For so many years, I have tip toed, hop scotched and basically teetered around being officially diagnosed with PCOS. If you are reading this post, you may have it or someone in your family has it. PCOS is the devil!!! Lol
To be medically specific, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a diagnosis that sent me to my bed for days. It is a hormonal imbalance that can lead to infertility, excessive weight gain, hair loss AND extreme hair growth in places like your chin, neck, pubic area, arms and torso. The hair will grow in the most inconvenient places but not your dadgum head. Annoying, I know.
Earlier this year, I was officially diagnosed with PCOS. It followed me for many years but I was able to evade the diagnosis by eating healthy and doing my best to manage my weight as best I could. After having gastric sleeve surgery, in 2013, I lost 92 pounds and was able to get my life together. I am still working on the weight loss/gain yo yo. Last October, I thought I was pregnant and it sent my body into a crazy whirlwind of emotions and physical changes. When I realized that I wasn’t, I went to my Dr. for further testing. After a few days, I got the results back and BAM! PCOS punched me on the chin. I had it and I wanted to do nothing but cry. All of my hard work went down the drain.
One of the side effects of having PCOS is Hirsutism; it’s the extreme hair growth that I mentioned earlier. After doing research and looking at the images that popped up, I realized that I had it all along. YEARS of me hiding this embarrassment became validated when I just gave in and realized that this is what I had. I used to spend hours plucking the hairs out of my chin and neck. Most would never know because I would apply heavy amounts of concealer on my neck and folks would be none the wiser. Welp, overtime, the concealer would make matters worse. I would breakout and then have to deal with ingrown hairs. I would spend even more time plucking the hairs and digging the ingrown hairs out of my face. It was a vicious cycle and I was determined to have smooth skin. That came at a price with hyperpigmentation. Now that the hair would be gone (for a day), I would deal with the heavy scarring . I just couldn’t win! I tried everything from shaving to using black soap AND nothing worked.
I just wanted the hair to be gone and feel like I am a woman and not a guy. I hated the fact that Hirsutism bit me in the rump. I wanted to laugh and kick my head back in peace. I didn’t want to occupy my thoughts with anxiety because I was so sure that people were looking at my chin. I couldn’t concentrate because I just knew that people could see this major flaw. They could see that I had this hair and how dare I not do anything about it. I hated how rough my chin felt and how grossed out I felt when someone would touch my face. I hated not feeling secure and that this cycle was started because I wanted to use NAIR on my chin. I wanted to be normal.
I did a bit of research and I reconciled my mind because I could get answers to help. Now, I wouldn’t be able to get rid of this annoyance at once BUT I could relieve the pain and the appearance of the hair.
If you are not in the mood to shave or use creams…….here are a few ideas to consider and send you on your way to a soft and hairless, sherpa-less chin/neck.
TO Start, let’s look at DIET and exercise.
I know, I know. Don’t punch me in the face. I know that you have heard all this ish before BUT it is true magoo. If you are eating greasy french fries and hamburgers, that stuff is going to have to leave your body somehow. Now, the grease can’t make your hair grow BUT it can promote pimples over your ingrown hairs. So not only are you dealing with the hair but the BUMPS!
a.If you eat right and sweat that crap out, it will ease the promotion of blackheads and bumps
b.With clearer skin, you can really take a good look at the hair and then figure out the next steps of treatment.
c. It helps with insulin resistance AND can keep you off the (pre) diabetes track.
- Look at the vitamins you are taking, I used to take nature valley hair growth vitamins. I realized that since I have this hormone imbalance, it is enhancing this problem. The vitamins are working BUT since my body distributes the hair in certain areas of my body, it is creating MORE hair in those areas! Stop taking those vitamins if you are noticing more hair growth in the wrong areas, like your lip or breasts.
- Stop Plucking. Now, I would be a huge hypocrite if I said I don’t pluck from time to time because I do. I hate it but I am working on not plucking. It is working because I don’t have the amount of ingrown hairs that I used to have and I am a happy camper
- Would you kill me if I suggested trim the hairs? I have close friends and family that just take a pair of scissors and just trim the hairs. It’s not a bad idea. You can manage the appearance of the hairs and it helps you avoid hyper pigmentation. I also wanted to mention that when you trim the hair, you don’t have to deal with the hair becoming more coarse and noticeable.
- Look into laser hair removal. Now, this is going to cost a pretty penny. Even though it isn’t the most cost effective, it is definitely the best option of aggressively controlling the growth amount and pattern of the hairs. You will get a 2 for 1 special while drastically reducing hair growth. Not to mention, the hyperpigmentation goes away completely. You are going to love the smooth hair and after 6-9 sessions, you are free! Ideal Image is my favorite option. They work on caucasians and people of color! You can also go to groupon to look up laser removal centers. Personally, I would go with ideal image but if you want to try out a center without committing to the price tag, groupon is for you!
Consult your Dr.! This is a conversation to have with your Dr. They could prescribe medicine to help suppress the hair growth and if you are experiencing hyperpigmentation, you will be able to get the guidance for that as well.
Speaking of Doctors! I was doing a bit of research and found this great article on the Blackdoctor.org site where they explore the definition of Hirsutism and how to create a few home remedies to deal with your hair.
Check it out and tell me what you think.
If this blog post was a trigger for you and you are wondering if you really have PCOS or hirsutism, feel free to peruse a few sites and do your research. Start by visiting one of my favorite sites that helped ease my anxiety: PCOS.COM