That’s the sound of me procrastinating over the writing of this post. I am one of those annoying oversharers by nature, but there are some things in life that are easier to share than others right? I’ll show you my pretty nails, you show me your hairy chins? Or maybe not. But… it’s been a year since my last update.
OK, I’ll show you my hairy chin and scare off any poor site visitor who doesn’t know the back story.
You see, I have PCOS – which stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s quite a common thing to have and affects around 1in10 women in the UK. To over-simplify it a bit (a lot), it means that your hormones are whack… which brings about all sorts of rubbish symptoms including: infertility, acne, weight gain, hirsutism (excess hair). Those are the playful symptoms, some of the more serious ones (heart disease & diabetes being two of them) are yet to be fully understood as the syndrome was only officially recognised as affecting more than just a woman’s ability to procreate a mere 30 years ago.
Not everyone gets every symptom. Personally, I experience: infertility *looks at Leila with wonder etc. etc.*, weight-gain (well, I might aswell blame it on something?), hirsutism, and insulin resistance (which is where your body fails to react to the release of insulin in a normal manner – may or may not be a precursor to diabetes).
Still being fairly young and vain, my biggest hatred of the syndrome when I was first diagnosed was directed toward the hirsutism. No girl in their teens wants to wake up and see a member of ZZ Top looking back at them in the mirror.
This was the extent of my hirsutism a couple of years ago, prior to undergoing laser hair removal.
Devastating is the most accurate word I can use to describe how something like this can make you feel. Masculine would be the other.
This is how my chin looks today. Take note that this is almost TWO weeks of hair growth, not two days as shown above.
Two freakin’ weeks people.
I’m actually inclined to believe that the top lip is generic old-lady (getting there) moustache growth rather than hormone related. It’s fine and downy (which you can probably see), my old hair-growth in this area was coarse and stubbly. Which basically means that I’ve just shown you my ‘tache and I have no “hormonal” excuse for it. Cringe.
To say that my life has been changed by laser hair removal is an understatement. You only need to look at the pictures to understand the daily struggle I had with excess hair.
Let me clarify exactly what I’ve had done…
In the summer of 2010 – I had 6 laser sessions at my local sk:n clinic in Southampton (I received this treatment gratis, so that I could review the service). It was fantastic and I can’t recommend them enough – I vlogged about most of my sessions, you can find the posts by reading my laser hair removal adventures tag. I followed this up in the Summer of 2011 with 5 IPL (intense pulsed light) sessions that I purchased via Groupon at another local salon. This ‘topped up’ my original treatment and kept things gradually improving.
We’re now approaching Summer 2012 and I’ve just booked in for 6 IPL sessions at another local salon, again via Groupon. The cost for the 6 sessions is in the region of £100. A small yearly price to pay in order to remain almost completely hair-free.
There’s a common misconception about laser hair removal and IPL. It’s not permanent hair removal and if you ever see it advertised as such, call bullshit on the provider. It’s permanent hair reduction and salons are not actually legally entitled to use any other words to describe it. As you can see from my experiences, it’s pretty full-on (fan-frickin-tastic) permanent hair reduction. I would say that my hair growth has been reduced by at least 70% and shaving only once a week (once a fortnight sometimes) instead of twice a day has ensured that I will forever advocate the use of laser hair removal for PCOS sufferers.
Feel free to email me if you have any more sensitive questions you think I might be able to help with about the process. Let me know how you guys are doing with the PCOS crap, I know that many of you have it (and it’s how you found the blog in the first place!)
OK, you can all stop looking at my chin now.