Shaving against the growth

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Hirsutism is one of the symptoms of PCOS. It distresses almost all the women as, in our culture, hair means unaesthetic slovenliness and clumsiness. Depilation is something which concerns all the women as they have always fought hard against body hair, a cause of their anxiety. The matter gets worse in PCOS patients, most of all on the face and in the pubis so they may feel “different” and disadvantaged. Let’s look into the problem in the genital area.

The quantity of products on the market is enough to understand that western women try it hard to get rid of their body hair. For a few years, total body depilation-including the pubis body hair, has been fostered and promoted by fashion (it is just fashion). The continuous stress of the skin provoked by different types of depilation may cause dermatologic problems. The idea of perfect beauty which is proposed by business strategies, is leading women away from a healthy condition to a pathological disorder. Particular care should be taken for the pubis area- the skin is very delicate and the general health is provided by the bacterial equilibrium. Let’s dispel some myths.

Pubis hair is not there by chance! It carries out particular functions to provide wellness and health. It protects the vulva from infections and pathogenic bacteria; it helps to keep a balanced microclimate and protects the “good bacteria” as it creates a kind of barrier between them and the external ones. Moreover, it reduces the friction during the sexual intercourse and it protects the skin as well. Having body hair in this area is far more salutary than being shaved. Depilation does not raise the level of hygiene; actually, hair removal can provoke serious damages which may be not seen easily but they are dangerous. Total pubis hair removal needs great care in order to avoid inflammation and irritation.

PCOS women are not different. Most of them are not less female. Hirsutism is a consequence of the balance of the hormones which is typical of the disorder; it does not concern our nature or personality. We are not dolls, we are mammals…we are living beings, complex biological systems, we are fascinating…but WE ALL ARE NOT PERFECT! And even if fashion and business propose a great deal of polished but conformed women, in our everyday life we always deal with our blemishes, imperfections, originality, and uniqueness. And with our hair. And most of all we have to take our multiple sides into account. It is well known that elegance is a matter of inclination and aptitude, -they way we act and move for instance, and it is not a fixed feature in our DNA. We are made up of a lot of sides altogether: the way we move, the way we look at the other people, they way we smile, our kindness or humor, our niceness but also our feeling of rebellion or irreverence, our imperturbability and stability. That’s what makes us interesting.  Being perfectly ‘hairless’ doesn’t make us better. Clothes and make up are skills we can learn to be more comfortable with ourselves, to create our own style, to express what we feel inside. I have been working with women for ages and I can easily state that a lot of them are afraid of showing their feelings and their real self: they are afraid of daring, they don’t want to exaggerate, they just think they ‘can’t’. So, in the end, they lack of self-confidence, humiliate their look, they become slaves of the habits and don’t set their feelings and desires free. These women long for ‘unsuitable’ red nail polishers or lipsticks which they never buy. Why? There is always a good reason to paint the nails blue, purple, green or to use a bright lip gloss. Wear a pair of high heeled shoes or a colored scarf.

Finally, if your body hair makes you feel anxious and worried, you can choose plenty of ways to get rid of it, but you have to consider the matter from the right point of view-make your choice: take care of your health, don’t be slave of the fashion system. And don’t do it yourself: your beauty doesn’t need compulsivity, but balance. Ask your beautician and dermatologist for advice about managing your hair excess, don’t follow silly models. During the winter, depilate the covered parts less often, let them stand for a while. Hair on the pubis can be thinned out: cut it shorter with a pair of clean and disinfected scissors without martyrizing the skin! Both look and health have been preserved and nobody will tell that we have more hair than the average!  Look after your health, first of all! Never forget your balanced diet and trust your nutritionist who can help you to manage PCOS.

What really matters is how we look at ourselves. The worst thing we can do is becoming an enemy of our body; we must not consider it as a damnation or misfortune. We mustn’t consider it as the biggest obstacle between us and our happiness. If we only focus on our flaws, if we think we are ugly and different from the other women, if we linger on our dissatisfaction and resignation, we will get spiteful and sad. No! You need to be curious and resourceful to look for the strategies of your ‘beautiful health. There are no taboos: keep embarrassment away and take plenty of advice. Play and have fun with your body.

Autore: Barbara Alessio

Mi chiamo Barbara e sono una psicologa psicoterapeuta psicodiagnosta. Da quasi 25 anni accompagno le persone in percorsi di crescita, cura, sviluppo. Parlo alle donne per aiutarle nel loro cammino, per non lasciarle sole, per ascoltarle, sostenerle, sciogliere i loro dolori e spronarle a prendere in mano la loro vita e la loro salute. Psicologa con iscrizione all'Ordine degli Psicologi del Piemonte n. 1839.