Last month we published Face Shaving Tips for Women and it resonated with hundreds of women. On our Fat Girls Traveling post about the article, we received lots of comments with tips, recommendations, and more. Many members shared that excessive facial hair was a symptom of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) for them as it is for me it is. However, the purpose of that article was to highlight that not every woman who shaves her face has PCOS.
This time around, I want to share more tips about face shaving when you have PCOS directly from Fat Girls Traveling community members! It’s also perfect timing for all things PCOS as September is PCOS Awareness Month!
The Fat Truth About PCOS
It’s a sisterhood of sorts with 1 out of 10 women having PCOS, which is a common hormone abnormality. It seems like PCOS came out of nowhere but the truth is, PCOS was noticed more than 80 years ago by Irving Stien and Michael Leventhal. At their practice, they noticed a pattern among some of the infertile women with menstrual irregularities.
These observations were published in a landmark report. According to the National Institute of Health, the causes of PCOS are very complex. Lifestyle, genetics, and health are all factors that affect PCOS. It’s not just a “Fat girls problem” either, but it’s something impacting our community. Last year we did a series interviewing members from our Facebook Community, you can read part one here.
Why do women with PCOS have more hair?
Excessive facial and body hair (hirsutism) is one of the more visible symptoms of PCOS and for many, they feel shameful about it. Hirsutism impacts 70% to 80% of women with PCOS. Why? Often PCOS is triggered by the overproduction of androgens. Women with hirsutism will often experience the excess growth of hair on the face, neck, chest, back, and toes. Shaving and waxing are just a few ways women with PCOS deal with their excessive facial hair.
Shaving has slowly become a women’s top choice in removing facial hair. Men have shaved their faces for a long time so why not women? Shaving allows you to cut the hair right at the surface. A BIG myth we want to dispel is shaving doesn’t actually cause the hair to thicken or get darker. So if shaving sounds good to you, do it!
One issue with shaving is for many it becomes a daily habit to maintain a hair-free face. Daily shaving can lead to a few razor bumps and ingrown hairs so PLEASE make sure you treat yourself and your face to a great razor and products that work.
Waxing has long been a part of many beauty treatments from our legs to arms and everything in-between. It once was the only acceptable form of removing facial hair. Unlike shaving, waxing only needs to be done every three weeks or more depending on your hair growth. Personally, I find myself having to get waxed WAY more often than that! Waxing is a great way to remove hair but remember to plan your day around it as it can cause short-term redness and swelling depending on how sensitive your skin is.
Some other ways people impacted by PCOS remove hair is by Electrolysis, Laser Hair Removal. Some even have medications that help under the strict supervision of their doctor.
Have you used any of the above procedures and want to write about it for Fat Girls Guide? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Tip for Shaving from the FGT Community
Alexandra Kohr has this to say for Shaving:
“Investing in a small mirror is key for me to shave/tweeze my face. I use a Conair Double-Sided Lighted Mirror. The last thing I want to do is cut myself if I’m trying to shower and shave or shave really quickly while getting ready for work in the morning. A lot of my PCOS hair is super thick and stubborn and so shaving sometimes irritates it, in cases like these, I prefer to use tweezers and after testing over 15 different varieties, my favorite is the Easyhold Slant Tip Tweezers from Trim. I think I have about four or five in various locations.
I also keep a pair of tweezers and a small magnified pocket mirror in my purse just in case I miss a hair or two when shaving. Two things I cannot recommend enough are using the Gillette brand of razors. I know they’re men’s razors, but since they were also designed for facial hair, I feel like they have more flexibility and reach than women’s razors.
The second thing is after you shave to use the Tend Skin Solution (I got mine from Ulta), but it’s absolutely phenomenal bc it reduces any bumps/ingrown hairs. My routine for shaving starts with a cleanser and warm water, followed by an exfoliator, followed by the shaving cream (I use EOS brand), shaving, and then using the Tend Skin Solution. Part of my PCOS is I have super thick sideburns, (they grow like wildfire, and it’s super noticeable because my hair is super dark), so I often use an epilator first to get a majority of it and then shave after to make it smooth. It’s a long process, and sometimes, a little painful, but it’s so worth it. I haven’t been to a waxer in months, so learning how to do this was tricky, and a bit scary, but I’m so low maintenance, so after a few times, it really becomes super routine.”
Products Recommended by the Community
Mindy Sheleng recommends:
Gillette Fusion Power Razor
Kiss My Face Moisture Shave Shaving Cream:
“This stuff is amazing! Been using it for twenty years. It changed my life! The mint in the shave cream combats razor burn if you get any. Leaves your face feeling cool and fresh”
Samantha O’Brochta recommends:
Conair True Glow Ladies Grooming System
“It gets the job done for what I need it for (chin, unibrow, mustache) and I like that I can switch between the different blade heads for different needs.”
Lori Palmer recommends:
Dorco Tinkle Eyebrow Razor
“I keep one of these in my purse, my car, my bathroom, tucked away any place I can. It’s great for sharing your mustache and getting those pesky chin hairs!”
Facial Hair Is Real and You Aren’t Alone
So there you have it! Just a few of the ways women with PCOS deal with their facial hair. We hope to write and share more articles on not just facial but body hair in general from grooming tips to letting it grow freely. As long as you do what makes you feel happy, confident, and free. Just know that you aren’t navigating this facial hair journey alone and we hope that as more women talk about it, more development in products can be found.