PCOS Facial Hair : Know the Causes and 3 Best Fixes to try NOW!


Last Updated on August 15, 2022 @

Read Time : 13 minutes


There’s one side-effect of PCOS that might sound trivial and small at first, but can be a real pain and cause a lot of mental stress. That condition is PCOS facial hair, also known as PCOS Hirsutism!

Today you’ll learn all about how it’s caused and what are the different alternatives that you can adopt to deal with it.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to get rid of facial hair with PCOS
  • Herbs for PCOS hirsutism

And much more!

Let’s go!

PCOS Facial Hair - Know the Causes and 3 Best Fixes to try NOW
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Contents

Chapter 1

What is PCOS Hirsutism? What are its causes?

Chapter 2

How to stop Facial hair growth with PCOS?

Chapter 3

Fix #1 - Cosmetic Treatment for PCOS Hirsutism

Chapter 4

Fix #2 - Natural remedies for PCOS facial hair

Chapter 5

Fix #3 - Medical Supplements for PCOS Hirsutism

Chapter 6

PCOS Hirsutism Success Stories

CHAPTER 1

What is PCOS Hirsutism? What are its causes?


As you know, PCOS is a condition caused due to hormonal imbalances in your body. This results in some side-effects. One such side-effect is the growth of mild PCOS facial hair, also known as PCOS Hirsutism.

In this chapter, you’ll get to know about pcos hair on face and how it’s caused. You’ll also find out how this side effect can lead to other problems for you as well.

Let’s get started!

What is PCOS Hirsutism. What are its causes
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What is PCOS Hirsutism?

Hirsutism is a condition wherein there’s excessive growth of dark and coarse hair on your face, chest and back. In this condition, the hair in these particular areas grows in a male like pattern in women as well. It’s caused due to the excess androgens (male sex hormones) in your body. .

PCOS is  the underlying cause in 70% of the women who were suffering with Hirsutism. The prevalence of hirsutism in women with PCOS ranges from 70 to 80%, in comparison with 4% to 11% in women of the general population who do not suffer from this condition. 

Thus, both of these conditions are interdependent. PCOS is the most common underlying cause in women suffering with Hirsutism. Similarly, hirsutism is found in the majority of women suffering from PCOS.

The uncommon areas of  PCOS facial hair growth and hirsutism include:

  • Upper Iip
  • Chin
  • Lower Abdomen
  • Inner Thighs
  • Lower Back
Let’s now have a look at the causes that lead to hirsutism and as a result, cause the growth of PCOS facial hair.

Causes of Facial hair growth with PCOS

1. High Androgen Levels:

PCOS raises the androgen levels in your body massively, which are produced by your ovaries and adrenal glands. High androgen levels lead to manifestations on your skin which include acne and coarse hair

Androgen stimulates the hair follicles in your body to grow at a greater degree than normal. While having vellus hair (aka peach fuzz) on your face is normal, androgen hormones cause your follicles to make terminal hair which are darker and thicker in volume.

2. Insulin Resistance:

Insulin Resistant PCOS is the most common type of PCOS and is found in close to 70% women suffering from PCOS. In this type of PCOS, the cells of your body don’t respond well to insulin. They can’t use the glucose from your blood properly for energy. 

Thus, your body has to overcompensate by increasing the production of insulin. Excessive insulin levels stimulate overproduction of androgens by your ovaries. This leads to hirsutism, acne, and irregular ovulation.

3. Cushing’s Syndrome:

Cushing syndrome is the overproduction of cortisol by your body’s adrenal glands. People suffering from PCOS often develop cushing’s syndrome as a side effect. Cushing syndrome often leads to obesity, weak muscles, diabetes, and irregularity in menstruation. 

Amongst the 3 causes mentioned, this is the least probable cause since you’re more likely to experience insulin resistance and high androgen levels as a side effect of PCOS.

Causes of Facial hair growth with PCOS Infographic
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Besides these 3 causes, there are other general causes as well that could cause coarse facial hair and have nothing to do with PCOS.

These include menopause, side effects of certain medications, Non-Classical Adrenal Hyperplasia (caused by the abnormality of your adrenal glands) and other unexplained causes.

Now that you know about the causes of PCOS hair on face, let’s move on to how to stop facial hair growth due to PCOS.

CHAPTER 2

How to stop Facial hair growth with PCOS?


Now you know what PCOS hirsutism is and what are the different factors that are responsible for it. The next step is to find ways to control this condition by either eliminating the causes or finding ways that reduce these effects.

In this chapter, you’ll find out the different steps to reduce hair growth on your face and other body parts as well. Further on, you’ll also get a brief of the 3 best fixes on how to control facial hair with PCOS.

Let’s dive right in!

How to stop Facial hair growth with PCOS
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There are several alternatives for you to adopt to deal with PCOS facial hair. These include both temporary and permanent solutions. Firstly, it’s important to understand that the levels of androgens in your body decrease with age. Once you reach your late 30s or 40s, your androgen levels drop down. And you’ll witness mild PCOS facial hair instead of the coarse and dark type.

The most effective way to get rid of facial hair with PCOS, is to control PCOS itself. But this can be a time consuming process, considering the type of PCOS that you’re suffering with.

Another thing you must do is lose excess weight. Weight loss helps with reducing the androgen levels in your body. As a result, the hair on your face and other uncommon body parts also start decreasing.

The best way to deal with PCOS is to eliminate the root cause that leads to condition. Find out the 4 Types of PCOS : Which one is yours? {Take this Easy Quiz} and get rid of it once and for all.

Since treating PCOS is a longer process, there are other fixes that show you how to treat PCOS facial hair quicker. Let’s have a look at them.

3 Best Solutions to Control PCOS Facial Hair

Following are the three best fixes for you to adopt while dealing with PCOS hirsutism:

  • Fix #1 - Cosmetic Treatment for PCOS Hirsutism
  • Fix #2 - Natural remedies for PCOS facial hair treatment
  • Fix #3 - Medical Supplements for PCOS Hirsutism
All these options have been discussed in the following chapters in detail. You’ll get a proper detailed framework on how to get rid of PCOS facial hair.
CHAPTER 3

Fix #1 - Cosmetic Treatment for PCOS Hirsutism


While there are medications available for hirsutism, they shouldn’t be your first priority. There are several other alternatives for treatment for pcos hair growth and you should definitely take your first shot with them.

That’s why, here’s a solution for you to deal with PCOS facial hair, without the baggage or fear of side effects from medication.

In this chapter, you’ll get to know about the measures of cosmetic treatment for PCOS hirsutism. While some of these measures can be practiced at home, others require professional intervention.

So, let’s dive right in!

Fix #1 - Cosmetic Treatment for PCOS Hirsutism
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Shaving

This is a temporary hair removal technique using a razor blade. It’s one of the easiest, most economical and most convenient options. Since a blade only cuts the hair from the surface, the hair strands grow back within a day or two. Therefore, you will have to regularly shave for PCOS facial hair removal. However, this may result in an irritable stubble and cause irritation.

An electric blade can be a better option if you’ve got sensitive skin. The best part about shaving is that it’s painless, quick and causes no medical side effects. It’s important to know that this does not eliminate facial hair with PCOS from the root cause. It's only a short term solution for hair removal.

Shaving
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Waxing, Plucking and Threading

Waxing, plucking and threading are also temporary techniques to deal with PCOS hair growth on face. Although their effect lasts longer than shaving, it works only for about 7-10 days on an average, depending on your hair growth speed

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Waxing is basically applying a thin layer of hot melted or cold wax to the area of your face where there is hair growth. After that a strip is placed on the hardened wax and pulled off instantly. This pulls off the hair from within the skin and takes it out entirely.

This is a painful procedure as compared to shaving and may even lead to short term redness and ingrowth of hair.

When you pluck your hair, it gets torn from its living follicle which may cause irritability to sensitive skin. In case the hair follicle develops an infection, your hair may curl into the skin and cause pimples or acne. Similarly, waxing also has the same risk factor of causing irritation and infection, more so in the areas that are androgen sensitive.

Waxing
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Plucking
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Threading
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Eflornithine Cream

An eflornithine facial cream contains eflornithine hydrochloride, which is a chemical that helps deal with the problem of unwanted hair. Using this cream with other measures may help you decrease the growth level of your facial hair.

For some of you, acne problems may worsen due to the use of eflornithine cream. Therefore, be sure to use it on a small patch first to make sure that it doesn’t cause any side effects or allergies to you.

Eflornithine Cream
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Electrolysis Hair Removal

Electrolysis hair removal is a process wherein a very fine needle gets inserted into your hair follicles. It then generates a mild electric current with the aim to permanently destroy the follicle’s ability to grow hair. It works on one follicle at a time.

This method of hair removal is safe for your body and is an effective measure. But, it is a time consuming process. You may need several sessions with a professional. Another factor is that it can be quite painful and may burn a hole in your pocket

That said, it’s still a great choice. It controls PCOS hair growth on face from the root without the worry of regrowth. This makes it a relatively permanent solution for PCOS hirsutism treatment.

Electrolysis Hair Removal
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Laser

The biggest benefit of laser treatments over electrolysis is that they can be used over large patches of your body. Now since PCOS not only leads to facial hair but excess hair growth on other parts of your body as well, this makes it a great choice.

Laser treatments provide effective results for a reasonable amount of time which is more than that by shaving, threading, plucking or waxing but lesser than electrolysis treatment. In the process of laser treatment for PCOS hair growth on face, a beam of light gets passed through your skin to destroy the hair follicle.

This is also a relatively expensive option when compared to the short term alternatives and is a quick, mostly painless procedure. You’ll need about 4-6 sessions over a period of 4-6 weeks apart, followed by maintenance sessions.

Laser
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Let’s now move on and have a look at the second solution for dealing with PCOS facial hair.

CHAPTER 4

Fix #2 - Natural Remedies for PCOS Facial Hair Treatment


If you’re tired of all the running around, this alternative is just the right one for you. Often, simple and easy to follow natural remedies are all that you need to deal with common medical issues.

And that’s exactly what you’ll get in this chapter. You’ll find out the different ways in which you can eliminate PCOS facial hair, without the use of any cosmetic treatment or medication!

Let’s go!

Fix #2 - Natural remedies for PCOS facial hair
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Home Remedies for PCOS Facial Hair

The best remedy to any problem is the one you can have using your household ingredients. So here are some options that can help you reduce as well as prevent PCOS hair growth on face. These hirsutism pcos home remedies won’t show results in one go. But over time they can prove to be very effective and efficient.

Lavender and Tea Tree Oils

  • Take 1 spoon of lavender oil and 5-6 teaspoons of tea tree oil
  • Mix both of these things well and apply it on your face twice daily

This mixture will restrict the growth of unwanted hair on your body. Continuous application can help with treatment for PCOS facial hair, even if the process is slow.

Lavender and Tea tree oils when applied locally on your skin can prove to be effective in reducing mild growth of facial hair while you’re suffering with PCOS. This measure represents a safe, economic and practical way to deal with this condition. This is one of the most effective hirsutism pcos home remedies.

Sugar and Lemon Juice

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar with lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of honey
  2. Place this mixture on heat and add water to make the mixture thinner for about 3 minutes. This is a natural alternative to regular waxing
  3. Once this mixture cools down, apply cornstarch on the areas of your face where there’s hair growth and apply the sugar lemon concoction over it. Make sure that you apply it in the direction of hair growth
  4. Place a waxing strip or cotton cloth over the area where you’ve applied the mixture. Pull it in the opposite side of hair growth

This is a great and effective natural alternative, which also helps nourish your skin and increase the glow.

Potato and Lentil

  1. Make a mixture by combining a tablespoon of honey and lemon juice each, along with 5 tablespoons of potato juice
  2. Alongside, take lentils that have been soaked overnight and grind it into a smooth, fine paste
  3. Combine all the ingredients and keep the mixture applied on your face for about 20 minutes on the area where there’s hair growth. 
  4. Once it dries off, you can wash it off. The thin layer of the mixture helps pull off the hair and additionally, potato helps bleach the hair as well.

This is a great remedy for mild PCOS facial hair.

Egg White and Cornstarch

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and sugar with 1 egg white
  2. Apply this mixture on the areas where there is unwanted hair and peel off swiftly once it dries off

This is a very effective mask as egg white is sticky and forms a film over the hair on your face. Peeling it off pulls out the hair from the follicles as well. Since egg white contains Vitamin A, this alternative is not a great choice for acne prone skin as it can lead to skin breakouts.
Home Remedies for PCOS Facial Hair infographic
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Herbs for PCOS Hirsutism

The consumption of some herbs can help you deal with PCOS hair growth on face. Make sure that you include these in your daily life to minimize the problem of hirsutism with PCOS.

Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto, also known as Serenoa Repens is a herb with anti-androgenic effects which helps lower the levels of male hormones in your body. Since it brings down the level of these hormones in your body, it’s also effective in reducing the growth of facial hair as a result of PCOS.

However, you have to be careful since this herb may increase the risk of bleeding. If you’re taking blood thinners like Aspirin, warfarin, or clopidogrel, make sure that you consult a doctor before consuming this herb.

Chaste Tree

Chaste Tree, also known as Vitex Agnus Castus is a herb that helps combat androgenic effects on your body. It facilitates the weakening of hair follicles on your face. This decreases the possibility of facial hair growth overtime. 

Take note that if you’ve had a history of hormone sensitivity, make sure to consult your general practitioner. Also if you’re consuming antipsychotic drugs or medicines for Parkinson's disease, don’t consume this herb.

Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh is another herb which helps decrease androgen levels in your body and control the problem of hirsutism with PCOS. It’s also known as Actaea Racemosa and should not be consumed if you’ve ever had liver diseases.

Hormone sensitivity or birth control pills are two scenarios which red flag the consumption of this herb. Also, this herb may increase the chances of blood clots. So be careful before choosing this herb. However, that being said, it’s a great option for dealing with PCOS facial hair.

Spearmint Tea

Also known as Mentha Spicata, this is a great option of herbs for pcos hirsutism. Have it once or twice a day, for best results. Consuming spearmint tea helps reduce androgen levels in your body. Studies have shown this to reduce the symptoms of hirsutism in your body.

Best Herbs for PCOS Hirsutism Infographic
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Natural Anti-androgen Supplements

Here are some natural supplements that can help you reduce the hair growth on your face while dealing with PCOS.

Zinc

Zinc is a natural supplement that helps improve your ovarian function and decreases the androgen levels in your body. Additionally, it also helps in increasing the progesterone levels of your body which further helps reduce androgens. The properties of zinc also block the growth of excess facial hair.

Zinc supplements have proven to improve hirsutism within a period of 8 weeks. You can have about 30-50 mg right before bed for the most effective results and you’ll see the difference in terms of facial hair due to PCOS within a couple of days.

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Make sure that you don’t take this supplement on an empty stomach.

Peony and Licorice Combination

Peony(also known as Paeonia Lactiflora) reduces the production of testosterone and androgen in your body. It also promotes the activity of aromatase enzymes in your body which helps turn testosterone into estrogen.

Licorice is another natural supplement that downregulates the production of testosterone producing enzyme - CYP17A1. Additionally, it contains phytoestrogens as well which are known to block androgen receptors in your body. The combination of these two supplements helps with other side effects of PCOS as well. Therefore, it’s a great option if you want to deal with PCOS hirsutism.

DIM(Diindolylmethane)

Diindolylmethane is a natural phytonutrient derived from cruciferous vegetables. It’s an anti-androgen supplement, blocks androgen receptors and destroys facial hair growth due to PCOS. 

100 mg of this supplement is recommended per day, but consult your practitioner before consumption to avoid any side effects. Along with hirsutism, DIM also helps deal with acne problems, which is another major side effect of PCOS.

Inositol

Inositol is a natural supplement that helps reduce the effects of hirsutism in your body that arise as a result of the Polycystic syndrome. Although it’s primarily used to deal with insulin sensitivity, it also has several other benefits.

It’s naturally found in cantaloupe, beans, brown rice and citrus fruits. Inositol lowers testosterone and androgen levels in your body and prevents facial hair growth.

Best Supplements for PCOS Hirsutism infographic
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CHAPTER 5

Fix #3 - Medical Supplements for PCOS Hirsutism


Sometimes, natural treatments might not suffice and you may need additional assistance to combat the problem of excess facial hair.

In this chapter, you’ll get to know about the different medical supplements for PCOS Hirsutism that can help you effectively fight  the condition.

Let’s go!

Fix #3 - Medical Supplements for PCOS Hirsutism
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Birth Control Pills

Birth control and contraceptive pills are known to increase the female hormone levels in your body. They also lower down androgen production. These are the primary and most effective choice of medication for dealing with facial hair due to PCOS.

Oral contraceptive pills have great medicinal properties to treat skin problems like acne and hirsutism. After starting contraceptive pills, you’ll notice a difference in hirsutism within a period of 6-12 months.

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Androgen Receptor Blockers

Since increase in your body’s androgen levels is the main reason for hirsutism with PCOS, androgen receptor blockers are quite effective in dealing with the issue. Spironolactone, also known as the water pill, is one such medicine. These pills directly block the effect of androgen on your body and prevent growth from the hair follicles on your face.

However, you have to be careful and beware of side effects like dry skin, heartburn, headaches, irregular vaginal bleeding, and fatigue. Other androgen receptor blockers include flutamide, which blocks androgen receptors, and finasteride, which blocks the conversion of testosterone to more active androgens.

Steroid Medications

Corticosteroids, when taken in small doses, help reduce the captivity of adrenal glands in your body and lower androgen levels in your body. Initially, it may lead to a dizzy feeling, mood changes, problems of insomnia, which soon get back to normal. 

When taken in large amounts, corticosteroids may lead to serious side effects like weight gain, thinning of the skin and bones, and decrease in immunity against infection. However, in spite of that, they are a great medicinal option that can help reduce facial hair growth with PCOS.

GnRH Analogs

Hyperandrogenism can be dealt with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs. These medical supplements help in suppression of androgens released by your ovaries to lower levels.

Therefore, the consumption of these medicines prove to be effective against facial hair growth due to PCOS. Make sure that you consume this medicine after consulting your medical practitioner, in order to avoid any possible side effects.

Progesterone

Another anti-androgen supplement that can help reduce hair growth on your face as a side effect of PCOS, is Progesterone. This supplement helps block androgen receptors in your body and reduces LH levels as well. Progesterone really helps with hirsutism in PCOS and blocks hair growth deep from the follicles on your face. The progesterone supplement is widely available in  the market and can also be promoted naturally by consuming the natural Vitamin B6 supplement.

Insulin Lowering Pills

Insulin lowering pills like metformin and thiazolidinediones decrease blood insulin levels in your body as well as lower the androgen levels. These pills can only be consumed on a prescription and when you’re dealing with the issue of insulin resistance.

Therefore, insulin lowering pills are only an effective option if you’re dealing with insulin-resistant PCOS. You should consider the other above mentioned options if you’re suffering from any other type of PCOS.

Best Medications for PCOS Hirsutism infographic
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CHAPTER 6

PCOS Hirsutism Success Stories


If you’re still not confident about the alternatives provided above, here’s something for you!

In this chapter, you’ll get to know about some of the most inspiring results that have been achieved by following the above mentioned techniques. Here are some success stories to motivate you to adopt these techniques and effectively deal with excessive facial hair.

You’ll also be able to make a definite diagnosis by comparing your condition with these PCOS hair growth pictures.

Let’s go!

PCOS Hirsutism Success Stories
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@faith_frontier
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I have other symptoms from PCOS other than just weight gain, I deal with unwanted facial hair!!! I wax it and tweeze between waxings.”  - @faith_frontier

@glowaesthetically
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Let’s talk about PCOS and hirsutism. You can see the obvious thicker and longer (and even some darker(on my lip) pieces of hair. These hair are stubborn and difficult and honestly I’m self conscious about them! My favorite way to remove them is by sugaring. Where it takes the hair from the root itself.” - @glowaesthetically

@silver.hair.and.long.lashes
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As for unwanted hair…it’s still going strong. The hair on my chinny-chin-chin does not relent. That’s okay. I think I have finally come to terms with this. This is just one of the many things about PCOS that I am finally realizing is here to stay. So, I’ll continue to shave it every morning and move on with life.” - @silver.hair.and.long.lashes

@littleurbanlife
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Let's talk about one of the more embarrassing symptoms of PCOS... facial hair. ⁣I had my face dermaplaned which took it all away for about a month and then it all came back. My current solution is sugar waxing. I made a really simple recipe with sugar, water, and lemon. I make a small batch and warm it up about once a month for a quick upper lip wax.” - @littleurbanlife

@demslife_x
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My story... I started noticing things at 16, went to the doctors, that's when the PCOS conversations started. I have been undergoing laser hair removal and it's nearly gone on my face, working on reducing my symptoms and just accepting it!” - @demslife_x

@nursemiracle143
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The aftermath... I have a few stubborn hair that didn’t want to respond to the laser but the ARNP told me it’s normal for people with #PCOS... next appointment is in 6 weeks. I was told to expect 2 cycles of regrowth since this was a touch up from my last tweeze. She warned me it will be a lot but not to be discouraged because so far I’m responding so well to the treatment.” - @nursemiracle143

Now it’s Your Turn


Now you know what exactly PCOS induced Hirsutism is and the causes behind it! From the given alternatives, you can choose the one that suits you the best and effectively deal with the problem of PCOS facial hair.
   
Which alternative do you think is the easiest to follow? And which one do you think will be the most effective for you?

Tell us with a quick comment down below 🙂

Now it's your turn - Comment Below
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PCOS Facial Hair - Know the Causes and 3 Best Fixes to try NOW
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