Treating Hirsutism

Thick coarse body hair, shaving twice a day, a beard, belly hair and hairy nipples. I've been there. And it's frustrating.

I've tried every single hair removal method there is, including really expensive laser sessions. Nothing seemed to work.

Now my hirsutism was from my hyperandrogenism, but unfortunately there can be other reasons for hirsutism in women, including genetics, other hormonal imbalances and menopause. It is important to get some blood tests done so you know exactly what's causing yours. Because unfortunately, some women have to live with this for the rest of their lives.

I've explained how I returned my androgen levels back to normal on my last post about PCOS, and if hyperandrogenism is your issue, those are the first steps to take. Indeed now my body hair are much more manageable and there are lots of places where they don't even grow anymore.

Here's what else I've learned over the course of 2 decades dealing with this embarrassing issue:

Stop wasting money

  • Shaving razors and machines. My hair were growing at such speed, I would shave my legs in the morning, and by nightfall I had to do them all over again. Furthermore, my hair were so thick and coarse, the razors didn't last long. It was a lot of money and time spent and never seemed to be able to catch up.
  • Shaving creams. Same as razors but with the added mess and skin reactions, and even more expensive. Furthermore, they didn't manage to remove even half the hair, and I've tried various timings and brands.
  • Laser treatments at a professional beauty clinic. I swear my facial hair (aka: beard) were growing at an even faster rate and a lot more of them after dozens of sessions of zapping. I so regret the money I spent on this. For some of us, laser treatments won't cut it.
  • Waxing and sugaring. I've been going for wax sessions for a long time, and by the end of the week, I would still grow a beard. By the end of 2 weeks, my legs looked like I never waxed... ever. Waxing and sugaring at home wasn't any better. Couldn't even remove half the hair, they were so thick and stubborn. Again it was expensive, time consuming, messy, never felt smooth and couldn't catch up with enough appointments.
  • "Miracle" devices. Anyone remember the NO!NO! hair remover? The Moom wax? I've tried so many stupid things out of desperation, every single purchase and decision was worst than the last one. (Moom wax is awesome in the fact that it's all natural and really kind to the skin, but it's overpriced and won't even remove the hair, at least in my case).

The best treatment for me

If you can fork some money, and your skin type can handle it, a home IPL device may or may not work well for you in terms of permanent removal. It will depend on the reason behind your hirsutism, but I personally found IPL technology more effective than the expensive laser treatments I had. And at around €300 for an IPL device from Braun or Philips for instance, it's a hell lot cheaper too with a whole lot more sessions (and more often) than going to a clinic.

But for the best non-permanent hair removal method for hirsutism, you're not gonna want to hear this: epilators. That's right. Torture devices. Here's why:
  • They pull from the root, without waking up dormant hair follicles. Like I mentioned above, my laser treatments caused an increase in facial hair. And between waxing and epilating, epilating was the only method that decreased the hair growth over time. And as I've mentioned, there are plenty of patches where I don't grow hair at all anymore. Half my legs are hairless now! (although the last part could also be from a really light use of my Braun IPL device. It was so time consuming, I stopped using it after a few weeks. I might pull it out for use again when I get some more free time.)
  • Can be used everywhere. Seriously. Hairy nipples, begone! Going bare "down there"? Done! Moustache and goatee? Gone!
  • Can be used as often as you like, at the comfort of your own home. Facial hair growing every day? Spend 2 seconds to pull those stray, awkward hairs out. Awesome for emergencies and travel.
  • Pulls every single hair, long, short, thin, coarse. Smoothness that last 2-3 weeks at least, unlike shaving that lasted 12 hours! 
  • The MOST cost-effective solution. It's the cheapest hair removal method, even if you opt for the expensive, multi-attachment epilator with all the bells and whistles.
Make no mistake, the first time you use it, will hurt like hell. But as the hair growth decreases over time, it won't be so bad anymore. 

If you want more details on how to properly use an epilator, let me know down in the comments, I'll make a separate post.