I cannot believe that I am sitting here…typing…about to share one of my biggest unpretty insecurities. But I am. And I really don’t think I’m the only woman who has this problem. As a matter a fact, I know I’m not. So let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about unwanted hair in unwanted places.
I could probably grow a legit full-on beard, you guys. There. I said it. And I’m not kidding. I’m not talking about soft, you-can-barely-see-them chin hairs. Not now, at least. No. I’m talking about thick…black…whiskers. As in I would have a five o’clock shadow by, well, five o’clock. It was embarrassing and I constantly had to carry a razor in my purse just in case my day time duties turned into nighttime shenanigans.
I also have a little bit of a moustache and have had it since high school. That’s when it really started to get to me because high school girls can be bitches and honestly, so can high school boys. It wasn’t long before someone pointed it out. It was my Junior year and that’s when my search began for a way to fix it. To make this unwanted hair go away. At this point, I was even okay with maintenance, as long as it would go away for a little while then I had no problem needing to upkeep.
First, I tried bleaching it. Okay you guys. I have super dark skin and super dark hair. Do you know what happens when someone with super dark hair tries to bleach it? It turns orange. That’s right. ORANGE! And lip hair is no different than the hair on my head. At least it wasn’t for me. Now, not only did I have a moustache…I had an orange moustache. And since bleaching doesn’t actually take away any of the hair, I had long orange hairs right about my lips. Not. Cute.
Next, I tried actual removal methods. Waxing. Plucking. Nair. I even went so far as to ask for one of those No-No’s for Christmas and my parents bought me one. I used that thing until every piece was broken and worn out. These methods worked for years on my upper lip. Sure, I had to maintain them. Every 4-6 weeks I was either rubbing on a cream, slapping on a wax, or perched on my bathroom sink with a pair of tweezers. Once I finally got my moustache under control, the chin hairs starting showing up like family members at Christmas.
What. Do. You. Mean.
Where all of the above mentioned methods may have worked on my lip, they weren’t cutting it for the shag carpet laying itself on my chin. I needed something stronger. These hairs, at first, were the longer, soft hair. Kind of like arm hair. But they were everywhere! I couldn’t keep up. Each time I got one cluster to go away, another whole patch had sprouted on the other side. It started to really get to me. So, I made a huge mistake.
I shaved it.
I shaved my chin. Like a man with a beard would do.
I had always been scared to do this (and with good reason), because I had heard that if you shave, your hair would only come back thicker. But someone (a woman who also had shaved her chin), said that “women didn’t have the hormones men do, so our hair doesn’t come back like that.” It may have worked that way for her…but that’s not even close to the outcome I had. At first…and I mean the first few hours…I loved it. For the first time in forever, my chin felt baby-bottom smooth. Not a single hair in sight. It was like a whole new me. But then I went to sleep and woke up the next morning. Let me tell you: Not only did my hair come back thicker and more coarse, it came back with a vengeance. The family was back in town…and they brought reinforcements.
It was bad.
It was so bad that, like I said, I had to shave twice a day and avoid really bright sunlight. For almost eight years, I did this. I’ve gone to work with razor burn on my chin and little cuts that were the obvious I-cut-myself-shaving cuts. Talk about humiliating.
Then a friend introduced me to laser hair removal. (I will forever owe her one). She stopped by our workplace on her day off and told me she had just gotten her upper lip lasered. Whaaaaat??? I was immediately curious. I asked her all about it and after playing twenty questions, I was sold. I booked my first appointment a few weeks later.
Sidenote: I promise this is not an ad. Laser hair removal has just really worked wonders for me. No two results are ever exactly alike, but I wanted to share my experience.
My first concern was pain. Does it hurt? Of course it will depend on your pain tolerance but my short answer is no. And my pain tolerance isn’t all that high. It feels almost exactly like a rubber band pop. For me, it is more startling than anything because each time you feel the pop, you hear it too. Even when I know it’s coming, I still can’t help but flinch. But painful? Not really. It’s definitely bearable.
A typical visit consists of laying down on a table, like a massage table, and they give you a pair of goggles. There is a flash that goes off any time they are using the laser, so these are just to protect your eyes. Then they get to work. It’s basically a handheld wand with a rim on the end of it and a laser in the middle of the rim. They put your problem areas in the middle of that rim and hit a button. POP! The laser goes off and gets rid of the hair. If the feeling is a little too much, the intensity of the laser can be turned up or down. It also goes by super quick. I’ve never been on the table for longer than five minutes.
When they are done lasering, they put a cream on (I think it’s a cortisone cream), and any soreness or tenderness goes away. Boom. You’re done. And the unwanted woman beard is G-O-N-E.
I went through what they call a “shedding phase”. This occurs a few days after the treatment. The laser works by killing the hair follicle and this shedding phase is when the hair is being pushed to the surface and falling out. It will feel like the hair is growing back, but it’s not. This only lasts a day or two and after the hair follicle has fallen, your skin will feel smooth. And the shedding normally only happens on thicker, darker hair. I shed each time I get my chin done. My upper lip has never shed because the hair isn’t as coarse.
Immediately afterward my face is a little red but it usually only lasts about an hour. And this, like the experience in it’s entirety, will be different for everyone. Here is a picture of my chin and upper lip after I had just gotten it done…
And here’s a picture an hour after I had it done…
Today was the fifth time I’ve been lasered. Six times is the average it takes to make the hair disappear for good. It is recommended you come back for treatments every 4-6 weeks. I haven’t been able to do that each time. Last year I went seven months without a treatment. But I’m still pretty sure that with one more treatment, two treatments max, my little beard will be gone. I can already tell a massive difference and some of the hairs haven’t returned at all. The only problem areas I have left on my chin are right under my jaw bone. And they are few and far between.
As far as cost goes, I would suggest calling around. I’ve been quoted $100 a session, but I found a place that I love that only charges $50 a session. The people are so friendly and I feel like V.I.P every time I show up. They also let me pay by the session. Most places I called want the fee for all six sessions up front ($300-$400). However, if you don’t need all six sessions, most places will reimburse you for the portion you didn’t use. I’m going to be honest. Even if it was $300 a session, I would still try to find a way to pay for it.
If you are considering laser hair removal, I would say ” DO IT!!!”. But I also know that it won’t be for everyone. What I am saying is that most of us don’t want to walk around with a full beard. I didn’t, anyway. This was like a miracle treatment for me. So if you’re struggling with unwanted hair like I was, I would suggest giving it a try. Or at least looking further into it. It was 100% worth it for me. Because I want the only “extra” hair on my face to come from my eyelash extensions. Period.
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