Image: Thea Lovstad for Matteau
Laser hair removal at home can be a life changer for women suffering hirsutism.
Whether this condition appears as excess facial hair or dark coarse body hair, hirsutism for women is something they want to be rid of.
I know this personally.
If you struggle with hirsutism you’ve probably tried all the standard methods of treatment - waxing, epilators, hair removal cream, electric razors, standard razors - and nothing has helped.
In fact, some of them can make the situation worse leading to increased hair growth, ingrown hairs and rashes. Never mind the pain involved with waxing and epilators.
Then there's in-clinic laser which is expensive and requires you to bare yourself to strangers. Something I, and perhaps you, never felt confident enough to do.
But then a couple of years ago I discovered just how successful laser hair removal at home can be.
Keep reading to find out more about hirsutism and the best home laser hair removal devices available today.
The term hirsutism refers to a condition affecting 5 to 10 percent of women, which involves the excessive growth of
body hair .
It's caused by an increase in hormones called androgens, which include testosterone and androstenedione.
One of the major differences between hirsutism and typical hair growth is the texture of hair. When women experience hirsutism their body hair is generally coarse, dark and difficult to manage.
Image: Justine Aranha
As explained by Healthline, the cause of hirsutism is, ‘all individuals produce androgens, but these levels typically remain low in individuals assigned female at birth. However, if a women’s skin suddenly becomes sensitive to androgens, or her body begins to produce these hormones in excess, she can develop hirsutism’.
Androgens, the hormones referred to earlier, can occur due to several conditions including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and adrenal gland disorder.
There are also some less-common causes including hypothyroidism and androgen-secreting tumour.
There is also a version called familial hirsutism which refers to excess body hair due to genetics often occurring in women of Mediterranean, Middle East or Indian descent. This is perfectly normal and is not associated with any underlying medical condition.
Although the condition itself isn’t dangerous the hormonal
that can lead to hirsutism may complicate a woman’s health and can be caused by various issues.
Although there's no current medical cure for hirsutism, if you haven’t seen a doctor yet, it would be a good idea to do this now. They could check what’s behind your hirsutism and see if there's anything worth trying.
Combination birth control pills are the most common treatment for hirsutism, followed by anti-androgen medications to reduce your body’s ability to make androgens and therefore limiting their impact.
Personally, when I was diagnosed with hirsutism I was also diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and my doctor started me on a contraceptive pill that had shown to help some. Unfortunately I didn’t experience any improvements.
There are other methods for treating hirsutism including electrolysis and professional laser hair removal, which are effective but very expensive.
And then there’s laser hair removal from home. The best option in my opinion!
My struggle with hirsutism began when I was 18 and it plagued me for over 15 years until I took a risk and invested (and I definitely see it as an investment) in laser hair removal from home.
I spent years avoiding situations where my ‘hairiness’ would be exposed and felt unfeminine and embarrassed due to my issue with hirsutism.
I avoided the beach, pools, clothes that would bare my legs, doctors (spent years delaying my first PAP smear), and relationships.
I remember some friends unknowingly insulting me when they spoke of someone we knew who was a little hairy. And she was nothing like me!
It really did affect me and was a huge challenge to my confidence.
One of the reasons I chose to talk on this subject is that when I was dealing with it, I felt I was dealing with it on my own; that no one else would have the same problem, which left me feeling more isolated and 'damaged'.
I’d wax and end up with huge red ingrown hairs that would end up infected, or shave and be hairy again by the following day, or epilate and want to bite a stick because tearing out my coarse hair hurt so much.
But the reality is that millions of women face this challenge and that it doesn't need to leave you feeling ashamed or of lesser value.
Treatment for hirsutism hasn’t actually evolved much in recent years with professional laser hair removal and IPL being the most common options.
I considered these treatments but both of them have their negatives including the huge cost, the emotional challenge of exposing your condition to those treating you, the inconvenience of repeated visits for treatment, and the fact that these techniques are generally not permanent and so at some point you will face all of these challenges again!
Discovering I could successfully use laser hair removal from home has eliminated hirsutism as a problem in my life.
I’ve gone from needing to spend ages shaving every night and still never being hair free (plus the ingrown hairs and other reactions I mentioned earlier), to shaving once every couple of months, taking about 2 minutes and never leaving me with any reactions.
And now I don’t fear being ‘caught’ hairy like I used to.
I have no regrets, aside from wishing I’d discovered this option earlier!
Keep scrolling to find the best laser hair removal devices available now, including the one I use.
For me, it took just 3 treatments using laser hair removal at home before I noticed a change in body hair growth.
Your experience could be different, but other reviews show a majority of women are finding this method successful.
However, although the home devices I'm sharing below each have good reputations, there may still be women who don’t see positive results or could actually have a bad experience.
For example, people with dark skin are more likely to need professional laser hair removal.
This is because laser removes hair by targeting the pigment in each hair follicle. If there is less contrast between your skin and the colour of your body hair, then at home devices will target the pigment (melanin) in you skin as well as the hair follicle.
This can mean your skin also absorbs the light energy causing it to become very hot, which can cause pain, blistering and sometimes burns.
In this case it may be worthwhile checking with a professional before spending money on a laser machine.
The women most likely to experience a really positive outcome are those with darker body hair and lighter skin.
If that sounds like you then keep scrolling.
This is the device I bought several years ago, and it’s been a total gem.
Developed with dermatologists it provides expert IPL technology for at-home use.
It offers a range of intensity options and comes with several attachment heads for different areas of your body, which make the device even more user-friendly.
I've had mine for around three years now, and it's just as effective when I need it.
Another clinically-tested piece, this machine is promoted to show visible improvements after just a couple of treatments and up to 94% permanent hair reduction after 7 to 9.
Offering 5 energy levels, interchangeable attachments and a two-year warranty, this is another piece with good results and currently a big discount
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