Awkward Beauty Issues | How to get rid of Unwanted Facial hair.

Wait a minute....Unwanted Facial Hair for...{Gasp}...Women!

A post about Facial hair and it doesn't mean male models/actors?
a false moustache on a woman.
My middle girl made this for me, a tash on a pencil..fabulous!!


If you are easily offended (or in "hairy-face" denial) please move on, quickly before it gets too graphic and downright disgusting.

This is my first beauty-related post and I have decided to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in to an uncomfortable and embarrassing subject...no messing around here...

Thinking about this subject has got me wondering: Is facial hair the Ultimate beauty taboo for us women?
God knows we can chat to our friends (and relative strangers) about some VERY personal issues, but mention facial hair and lips are clamped shut and excuses to leave are hastily muttered.
The irony of the whole situation is, that we are ALL in the same boat!
If you think that you are "Most definitely not! Thank you very much!" Please grab those reading glasses and a magnifying mirror....and welcome to the Fuzz Club.

Okay, so a 25 year old reading this might be thinking;
"Well, that's Nothing to do with me...and NEVER will be. I am not a hairy person"
Well, I used to think that too.

Sorry to all of you lovely younger ladies out there....a one way ticket to Tashville is in the post!

The harsh reality is that, as we age (and start careering towards the menopause) our once hair-free faces start to resemble Hulk Hogan's long lost twin.

I suppose I am relatively lucky that my body hair has never been particularly dark or thick.
A quick zip over with a cheap razor keeps my fine hairs in check.

However, I know that some of my sisters out there suffer from dark and coarse body hair.
Which, when it decides to infest our faces, can be a major (and very upsetting) problem.

My personal face fuzz consists of the usually peachy "down" at the sides, a bit of a moustache (that sprouts the occasional darker hair) and a rogue "Sudden Sprouter" which is a peculiar, long hair that seems to appear from nowhere either on my chin, cheek or forehead...going from 0-3 inches overnight (I think of it as a snake, coiled up and ready to strike!)

This is an, unfortunately true, tale of the "Sprouter";

I was at my work one day (about 6 years ago) and one of my colleagues leaned over to say
"Oh Sam, you have a wee something on your face"
She tried to brush it off, to no avail.
Determined to get it, she pinched it between her nails and attempted to drag it away...but..."Poing" it was attached to my Jawline.
Yowzers!
She recoiled, in genuine horror and apologised profusely.
I just laughed it off...what else could I do? Run home crying?

The moral of this story is:
Check your face before you leave the house!

Oh dear, it does seem very funny now.

My downy fuzz is less of a problem, but these peachy hairs can be very unattractive under make-up.
They can 'grab' at powder and foundation and look downright nasty.
Here are a couple of tricks to help;

  • Smooth on foundation as if it was moisturiser and when it is dry/set, buff lightly with a clean sponge.
  • Powders and powder foundation can benefit from a spritz from a fine spray bottle. MAC makes  a special spray but you can use plain water or a gentle toner. I use this one from Liz Earle.

So, What causes the problem in the first place?

There are a few causes;
  • Genetic predisposition (thanks Mum!)
  • Underlying hormonal issue such as polycystic ovaries. 
  • The Menopause.
Most of us, over 40, will have located the pesky problem and attempted to tackle it in one way or another....probably with a few mishaps along the way.

What is your preferred method for getting rid of unwanted hair?

Here are a few ideas;

Bleaching

Wikihow gives a great guide HERE
How?: You make up the product, apply (as per instructions) and remove...easy peasy.
How long does it last?: 2-6 weeks
Pros: Easily available. Quick.Can be done at home.
Cons: It can irritate the skin. It does not actually remove the hair....which begs the question;
Is a blond Tash better than a brown one??

Plucking

How?: Easy as pie...with clean tweezers, pull out those suckers by the roots!
How long does it last?: 2-6 Weeks
Pros: Quick. cheap. Can be done at home.
Cons: Ouch...it can hurt! Time consuming. No good on large areas. If the hair snaps then it can become ingrown and get infected.

Shaving

How?: Using a facial razor (like this one), or electric shaver you remove the areas that need attention.
How long does it last?: 1-3 Days.
Pros: Quick. Cheap. Can be done at home. Painless. Can be used on all types of hair. Some people believe it is good for the skin too.
Cons: It is a daily commitment and is not for everyone. Ingrown hairs can be a problem.

{BTW, Shaving does not cause hair to grown back thicker or denser....this is an urban myth...It just blunts the ends, making them feel coarser}

Waxing

A good step-by-step is HERE.
How?: Wax is applied to the area with a spatula. Fabric strips are applied and then quickly pulled off bringing the hairs with them. Some waxes can be pulled off without the cloths.
How long does it last?: 2-6 weeks
Pros: Quick. Reasonably cheap. Available everywhere, in salons. Can be done at home.
Cons: Not great on darker skins as it can cause discolouration. Not the best for coarse hair either. It can cause a rash, redness and lumps. And (the worst part for me) hairs must be at least 1/2 cm long before you can re-wax.

Depilatory Cream

How?: Apply the cream to the areas needed and wait a few minutes (as per instructions) I can only leave it on for 3 minutes of I get and angry red moustache to replace my fluffy one!
Chemicals in the cream destroy the structure of the hair and it wipes away.
How long does it last?: 2 days to 2 weeks.
Pros: Cheap. Effective. Can be done easily at home.
Cons: Rapid regrowth because it does not affect the root. The chemicals can irritate sensitive skin, causing redness. Regrowth is stubbly.

Threading

How?: It is a natural method that originated in the middle east and is really popular now. It involves a knotted cotton thread being manipulated across the skin to pull hairs out by the root (see HERE  for a great pin about it)
How long does it last?: 2-6 weeks.
Pros: Quick. Reasonably cheap. Safe and effective. It can be done on very short hairs and after a few sessions re-growth can be reduced.
Cons: It seems to be practised in the middle of busy shopping centres, or in open-plan shops...not great if you want some privacy.

Electrolysis

How?: A needle is inserted into the hair follicle to destroy it, using an electric current.
How long does it last?: You need to go for repeated sessions (every 1-2 weeks), but the result is permanent.
Pros: Guaranteed results! It works on fine hair.
Cons: It takes a long time, you need repeated treatments, and can end up very expensive. It is painful and can result in redness, swelling or even scarring.

Lasers

How?: A laser beam is used on the skin, focused on the area of hair growth. The follicles are destroyed, stopping the hair from growing. A course of 6-12 treatments is recommended. skin MUST be protected from the sun afterwards to prevent hyper-pigmentation.
How long does it last?: After the course is completed, hair growth is significantly reduced (and may even be permanent in some cases)
Pros: Long-term results. It can be used in any area.
Cons: Expensive. It takes a while (a 4 week gap between 6-12 treatments is a HUGE commitment). It can be painful. It can cause swelling and redness. Also, potential burning and scarring (yikes!). It only really works for dark hairs on pale skin. It does not work on light hairs. On darker skins there is a risk of hyper-pigmentation, where a dark stain develops that looks like a moustache, despite your lip being hairless! Not cool at all.

Prescriptions

Your GP/Doctor can prescribe hormone treatments if your excessive hair has an underlying cause.
It is ALWAYS worth getting it checked out.
Don't be embarrassed....he or she has seen much worse!

So, In conclusion....

We can take some comfort from the fact that we are not alone.
Millions of us are suffering from this embarrassing problem...and most of us are keen to do something about it.
I think we should be talking to each other about it.
I don't mean shout it from the roof tops, BUT if we can swallow our embarrassment and talk to our friends, maybe we could help each other find a solution that works?

We certainly talk to them about much more cringe-worthy topics than a hairy lip.

XXX
Samantha

What do you think?
Would you share your tips and experiences or is this topic a step too far?
Let me know in the comments...if you dare! 

7 comments

  1. Ha!!! Great post. When I got to my late thirties I was like what!!!
    Jaymie
    www.jaymieashcraft.com
    Fridays Fashions link up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jaymie, for my first comment on this slightly embarrassing post :-)
      Most appreciated!
      I know what you mean!! It's like a slap in the (aging) face. We are all in the same boat though....take comfort in that fact.
      XXX
      Samantha
      XXX

      Delete
  2. Ha, great post!! I pluck them pesky hairs that appear on my chin, ah the joys of getting older eh!!

    Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop, really enjoyed reading all your posts :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Claire...my friend plucks too. Ouch! Brave ladies. I recently bought a facial wand (like a giant spring) for DIY threading. I am rolling it over my fluff thinking "it doesn't work", when suddenly....arrrghhh {eyes watering}. Yep, it works fine!
      It's Mother Nature's practical joke :0)
      At least we are laughing about it!!
      Thank you for your comment.
      XXX
      Samantha

      Delete
  3. I have been lucky that I haven't seen any unwanted facial hair yet on my face. I am so not ready for that day. Thanks for sharing this post!

    Thank you for joining TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you next week.

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are lucky Alice!
      Don't worry about it when it happens....we are all in the same {hair-lined} boat ;0)
      XXX
      Samantha

      Delete
  4. I shave my face! Once I started, well, I'll never stop. Total game changer!! Granted I still have to pluck the tough ones from my chin but the rest of my fact--even the stash, I shave. Let me repeat: total game changer! Here's my vlog on it!

    http://www.krembdelakremb.com/shave-my-face/

    Love, Annie Kremb de la Kremb

    ReplyDelete

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