Hair removal in clients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – face and body

Tackling the misery of Polycystic ovary syndrome

As many as one in five women in the UK have Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to the *NHS Choices website

More than half of these women may experience no symptoms at all, although it will affect how their ovaries work and may result in difficulty getting pregnant. For the remainder one of the big indicators of the condition is excess facial and body hair.

This is caused by imbalances in the body’s levels of progesterone and oestrogen, and also sometimes high levels of androgen (male hormones), and the impact on hair growth can be HUGE. Women may find they develop excessive amounts of hair on their face, arms, legs, breasts and buttocks. It may even mimic male pattern facial and body hair. Women are often in their late teens or early 20s when the symptoms start, and the misery they suffer is massive.

Because this hair growth is driven by the body’s hormones it can be a real challenge to combat. Women who shave can find stubble re-growing within hours. Creams and waxing also fail to provide a practical solution to this daily battle.

Laser hair removal can help because it goes straight to the hair follicles, although it can’t reduce the body’s drive to grow hair. Our bodies have lots of potential hair follicles so with hormones in the driving seat, hair can be very determined indeed to push out through new follicles as we treat the first ones.

Our Nursing Director, Sally Wagstaff, says that women suffering with Polycystic ovarian syndrome should assume they are going to need several laser hair removal sessions, at monthly intervals initially. A full course of treatment could range from eight sessions (always our recommended minimum) to 20 or more, depending on the strength of the hormonal response. Everyone will react differently.

Sally said: “I assess clients closely at every treatment and occasionally hair growth can be so strong early on that in rare cases we may consider treating clients more frequently than every four weeks, but only under strict observation. The best results do come with perseverance early on. We hope to get clients to a point where they may only need a top-up treatment every few months. I do have one client with PCOS who now comes in just two or three times a year.”

The hormonal impact on hair growth can be so strong that XODOS would never guarantee anyone gets complete removal of all hair in an area permanently, even in clients without PCOS. Our state-of-the-art Soprano Ice laser can destroy hair follicles for PCOS sufferers without pain or discomfort to the client, but we cannot predict which ones of the potential hair follicles will subsequently start growing hair.

We do offer special rates for top-up treatments for clients with polycystic ovaries, after an initial course of treatment. To find out more, please email us at or ring 01543 415942. You are also welcome to book in for a free patch test and consultation without obligation.