Women are not supposed to have hairy faces. But a lot of women, more than are willing to admit to the masses, do don a face full of fluff. I am one of them. And I’m not talking white, wispy locks that are confined to my upper lip— I am talking neck, jawline, cheeks, chin, and upper lip riddled with course, dark hair. Let me tell you, I LOVE IT!!
I hate it. It is a curse. You bet your bottom dollar that I have yelled to my mother, “Why’d you even have kids if you knew their faces could be hairy?!!” I remember one evening my eldest sister, Lindsi (whose facial hair consists of blonde tendrils as soft and as pretty as goose down), was Googling a medication that my mother took the first four times she was preggers. A longitudinal study showed that hairy faces on the offspring was a possible side effect. This sent me into a mental fury directed toward Mom— why, oh why, did she have to take that medication? It was all her fault.
And this problem didn’t just magically seize me during adulthood. In 2001, when I was sixteen, I took a bathroom break during TaeKwonDo practice, whilst wearing my dobak (yes, I had to look that up). I have a very vivid memory of walking into the naturally lit bathroom of the old elementary school building and looking into the mirror. Above my lip perched a bevy of dark hair. I gasped, having never caught a glimpse of it until that moment. That is when I started bleaching it, waxing it, whatever.
In 2005, when I was twenty, I watched the movie Just Like Heaven in the theatre. Reese Witherspoon is in a coma during the film. The only thing I could think during the entire movie was, “Oh. My. Gosh. What if I go into a coma?! Everyone will see the hair on my face! I’ll end up with a beard!”
My husband and I met in 2009, and his mom, my mother-in-law, owns a laser hair removal business. She has lasered my face off-and-on since 2010. When I have treatments consistently, it does work for a time, but slowly, the hair begins to creep back to the surface. She has told me that, due to different reasons, some people will just always have the problem, laser or no laser. I am one of those awesome people.
I have pretty much given up on the laser, and in its place, I have to shave my face and neck. Every. Single. Day. Sunday through Saturday. Sometimes even twice a day if I have evening plans, because I begin to get a 5 o’clock shadow around 9 o’clock.
A special razor sits in our shower that is reserved for my face only. I put a piece of black electrical tape around it so it is distinct from the other razors. My husband knows not to touch it. If I ever find it moved, I immediately interrogate him—“Did you use my razor?!”
If we have a visitor spend the night and they happen to shower in the morning, I say to them, “Don’t use the razor with electrical tape around it!” (Maybe it is weird that I anticipate visitors would even think about using a razor in someone else’s shower. But my visitors are usually my sisters or my mom, and I definitely sneak-use their razors when I am in their showers. Haha.)
The reason for this is the blade-usage. I absolutely 100% do not want the blade to expire prematurely. Bad blades equal razor burn, ingrown hairs, and bumps that exactly replicate the look of big juicy zits. I change the blade once every couple of weeks to prevent this as much as possible. I pair the razor with Pure Romance’s Coochy: Conditioning Shave Cream, and these two items have been my Main Jane’s for a while now. If I ever go out of town and forget them, I practically throw myself on the ground, writhing in regret, screaming, “Noooooooo! We have to go to Target!”
A month or so ago I went camping with my friends and our families. In the AM, I had to hide in the outhouse with my water bottle, razor, and Coochy Cream to shave my frickin face.
I must do a pretty decent job with the shaving, because the people I have confessed my male-like trait to have told me that they don’t notice. Maybe they are lying. I don’t know. There have surely been times when I look in the bathroom mirror and think, “Alright. I did a great job. No hair here!” But then I go out into a vehicle, look in the mirror, and yell in horror: “There’s hair everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s so long! I must have been walking around like this for months!”
If my facial hair problem is this bad now, at thirty years of age, how awful will it be when I am ninety years old? Part of me wishes that the US society would just accept that some women have hairy faces, and I would be free to traipse around with my Santa Claus face.
This is definitely something I am self-conscious about. I didn’t even tell my husband about my hairy face for quite some time (like he couldn’t have figured it out on his own). But I am choosing to share this insecurity publicly, because I am not the only one who suffers. It is my hope that women can begin to talk about it without shame, and without being ridiculed behind their backs.
I now have a daughter (I know—shame on me for having kids “if (I) knew their faces could be hairy!”.) that I will most likely pass the highly coveted trait onto. And her dad, my husband, is a hairy beast. So she has a double whammy of genetics to turn her into Bigfoot. Lucky girl.