Okay… I am going to let you in on a dirty little secret. I have a serious facial hair problem. I know, I know- you probably are thinking, “I’ve seen some pictures. It’s not that bad.” But let me tell you- it is that bad and I do as much as I possibly can to hide that shit. Pardon the expletive. For the past 15 years, I have been good friends with Tweezerman, Nair Wax Strips, Nads, Sally Hanson Hair Remover, Veet, and Jolen Bleach.
I don’t know exactly when this problem started. I remember being in 7th grade and having a mustache. The hairs were long and dark but somewhat thin. My friend also had this problem so we became experts at bleaching it, just mixing the right amount of powdered bleach into the cream and then spreading it over our upper lips. We had to be careful with timing, too. The package always said stuff like, “No less than four minutes but no more than seven” and you had to figure out the exact moment to take off the cream. If you didn’t wait long enough, you had light mustache tips and if you waited too long, you ended up with a red, irritated, and burnt upper lip.
I got more savvy and brave as I got older. More and more of my friends had mustaches, so we would buy waxing strips and wax ourselves happy. One of my friends got really smart and held the pre-waxed strip near a light bulb to warm up. It was genius. I never thought anything else was wrong, until that fateful day I went for a haircut and my hairdresser mentioned the hair on the side of my face. I never really cared about it but she said, “Honey, have you tried Surgi-Cream here?” as she motioned to my sideburns. I was confused because I never heard of Surgi-Cream and didn’t think my sideburns were a big deal. I was mortified. I know she was trying to be helpful but dear lord, what people say to young women! I soon became self-conscious and headed home, stopping for some Surgi-Cream on the way. I couldn’t find that, so I bought some Nair and used that on my ‘burns and then on my upper lip. I was hair-free and embarrassed that not one person told me how awful I looked.
Once I got to college, I was still Nairing myself when I noticed my chin was starting to sprout. And not only a hair here or there. Nope- these were full out patches of dark, strong hair. I bought myself a Tweezerman and went to town every few days. I would tweeze those suckers out of my face while sitting under a strong light looking in a magnifying mirror. H-O-T.
It only got worse from there. As I got older, the hair on my face grew thicker. I would remove and it would grow back, mocking me. I would pluck, wax, chemically remove, even in times of dire circumstance, shave my face. Until last year. I got tired of this crap. I decided I would start with laser hair removal.
I found a local place and got a Groupon for six sessions under $100. I started with my lip and in less than five minutes, I was zapped. The sensation is not pleasant but way easier than waxing. I just started getting my sideburns and chin done, too. After one session, my chin is smooth and my sideburns are pretty obliterated. My lip needs a few more sessions but the hair grows in very slowly. I was so afraid that people could see the hair and it annoys me that it bothers me so much. Such a first world problem, right?
We are so afraid to talk about facial hair because it is a beauty taboo. Truth is, I can’t understand why we don’t find Brazilian waxes gross. I also don’t find hairy legs to be a problem either. I shave them, once a week in the winter, and pretty much every other day in the summer. I don’t like armpit hair– it itches, so I keep them clean for my own sanity. But the face- it is what we put forward first. It makes us recognizable and it shames me to say that I don’t want to be the person remembered as, “You know- the woman with the hairy chin.”