The Bearded Lady

The Bearded Lady appeared in many circus shows in the 1800s. Today, excess body/facial hair is associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome was "discovered" or first described by 2 gynecologist named Irving F. Stein, Sr. and Michael L. Leventhal in 1935.
The Bearded Lady appeared in many circus shows in the 1800s. Today, excess body/facial hair is associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome was “discovered” or first described by 2 gynecologist named Irving F. Stein, Sr. and Michael L. Leventhal in 1935.

Many women use different methods of hair removal from waxing, epilators, and laser hair removal. We walk into salons and ask for an eyebrow wax, or secretly motion them to come closer so we can ask for an upper lips wax. Gasp! The secret is out… now every man knows what is really happening.

For women with PCOS, it may feel more like you need to shave your entire face because the hair growth seems above average. It seems above average because it typically is. One symptom of PCOS is hirsutism (pronounced “her-soot-ism”). Hirsutism is a condition where women have excess terminal body and facial hair; terminal hair is typically coarse and very dark. Although women naturally have androgens (a male hormone also made in the female body), women with PCOS produce higher levels of it. It has also been said that increased androgen production is attributed to having excess insulin.

The Ferriman-Gallwey scoring system for hirsutism.
The Ferriman-Gallwey scoring system for hirsutism.

Although hirsutism is a reality for women with PCOS (but not limited to women with PCOS), there are many options available to get rid of the excess hair. Some of those options include tweezing, waxing, threading, shaving, electrolysis, and laser hair removal.

I feel very fortunate that although I was diagnosed with PCOS, I don’t have severe issues that many other women with PCOS are facing, but, c’mon ladies! There are way too many options available to remove unwanted hair. There is no need to be ashamed. You didn’t cause PCOS on yourself and it isn’t your fault that your hormones have gone haywire. So if your dealing with excessive hair growth, don’t fret, wax that bad boy and be fabulous… like Mariam.

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