As hirsutism, excess hair growth, is a common symptom of PCOS, many people with polycystic ovary syndrome are curious about methods of hair removal. One at-home hair removal technique is IPL. We discuss what IPL is, how it can help with PCOS hair growth and the best at-home IPL devices for PCOS hair removal.
What is PCOS and why does it cause excess hair growth?
PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a common endocrine disorder affecting 1 in 10 people assigned female at birth. It can manifest in different ways in different people but common symptoms include irregular periods, lack of or irregular ovulation, infertility, hair loss, acne, oily skin and more.
One common symptom of PCOS is hirsutism which means excess hair growth. This excess hair growth is often seen in people with PCOS on the face, chest or back.
Excess hair growth in people with PCOS is likely to be because of the increased androgen levels in people with PCOS. Androgens are “male-type” hormones such as testosterone.
What is IPL hair removal?
IPL stands for intense pulsed light and is a technique used to remove unwanted hair. IPL hair removal devices work by applying very gentle pulses of light to the hair root. This disrupts hair growth by forcing the hair to go into its resting phase. The melanin in the hair follicle helps to absorb the light from the IPL flashes, stimulating this resting phase.
IPL is commonly used on the face, bikini line, underarms, legs, arms and chest. For people with hirsutism (excess hair growth) it can be a beneficial treatment to reduce, or completely halt, hair growth.
Does IPL work for PCOS excess hair growth?
If, as part of your PCOS, excess hair growth on your face, back, chest or anywhere on your body is impacting your mental wellbeing and self-confidence, then at-home IPL hair removal could be beneficial.
Some people with PCOS have great results using IPL. It works best for people with fair skin and dark hair because of the way the IPL interacts with melanin in the hair. The contrast between fair skin and dark hair allows the IPL to work more effectively.
If you have dark skin or very blonde, red or white hair then IPL will likely not be effective or suitable for you. You may prefer to consider other hair removal techniques.
What are the best IPL hair removal devices for PCOS?
If the hirsutism associated with your PCOS is something you’d like to target, then at-home IPL hair removal devices can be a cost-effective way to reduce or completely stop hair growth.
Many people with PCOS have had success with IPL for hair removal on their back, chin and chest but not all IPL devices are made equally.
We’ve selected the top three IPL devices that people with PCOS are rating highly. Prices are accurate and items are in stock as of the time of publication.
Philips Lumea IPL Prestige (4 Attachments)
This device claims to prevent hair regrowth to enjoy 6 months of hair-free smooth skin, and up to 92% hair reduction in as little as 3 treatments. There are four attachments for the body, face, bikini and underarm.
One reviewer says: “After having spent hundreds on expensive (and extremely painful) laser treatment to cope with my PCOS-related hirsutism, I honestly can’t praise this enough. It’s a complete game changer.”
Braun IPL Silk-Expert Pro 3
This at-home IPL claims permanent visible hair reduction in just 3 months and to be fast, precise and gentle on the skin.
One reviewer says: “Great for those suffering with PCOS. This product so far has been a gift from god. I have been using this product for the past 5 weeks and I can see a massive reduction in hair growth. The confidence boost it has given me already is worth every penny spent.”
Philips Lumea IPL Advanced (3 Attachments)
This earlier iteration of the Lumea Prestige has four attachments for the body, face and bikini line. This claims to reduce hair growth by up to 85% in as little as 3 treatments
One reviewer says: “I have PCOS and this has helped treat my face. It is so easy to use and probably takes under two minutes to do the area I need to do.”