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PCOS Hair Growth: Unraveling the Connection

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that can cause irregular periods, polycystic ovaries, and hormonal imbalance.

One of the most distressing symptoms of PCOS is excess hair growth. Such excess hair growth usually occurs on the face and body.

While this may seem trivial, excess facial and body hair can affect a person’s self-confidence and self-image.

To give you a better understanding of the connection between PCOS and hair growth, this article will discuss symptoms and treatment for PCOS hair growth.

What is PCOS Hair Growth

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common condition that causes a hormonal imbalance in the body.

About 8 to 13% of women of reproductive age worldwide suffer from PCOS.

While excess facial and body hair is a common characteristic of PCOS, you may be wondering why it happens.

The levels of Androgens are generally higher than normal in people with PCOS. Androgens are male sex hormones like Testosterone.

Higher amounts of male sex hormones cause excessive dark and coarse hair growth. This growth happens in a male-like pattern, i.e., on the face, chest, back, and inner thighs.

The medical name for this excess hair growth is called Hirsutism.

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  • Symptoms of PCOS Hair Growth

    increased acneSource: elenavagengeim

    The primary symptom of Hirsutism is dark hair growth.

    Another symptom of PCOS hair growth is Virilization. Virilization is a condition in which you develop secondary male sex characteristics as a result of high Androgen levels.

    Signs and symptoms of Virilization include:

    • Deepening of voice
    • Increased muscle mass
    • Decreased breast size
    • Acne
    • Balding
    • Enlargement of the clitoris (clitoromegaly)
    Did you know?
    Irritation to your external genitals (vulva) can cause the clitoris to swell, making it appear enlarged.

    Treatment for PCOS Hair Growth

    Treating PCOS can help reduce PCOS hair growth. Regulating hormone levels may help treat PCOS-related Hirsutism and other PCOS symptoms.

    Generally, lifestyle changes and medications are recommended in the treatment of PCOS, which may also reduce excess hair growth.

    Lifestyle Changes

    Diet plan for better lifestyle Source: Getty_images
    PCOS-friendly diet

    A PCOS-friendly diet rich in fiber, antioxidants, and protein may help restore hormonal balance.

    Reduction in Testosterone levels and other Androgens may reduce male-like hair growth in women with PCOS.

    Workouts like swimming and jogging help restore hormonal balance and reduce PCOS hair growth.

    Want to know which foods to eat to lose that unwanted weight? Read A Comprehensive Weight Loss Diet for PCOS.


    Spironolactone acts as an anti-androgen, i.e., it can reduce the effect of Androgens in the body. This can reduce the excess growth of facial and body hair.

    Hormonal birth control pills can also regulate hormonal balance, which may help reduce hair growth in PCOS.

    To manage the condition effectively, it is necessary to consult a medical professional before taking any medication.

    Wondering which birth control pills are best for PCOS? Read Choosing the Best Birth Control for PCOS.

    Spironolactone is not suitable for pregnant females or those planning to get pregnant. It can affect the development of sex organs in male fetuses.

    Summing Up

    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a progressive condition that slowly develops to cause problems like irregular periods, acne, and infertility.

    PCOS is often a result of hormonal imbalance. Such hormonal imbalance is characterized by higher-than-normal levels of Androgens.

    High levels of Androgens can cause male-like hair growth, i.e., on the face, back, chest, and inner thighs.

    While this may not seem like a serious health issue, it can affect self-confidence. 

    Excess growth of dark and coarse hair can characterize PCOS hair growth. 

    Development of secondary male characteristics like deepening of voice and balding may also result from hormonal imbalance.

    Making lifestyle changes like PCOS-friendly workouts and diet can regulate hormonal balance. Taking anti-androgen medications or birth control pills may also help to reduce excess hair growth.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can weight loss help manage PCOS hair growth?

    Yes, maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can positively impact PCOS symptoms, including excess hair growth.

    Are there specific foods to include in a PCOS-friendly diet?

    Yes, focus on whole foods, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates to support overall health and manage PCOS symptoms.

    Can I use over-the-counter hair growth products for PCOS-related hair loss?

    While some products may help, consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial to determine the most effective and safe options for PCOS-related hair loss.

    Is laser hair removal a permanent solution for Hirsutism?

    Laser hair removal offers long-term reduction, but multiple sessions may be needed for Hirsutism to achieve the desired results.

    Can PCOS-related hair issues be reversed with treatment?

    While complete reversal may not always be possible, effective management strategies can significantly improve the condition of hair affected by PCOS.

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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Jim Carson is a highly skilled and dedicated medical writer passionate about advancing medical practice. With years of experience in the field of medical sciences, Jim has made significant contributions to various studies aimed at improving healthcare outcomes. He currently writes for, providing expert insights and knowledge on various topics. Jim's expertise extends to various areas, including drug interactions, dosages, side effects, and best practices for medication use. In Los Angeles, Jim lives with his loving wife, children, and beloved pets. He deeply values spending time with his family and cherishes their presence. When he's not writing, Jim enjoys watching football games and staying updated with the latest sports news. Jim's writing shines through his commitment to advancing medical practice and improving healthcare outcomes. Readers can trust Jim's articles to be informative, accurate, and reliable, making him a trusted pharmaceutical information source for the website's audience.
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