingrown hair, pigmentation and pustules. Temporary hair removal methods such as waxing, tweezing and threading need to be stopped at least 3 weeks before a treatment and the client will be asked to shave.
Procedure starting with laser then finishing with electrolysis:
- Shave the area the night before or early morning of the treatment.
- Apply a topical anesthetic if the hair growth is very dark, coarse and dense as the first treatment can be sensitive.
- Settings will be decided for skin type but should the client have very dark, dense growth then you would change the settings for skin type one to two levels darker to avoid burning the skin.
- Treat slowly with time between pulses especially for the first treatment as most of the hair will eject and the thermal heating will be intense. Clients are happy when they hear the hair pop out of the follicle and the smell of burnt hair as they know it is working.
- Use a cold compress before treating each section of the face to make the treatment more tolerable for the client.
- Upper lip is sensitive so use a cold compress and apply one pulse at a time. Place a dental roll or have the client roll their tongue over their teeth to reduce sensitivity.
- Have the client apply a cold compress on the area off and on for 5 min before dismissing them. Hair will have expelled and the skin will be red for up to a day or two if there was a lot of hair.
- Clients can shave in-between treatments but it might not be necessary. Exfoliation must be started about ten days following a treatment and then every 3 – 4 days until the next treatment. Moisturize twice daily.
When there is so much hair, I schedule the client in 3 weeks so that I can be in control of the hair growth cycle. Following with 4 weeks and then eventually with 6 weeks when treating the facial areas. I will provide 12 treatments of laser before finishing with electrolysis.
Electrolysis is scheduled 4 weeks after the last laser and then a consultation and specific plan is agreed to until 100% permanent hair removal has been achieved.
Better said from a client. Testimonial
When I was around sixteen years old, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), at which point I started noticing spot hair growth in unusual places: my chest, breasts, neck, and, of course, my face. Shaving just made things worse. I then started getting dark spots and ingrown hairs. I was so insecure, I started wearing heavy makeup to cover up the hair growth and harsher skin texture.
Medications from an endocrinologist didn’t work. I then went to a laser clinic that advertised effective treatments for darker skin tones, but I received first-degree burns during my first session.
I literally thought my situation was hopeless. Then, a friend of mine recommended Nicolette and OMI. I was skeptical at first. However, after my initial consultation, and first treatment, I immediately knew I was in good hands. My skin texture became smooth again, the dark spots started disappearing and, most importantly, my hair became thinner and grew less and less. As a result, I’m wearing much less makeup, and am more eager to show off my face and chest without being self conscious.
Yes, one-hundred-percent hair removal is possible, and I’m only confident of saying that because of my experiences with Nicolette and OMI. I don’t know what I would have done without going to them with my hair-removal issues.