Keke Palmer on her PCOS: I have a beard I have to shave every couple days

Keke Palmer has hit her career stride this last year. She hosted Vogue’s Met Gala livestream this year and has a series of short narrated stories out called Southern Belle Insults. Plus she has a new food competition show coming to Disney+ on December 15th called Foodtastic. Keke’s awesomeness and courage came through when she opened up about her acne and PCOS struggles . Keke was on the Tamron Hall show recently where she discussed how PCOS has affected her. (This came out a couple of weeks ago but I’m only seeing it now.) Keke said that when she made the post about her acne and PCOS last year, she was doing it for herself but was happy that it was helpful for others. She also said she gets facial hair she needs to shave often. Below are a few highlights from Prevention and a clip of the interview is below:

“I kind of discovered that that’s what I was dealing with and it answered a lot of the questions to, not only why I had acne, but why I grow hair on my face or under my chin,” Palmer told Hall in Monday’s episode of The Tamron Hall Show. “I kind of have a lowkey beard going on that I have to shave every couple of days.”

Palmer recognized that she was experiencing excessive facial hair and acne, which are two common symptoms of PCOS, as well as weight gain, abnormal menstruation, and infertility. PCOS is hormonal disorder is fairly common, impacting nearly 5 million women of reproductive age, according to the CDC.

“I started to zero-in on the fact that you know, for me to have dealt with acne past puberty in the way that I did, there had to be something deeper going on. And that’s when I came up on PCOS and also things that I needed to change in terms of my diet.”

Palmer said she that, once diagnosed, she learned more about how the disorder impacts women differently. “There’s a bunch of different variants … it’s different for everyone,” she said. “Even my sister was struggling with it, especially when she was pregnant.”

[From Prevention]

Y’all know I am a fan of Keke in a big sister sort of way. It has been a delight to see her star rise and watching Keke become an advocate for women suffering from PCOS has made me love her more. I truly enjoy Keke’s Southern Belle Insults and she does damn good Angela Bassett and Shakira impersonations. Keke made me really laugh when she did Cher on Jimmy Fallon too. I’d also like to highlight the fact that Keke has an amazing voice and great comedic timing. I’m looking forward to watching Keke’s new Disney+ show Foodtastic. Something about seeing food used as sculptural art intrigues me. Keke is definitely on the rise. I just know that little midwestern girl is heading towards big things in Hollywood.

photos credit and via Instagram

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27 Responses to “Keke Palmer on her PCOS: I have a beard I have to shave every couple days”

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  1. Eulalia says:

    Keke is such a delight and has got to be the most meme-able person in the planet!

  2. Millennial says:

    I really do wish there was more support for these issues. I’m experiencing female hair loss, in addition to a low key beard I have to wax. I don’t have PCOS, but doctors really don’t know what to do with these kinds of issues.

    • Izzy says:

      Those are both symptoms of PCOS. If you are able to get an evaluation by a reproductive endocrinologist, they might be able to zero in on it further. And being a PCOS sufferer myself, I cannot say enough about laser hair removal. It changed my life. It’s much less expensive now and they have home-use devices.

      • Cws says:

        Laser hair removal, which the FDA classifies as hair reduction, *can* actually stimulate hair growth on the face and anywhere that PCOS sufferers get hormonal hair. I have known women go from a light beard to a full beard.
        I have gotten lasered on my legs and underarms and followed up with electrolysis.
        I get electrolysis on my face which FDA classifies as permanent hair removal. As with all hair removal, sometimes hairs have to be treated more than once.

    • Erica says:

      I’m dealing with the same. It isn’t PCOS, that has been ruled out. I’m on a medication but it can take a long time for it to start to work from what I’ve read. I am doing laser tattoo removal. Once I am done with that, I am considering laser hair removal. I

    • meloroast says:

      I had facial hair growth as i entered into perimenopause and HIGHLY recommend electrolysis. I was plucking and getting ingrown hairs etc. Electrolysis is pretty cheap (in Canada anyway) and while it took several sessions, i’m basically hair free now and it’s been years.

  3. OriginalLala says:

    I have PCOS, it’s such a shitty thing to have – some of the symptoms (excess hair on the face, loss of hair on the head, weight gain in middle) make is really hard to feel good in your body, especially with the current beauty standards.
    My Dr put me on spiro (for facial hair) and glumetza (for insulin resistance) even though my hormones were all within “normal” levels and they have both really helped with symptoms and made weight management a lot easier for me. I know there isn’t a ton of support from Drs for PCOS, but if you have it, give those meds a try, I’ve found them really helpful.

  4. manda says:

    She tweeted a video about how she got her role on Insecure, and how she didn’t have any choice about what her character in that show would be like, and it was so funny. She seems like she is down to earth and fun

  5. Lemons says:

    Laser hair removal, ladies! If you can afford it and have hirsutism, definitely check it out. It has really changed my life as I was getting stressed about the chin hair I would constantly try to pluck or cut away, the ingrowns that would leave hyperpigmentation, the stress of going out w/o makeup or wearing a bikini…

    It really can be life-changing.

    • Persephone says:

      YES!!!! Laser hair removal is a godsend and most places will offer you a payment plan.

    • Keats says:

      Yep, one of my close friends has a beard from PCOS that laser got rid of almost completely. One thing though, she has pale skin and dark hair so she’s an ideal candidate. I’d love to hear if anyone with more melanin has had a good laser experience!

      • Lauren says:

        There is a black influencer that I follow on youtube that has had laser hair removal. Her name is Jackie Aina, she speaks about a lot and has had great results, but she is adamant that you have to go where they know which frequencies work best on black skin.

      • Polo says:

        I just finished my sessions for laser hair removal. I have dark skin and 4c type hair. I was nervous about it because of stories I heard but it went great. I just warned them before each session if I had someone new to be careful. They made sure to go slow and confirm I wasn’t in pain.
        I did a couple times experience some stings not gonna lie. But if I did they went down a degree on the laser. After a few days as the skin was healing I would see black marks. I first freaked out cause I thought I was burnt but I just realized it’s part of the healing process for my skin. I did the Brazilian and I’m hair free. All you see now are tiny fine hairs but that’s it. So I probably have to shave once in 4 months but it’s very very fine tiny hairs. Before laser removal I shaved every few days. Definitely one of the best investments I ever made. I’m tempted to go back for my armpits now.

    • OriginalLala says:

      I had laser done before my hormones were under control and the hair came back pretty quickly – now that I’ve got my hormones in normal range my hair is much less and I’m starting laser again.

    • moptop says:

      I had laser hair removal, and my hair came right back. I don’t have PCOS, but I do think it’s something hormonal.

  6. Lauren says:

    I learned that I had PCOS at 18 and other than a bit of weight issues I had it good. No acne, no facial hair and pretty a pretty regular menstrual cycle. When I got to my mid twenties my hormones decided to go a bit crazy and the acne and facial hair started. I get like three or 4 bothersome hair/beard pieces but they are annoying AF.

  7. Sunny says:

    I’ve read that laser is temporary for some and the hair will return.

    I paid thousands of dollars and endured so pain with electrolysis on my upper lip and chin—it all came back within a year.

    But I’m so glad to hear that laser has been successful for so many people!

    • Coconut says:

      I have been doing electrolysis on my face for decades. At the time I tried laser, it didn’t work great on me (white skin, dark and pale hairs) and was super expensive. I went back to electrolysis. My electrolysist encouraged me to come once a month for 15-minute sessions, and to use a topical cream to do all the pain. It helps a lot. A couple times I have had my dentist give me Novacaine in the upper lip area so we can do a lot in that area.

  8. Barrett says:

    i have “lean” PCOS and endometriosis. I bring this up b/c their is a version that thin woman get without weight gain and it is often missed by doctors bc its less typical. My mom is a type 1 diabetic and my cousin has it. I had the acne and irregular heavy periods starting pretty badly in my 30s. I your have symptoms advocate for yourself! The medical world is slow in listening to woman.

    • Monica says:

      My sister in law has this type of PCOS. She is on a permanent low carb diet and that seems to keep it at bay.

  9. Barrett says:

    i have “lean” PCOS and endometriosis. I bring this up b/c their is a version that thin woman get without weight gain and it is often missed by doctors bc its less typical. My mom is a type 1 diabetic and my cousin has it. I had the acne and irregular heavy periods starting pretty badly in my 30s. I your have symptoms advocate for yourself! The medical world is slow in listening to woman.

  10. ohrhilly says:

    I love Keke! She won me over when she had the ABC show with Michael Strahan and Sarah (don’t remember her last name). I love that she keeps it real and honest with her fans. I think she’s a superstar in the making.

  11. Elvie says:

    I love Keke for speaking out about her PCOS. 1 in 10 women have it and as with anything related to women’s health, there’s so little research that it all feels cloak and dagger.

    I am lucky that at 32, I never had acne or facial hair related to PCOS, but I struggle to lose weight. I recently just had my first period in 6 months and my god, the pain was excruciating and it lasted for two weeks.

  12. ichooseme says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Keke a couple of times in the last few years and am happy to report she (and her mom!) are just as lovely as you would imagine. The second time we worked together she gave me one of the best hugs I’ve ever gotten, just like we were old friends.

  13. yonati says:

    Another bearded lady here. I shave too, after years of tweezing and waxing.

  14. LRobb says:

    Keke is just great.