Guest post by Nicole Cook
PCOS & Hirsutism
Like many other teen girls, I struggled with irregular menses, acne, and hirsutism beginning around fifteen to sixteen years old. I had no idea how to identify abnormal signs and symptoms of an underlying hormonal condition like PCOS. After sporadic and painful periods, I went to see an OBGYN who prescribed birth control to regulate my cycle. That did the trick (at least I thought so at the time)! Little did I know, there was much more to the picture.
For a long time, I did not equate the hirsutism with my irregular cycle or hormones. I blamed my Greek, Mediterranean heritage on the very full, caterpillar eyebrows and fine, dark mustache that plagued my face. Yes, it was super embarrassing and I wanted it gone!
As you can see from my childhood photo, my eyebrows were out of control. At this point my lip and chin were beginning to fill in as well much to my dismay. The turning point to dealing with the unwanted hair was when a younger boy I knew asked, “why do you have all that hair on your lip and chin?” Honestly, I didn’t pay much attention to my chin hair. The eyebrows and lip were enough to deal with. I was mortified to say the least.
First Attempts at Managing Hirsutism
So, what did I do? I went to get waxed. I later discovered wax at home kit and tackled it myself including waxing those pesky chin hairs. Over time, my upper lip and chin hairs multiplied and became coarser. I resorted to tweezing daily to keep up with the hair growth.
The tweezing and waxing began to take toll on me and my skin. I was getting hyperpigmentation and scarring, the amount of hair was increasing and becoming as coarse as a man’s beard hair. I felt hopeless and embarrassed. By this time, I did not even want my husband to touch my face.
When my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family, I got off birth control. My cycle did not regulate, and we were unable to conceive, so we made an appointment with an endocrinologist. He diagnosed me with PCOS and prescribed Metformin.
I tried the metformin for a while but it was killing my GI system. Then, I went to another OBGYN who informed me that PCOS was very difficult to diagnose. She said because of my petite frame, I did not fit the typical diagnosis and likely did not have it. But she prescribed Clomid and we tried that for a while with no luck. Finally, she recommended the HCG trigger shot to induce ovulation, which worked! I conceived a sweet boy who is now 7 years old.
Making Lasting Improvement
After a couple of years, I was still struggling with irregular cycles, acne, hirsutism and GI issues. That’s when my husband and I began to do our own research came across the PCOS Diva, Amy Medling. I followed her recommendation of going gluten free. AFTER THREE MONTHS MY CYCLE REGULATED, I knew I was ovulating, and I found out I was pregnant with our second child (a girl)!
Since my PCOS diagnosis, I have struggled with my gluten free diet, hormones and hirsutism. The most helpful thing I have learned is to be my own advocate and continue doing research to see what works for my body. For me, the hirsutism has been the most difficult side effect to deal with. The hair growth on my face had gotten so bad I became desperate to get rid of it. I remembered hearing Amy Medling mention electrolysis and the PCOS DIVA/PCOS Challenge Confidence Grant for hirsutism.
I did more research on electrolysis, found someone near me and scheduled my consultation. I learned that waxing and tweezing makes hair growth worse over time (which is what I experienced) and was not the solution. So, my new journey began. By four to five months of treatments, I was noticing the reduction of my facial hair growth and feeling very hopeful. I became very interested in the field of electrolysis and began learning about how to become educated.
A New Mission
I had been a stay at home mom for seven years and was looking to go back to work with a career change. I interviewed several electrologists in my area and called schools across the US. The responses from my interviews were very positive and I could tell each one of the electrologists loved their job. I knew I wanted to help other women, like me, become hair free.
I graduated from the Southeastern School of Electrology and opened my business Evello Electrolysis in Aiken, South Carolina October 1, 2020. The response to this new business, in my hometown, has been great! I am so thankful to help other women and men who suffer from unwanted hair and hirsutism. If you are in my area and looking for an electrologist, please reach out. In some states, electrolysis is not regulated and does not require a license or credentials to practice. When looking for your electrologist, please ask about their schooling and credentials. To find a qualified electrologist in your area check out the American Electrology Association.
Nicole Cook has a passion for helping people feel and look their best! She received her certification and extensive training from the Southeastern School of Electrology in Lexington, KY and trained in the three modalities of electrolysis (Galvanic, Thermolysis & Blend Techniques). This allows her to determine the best treatment for each individual, providing maximized results on a personalized basis.
Nicole decided to pursue a career in electrolysis because she too suffered from embarrassing and unwanted facial hair due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She understands how it feels to struggle with unwanted hair. From her personal experience and education, she is excited to provide the highest level of care to her clients.
Nicole and her husband have two great kids, a 7-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, doing crafty projects, walks in Hitchcock Woods, relaxing trips to the beach, and trying out new restaurants.
She is excited to bring electrolysis hair removal to Aiken and the surrounding areas. Book a free consultation to discuss how Nicole can provide permanent hair solutions to help you feel and look amazing!