1/5/09

I'm breaking a taboo!

I'm coming out of the closet in order to discuss what I often think is a taboo subject amongst women. So let me be quite frank...
"I have facial hair, the kind that needs dealing with - regularly!"
I remember having a conversation around a table in a pub a few years back with my girlfriends. We were all in our mid' to late thirties and up until that night, I didn't think there was much we hadn't shared with each other. Then somebody mentioned the sudden onset of their moustache and after a moments total silence, then nervous laughter, well the floodgates opened! The rest of that night was spent discussing where the hell all the hair had suddenly come from, could we end up as bearded ladies in a freak show, and why nobody had ever warned us in advance?!

These days I don't bother to beat around the bush with my female friends, if I'm having a facial hair issue I'll just open up about it. Usually after a moments stunned silence, invariably followed by some laughter, we get down to discussing the nitty gritty.

So for those of you who are female and under 35 reading this, let me warn you now....it's more than likely rapidly growing facial hair may be part of your future. Mine started at the ripe old age of about 34, with one particularly determined witches hair that refused to go away.

A witches hair is one of those coarse, often curly and ten times faster growing hairs, that just keeps coming back like The Terminator, however many times you pluck the sucker! They're usually not hard to either spot or feel, as they are (a) often darker than all your other hair, and (b) if you smoooth a finger across one the coarseness is a dead giveaway. Well after about 10 months of plucking on my part and stealth on it's part, I dragged it off to be nuked...aka electrolysis. Five sessions later, alot less wealthy and still avec hair, I gave up the fight and determined to just keep on plucking!

Skip forward about three years and I seemed to be growing a moustache on a monthly basis?! Quelle horreur...sure I'd always had a baby 'tache under my nose, but it had never offended me by growing, or sneaking in baby witches' hairs! So off I went to the beauty salon to have it waxed off regularly, with the assurance that over time regular waxing will cause it to grow back more sparsely. Trust me, there's about as much truth in that, as Posh Spice saying she hasn't had a boob job! Plus there isn't much more painful than having the hair under your nose ripped from it's roots. It'll make your eyes water like onions do, and send you back onto the street with a flattering red welt above your upper lip for thirty minutes!

So waxing went the way of electrolysis and I moved on to Nair, a facial hair removing cream, translation...it burns it off painlessly. Well it does if you don't accidentallly leave it for longer than the required time! Nair is strong stuff, I heard a story just a day ago about a man who thought he'd try it on his beard (DUH!!) and ended up with blisters! The problem is though, if you take it off within the allotted time, it will often leave a few determined hairs. Anyway I ploughed on with the Nair and tweezers semi-successfully until I hit 42, when all out war finally broke out. By this time I was 'nairing' my beard, not just my 'tache every month!

I kid you not, in the last six months I seem to have gained the power to grow certain individual facial hairs overnight. I am now at the point where I do a daily hair check every morning and every now and then, I will find an inch long straggler that definitely was not there the day before?!

Plus I seem to have kicked the growth rate up a couple of notches and applying Nair twice a week is just not an option. I'm now the unwilling host to a fine layer, of what can only be described as white blonde ducks down on my outer cheeks! I have two friends in their fifties who have quietly admitted they now have to shave, both beautiful ladies and you'd never know.....but is this what I have to look forward too?!

So now I tweeze and I trim lightly, keeping it all at a length where it goes unnoticed, but that does not cause it to grow more coarsely, which is a fine line. I regularly thank god the hair on my face is so blonde (apart from the rogue witches hairs). But then this precludes me from Laser Hair removal, which would have undoubtedly been my next course of action, it only works well on dark hair though!

So I am out of the closet for the sake of my readers. The younger ones need to know what's ahead, so ladies please warn your daughters and grand-daughters. Those of you who are fighting the same battle, you're not alone and feel free to share your experiences or tips. And to the men in our lives, don't take the 'p' when you accidentally catch your loved one with what looks like a white beard of Nair, or you spot a witches hair. Be loving, supportive and remember she could be making comments about baldness, ear hair, back hair or wild eyebrows!

Oh and I did finally terminate The Terminator after about five years of fearless plucking!

23 comments:

Gabrielle said...

I read about a treatment that's for sale at Selfridges that got really rave reviews but cost £750 or something ridiculous like that. It's an at-home electrolysis-like tool, which I thought sounded interesting... wish I could remember the name...

East Anglian Troy said...

And I worry about hair loss!

Daryl said...

I has laser hair removal about 20 yrs ago .. back then the little suckers on my upper lip were sparce .. then gone thankfully .. but now I have occasionally find dark hairs which I pluck .. on the chin too .. but I will tell you this when you hit menopause and estrogen begins to ebb .. you get more hairs growing because of the increase of the testosterone that creeps up as the estrogen ebbs ... Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) really makes a difference .. a teensy bit of estrogen and the hair growth recedes .. if you cant or wont try/use HRT .. ask your GYN about estrogen cream .. it could help.

And check out Tweezerman tweezers .. amazing tools

Sherri said...

Sarah, I'm so sorry you are having this hair issue. I have noticed an increase of facial hair and I'm 49. I think this is just part of the estrogen/hormone thing we women go through when in perimenopause and menopause. Ask you gyno about it. Good luck!

Expat mum said...

Don't scare them too much. I am older than you and I haven't a hair where it shouldn't be yet. Well, except on my legs, but apparently that's meant to be there even though it's annoying!

Its Just Me - Daring to Dream said...

Been there. Just finished 1 of 5 laser hair removal sessions at a pretty cost. Lets just say, it removes the hair for a convenient while, but when it returns, its not as strong (soft/fine). But its still there....

Good luck!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Sarah, They say if you pluck out a hair on your chin, TWO will come back in its place. I don't know if that's true or not--but I'd recommend the laser treatment if you really need help.

My sweet hubby has hair growing everywhere BUT on the top of his head. He has it growing in his ears, his nose, etc.. I bought him a grooming kit for Christmas. I don't like seeing the ear hairs NOR he nose hairs!!!! ha ha ha
Hugs,
Betsy

Sandi McBride said...

OMG!!! I am laughing so hard that we may have to poll your readers about people who pee when they laugh...okay, I'm back...how funny! I once did a post about "Lovely face, shame about the eyebrows" and did not mention that this was when I began the waxing routine (and also was told the famous lie, waxing makes it go away). OMG...how lovely to know that we are not alone...misery loves company, does it not?
hugs (from hairy arms)
Sandi

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I spent about 13 years in electrolysis, and I STILL have issues with it. My PCOS is the problem - too much testosterone. I plan to do laser someday.

willow said...

Heh,heh! It must run in your family! Is this your great-great grandmother?! LOL!

I don't know what I would do without my trusty tweesers.

ExpatKat said...

Thanks for mentioning a taboo subject. In the past year I have had one witches hair appear on my chin. It was horrifying (I'm 42). No one warned me!

On the subject of Nair, I really have to say what a stupid name for a product it is. Every time my mother comes over from England, I have to remove the damn stuff from the bathroom in case she mistakes it for "Hair" shampoo when she's showering sans glasses! Now that's the kind of hair removal we could do without.

Mmm said...

Love that last line, but sorry I just very quickly skimmed this. Can't go there. It makes me feel weird! Ha.

Yeah, well at least is isn't like Troy up there who mentions hair loss. That would be worse I think.

Lynne said...

I have one wild hair next to my upper lip. My trusty tweezers do the trick. None so far on my chin, but my mother had them, so I guess I'll get them too.

pamokc said...

I have learned to love the wax, that's all I'm sayin' .... the technician was telling me how many ladies who come in and have their WHOLE FACE done! Yikes!

On another note: This can also be a sign of a condition called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).

Leslie: said...

Priceless post! Yet so necessary. I do believe it's the hormone thing but then I also wonder about the fact that I don't have to shave my underarms or legs as frequently as when I was younger yet I have that facial hair thing going on, too. Men still have hairy legs and pits even when they go bald. At least most do, don't they?

Gaelyn said...

LOL! Pick me up off he floor and hand me the tweezers. If my stach would just grow in evenly I think I'd just let it grow. But instead, I trim with scissors. And continue to pluck the witches. (Which BTW is a new term for me.)

Lynne said...

Come over and claim an award!

Vickie said...

Oh sweetie, I hear ya! I inherited mine from my dear sweet Mom. About every six weeks Brows and Lip wax time....I do a constant finger skim along my chin for the dread witch's whiskers that can draw blood when kissing DH....
My mom found 'threading' works rather painlessly. Now to find someone near me to do that. I am a blonde, too, so laser tag is out for me, I reckon.

I nominated you for a Butterfly Award for the Coolest Blog I Know. Hope you don't mind. I visit every day and you always amaze.

Barbara said...

You might try electrolysis again. The growth you describe is typical of women in peri-menopause. You start out with a few hairs, the electrologist treats them, but you continue to grow more (unrelated to the first few, except for the reason they grew). Regular treatments will keep you ahead of the growth so that you won't look like the picture!

Kay said...

I have two persistent witches hairs that keep growing on my chin. Thank goodness I don't have a whole lot more... I think...

I don't think I could afford it. Sigh.

Kay said...

On the other side of the coin, I'm losing a lot of the hair on my head which is aggravating.

Bella Foxx said...

My best friend has PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and has had facial hair as long as I've known her, she's been tweezing and waxing, even tried electrolysis and ending up with bleeding. She is now doing the laser treatment and it is working great. Over the long term it will be cheaper then waxing.

I have one dark hair that grows out from where I had a mole removed and one course white hair. The rest of my facial hair is white and fine.

Chan Bliss said...

I think that God only gives us a certain numbers of hairs. Unfortunately mine have moved off my head and onto my back and ears.