Female Facial Hair
Female Facial Hair: Starts at Puberty and Continues the Rest of Our Lives.
As a child, there were two things that always made me stare: misapplied lipstick, and women with facial hair. I spent two years staring at the big dot of cherry-red lipstick that was always smeared on the front teeth of my beautiful Italian piano teacher. That is, until my sister showed up for her first lesson and said, “Hey, wipe the lipstick off your teeth.”
Then there were the women with whiskers.
I saw them occasionally at church or when I was out shopping with my Mom. I could not fathom that there were women with beards.
It had to be a mistake.
When I reached junior high, things started changing. Because, as most females in the western world know, hair removal for women begins at puberty and continues, as far as I know, for the rest of our lives.
I’m pretty sure this is why the saying, “Blondes have more fun,” got started. Because blondes have less to pluck, epilate and/or depilate, they have more time to have fun.
It starts with legs. There is no greater humiliation for a teenage girl than to be seen with hairy legs. At my school, there was an outspoken girl who, in 8th grade, announced, “Only weirdoes shave their thighs.” Which caused a problem for some of us. Because we didn’t want to be weird but we also didn’t want to be seen with hair on our legs.
So we shaved our thighs, but didn’t tell. And trust me, anyone who sees me on the beach should be grateful. Once I had my bikini line under control, I figured I had reached the limit on personal hygiene to-do list. Little did I know that, sooner or later, those little whiskers crop up on almost every female face.
And often, you notice at very inconvenient times.
Like, during an intense conversation, when you put your hand on your chin and feel something sharp and pointy. Or when you’re out with friends and try to brush that little speck off your chin, only to realize, it’s attached. I first noticed mine during a year of transition when I was single-parenting a good portion of the time. I thought perhaps it was an extra surge of (much-needed) testosterone and would eventually go away. But instead, I experienced first-hand the truth of another old adage: if you pluck a hair, six come to the funeral. Which, as I found out, is backed up by medical evidence.
Because I went to see a dermatologist, thinking there was certainly some medical cure for this problem. But, after the full exam during which she duly noted my “southern Mediterranean hair pattern,” she informed me that chin hair was “normal.”
Which, of course, means it doesn’t need a cure.
She then proceeded to draw a diagram of what happens to hair follicles when a hair is plucked. Basically, they become smaller but they multiply. Which is why, she said, plucking really isn’t effective. Nor is anything else, really. Creams take a long time to be effective and you have to use them religiously. Laser removal is expensive and isn’t always 100 percent effective.
In other words, we’re screwed.
As soon as I paid my co-pay, I headed straight to Sephora to purchase the best pair of tweezers I could find. Because, as any veteran chin-hair plucker will testify, the tweezers must be sharp and accurate. And I figure, if those hair follicles multiply, I’ll just pull out the next generation.
At least I won’t have little kids staring at me. Humor writer,
Hallie Bandy is the mother of four children and lives on a farmette in rural Kentucky--both of which provide more than enough fodder for her writing. She is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.
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