Sunday, 2 July 2017

Chin hair, Chin hair, go away, and don't come back another day

Not the most flattering of pictures, but I think
you need to see how bad it was
When I was in my late teens, I noticed a long, dark hair on my chin in the mirror after a shower. Thinking it had just came from my scalp and affixed itself there with water, I reached out to brush it away. Soon I realised it was growing from there. A few frantic seconds with a pair of tweezers later, it was gone, and I thought that would be the end of it. A few months later, there was another one. Then another, then two then three. It got to the point where I could no longer manage it solely from plucking, and I started booking myself in waxing appointments pretty frequently. They weren't only on my chin, either. Some of them would stray up to near my ears, or be almost on my cheek. I had nightmares that one day, I would wake up to a full-on beard. I think my saving grace was that it happened in my late teens. Secondary school teenagers would have been vicious about something like this!

One of the things I did was get tested for PCOS, which can cause this, but my results came back negative. And it just felt like the more I waxed, the worse it got. It came back sooner, and more of it. I was always jumpy afterwards, waiting for the point where it would become noticeable again. And it was noticeable. I spend a lot of my day with young children, and they commented on it. But once they've asked about it, they're over it, and still want you to join in their games. I actually prefer this to the adults "pretend not to notice, then laugh behind your back" method. Or maybe I just felt like that was what they were doing, because I was paranoid. I started wearing my hair down, pulling it forward, so it blended in a bit better. If I was a minor character in a book, I felt like my description would be "the woman with hair on her chin."

So, I looked into other hair removal options, and I decided to try laser hair removal at sk:n clinics. This isn't a review of laser hair removal or sk:n clinics in general, but a general comment of how I found it, so that other people will know what to expect. Also, bear in mind I am not saying that you have to or even should do this when it comes to removing body hair! It is just what I felt comfortable doing. You do you.

I booked in for my consultation online, and they phoned me up to ask a few questions. I didn't wax for a few months coming up to my appointment, so they could see exactly how bad it was. They were professional, friendly, and I was able to build up a rapport with them, since I saw the same lady when I went it. I had a large form to fill in, then they took me for a consultation. The one thing they do stress is that it's not a permanent removal, but a reduction. They then did a patch test with the lazer machine, which was fine for me.

Before my first treatment, I had to shave it, something that felt different to me, since I had been going out of my way not to shave the hairs on my chin. There's also a long list of aftercare procedures I must follow. Also, my word was it ever painful. I know people have different pain tolerances for different things, so don't let this put you off. I thought since I could handle waxing, I'd be fine. One thing I did do that I absolutely would advise is took a stress ball into the appointment with me, so I could squeeze it when it got painful. Certain patches were much worse than others.

The area that has been treated may feel sensitive or sore for a few days afterwards. I was given an aloe vera cooling gel to treat the skin. I also recommend something cold wrapped in cloth, and holding that on your skin.

I have a course of eight treatments booked, roughly a month between them. So far, I have had one, and it will be interesting for me to compare my results at the end, and to see how much regrowth, if any, I get a few years down the line.

But why do I feel the need to pay so much money to fit into society's acceptable standards? Or go through the pain associated with waxing, so that I felt more confident in my appearance? I wish I could hold my head up high, and be all "I have chin hair, what of it?" but I can't. Would I have wanted these treatments at all if society didn't make chin hair on women seem not normal? If I had no reason to feel self-conscious in my appearance, would I still have wanted it?

I don't know, and I can't answer these questions for the many other women who have hairs on their chin. Wear them proudly, or remove them, the only important thing is that you do what you want. But the one think I do know it this: you are not alone. When I was a teenager, I thought I was the only one with it. There is help and advice out there, and even if you just discuss it with someone close to you who you trust, there is someone who will listen.

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