Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the hairiest of them all? You can bet your life it’s not going to be Snow White for this one.
I’ve recently returned from a really lovely hotel, where despite not having a full length mirror anywhere in the room they did have a super sized illuminated magnifying mirror in the bathroom. These things quite frankly scare the pants of me and appeal to my curiosity in equal measure. Who can resist the lure of scanning for a rogue blackhead magnified 15 times and ripe for the squeezing? Not me that’s for sure. Nor apparently can I resist the urge to ponder the crevices of my lower eye bags.
On this particular occasion though I thought I’d cast a cursory glance at my chin. I was quietly confident that all would be well, having plucked out a couple of strays around 7 hours earlier before leaving home. Really – who am I trying to kid? If those coarse, wiry little buggers can materialise in the twenty minutes it takes for me to drive to work in the morning they sure as hell can spring forth a forest in 7 hours. I needed a thorough chin check before dinner!
I actually can’t find the words to express my shock. There were definitely expletives (insert your own for impact), and then a frantic lurch for my make up bag only to remember that I’d travelled with hand luggage only so didn’t have my tweezers with me (I had tweezers confiscated once for being too sharp to have in the cabin!). There was no option but to start ripping them out between my thumb and forefinger – but there were so MANY! Honestly, if I’d had a window open they would have been swaying in the breeze. How did this happen to me? How is it even possible that my chin can contain all this coiled up hair just below the surface – seriously – WHAT IS GOING ON IN MY DERMIS?! And more to the point, how can I possibly ever leave the house again without having first checked thoroughly with one of these magnificent magnifiers permanently installed in my own bathroom?
I’m not one for spending a huge amount of time on my appearance to be honest. I like to look presentable but my day to day make up routine is usually executed in under 3 minutes, and usually in the car park at work. Light foundation, mascara, lippy – and that’s it. If I’m going out for the evening or I know I’m likely to have my photo taken I spend what seems to me an inordinate time with concealer, highlighter, blusher, eye shadow and eyeliner, but to be fair I can still get it done in less time than it takes the average 18 year old because I’m not prepping on the off chance that I might meet the man of my dreams on the bus. Or that Scarlett Moffatt might knock on the door and whisk me off to a TV studio. I would love to understand the point of using make up brushes but I just don’t. Anyway, I digress, I don’t spend a huge amount of time on my appearance but it became very evident in that bathroom, that day, that I need to.
To save us from looking like Fagin (constantly rubbing our chins), I did a quick Google of “hairy chin menopause” which led me to a plethora of sites, some of which I lost a good hour aimlessly wandering around in, but basically here’s what we can do to get rid of the hairs and my own views on each.
- Waxing. DIY efforts with facial waxing can apparently lead to breakage of the hair shaft, which in turn leads to inflammation. So probably best to get an experienced therapist to do this.
- Depilatory creams. Only use those specifically for the face and always do a patch test first. I’m just not sure who has time to do this as part of their morning routine.
- Shaving. I’m really not sure about this one, it just seems so extreme. But apparently it’s a thing, and I guess if your facial hair is causing you to be deeply unhappy it’s something worth looking into. There’s an interesting piece on HuffPost should you want to investigate this further.
- Vaniqa. This is a cream available on prescription only and is applied twice a day with 8 hours in between each application. It’s suitable for all skin types and improvement should be evident within 8 weeks. Once you’ve established that it works for you then you need to keep using as stopping use will mean that the hair growth will resume within 8 weeks. Probably a good one if your hair growth is sufficient enough for you to have clicked the link on shaving.
- Laser Hair Removal. It won’t work on red, blonde or grey hairs and is expensive. NHS UK warn that results last between a period of weeks and months and regular sessions may be needed to achieve and maintain the desired effect. I looked into the costs at a clinic local to me and one session costs £125, the general recommendation is for between 4 and 6 sessions. Even 4 sessions would cost a whopping £500 which is an awful lot of mojitos!
- Electrolysis. This one will work on any hair colour although again takes several treatments to achieve the desired effect. Cheaper than laser hair removal though at around £25 for 20 minutes. The down side is that it can feel uncomfortable but given that you’re having your hair follicles destroyed that’s hardly surprising!
Once again, like everything else relating to this time of our lives, it comes down to a personal choice. For now, I’m going to treat myself to a magnifying mirror (especially if I can find one that lights up too) and stick with the tweezers, but I think that if I notice a cluster the size of the ones I spotted earlier this week I’ll opt for electrolysis. Is anybody else finding hair growth a problem? Have any of you tried any treatments? Please let me know, together with any advice you have for others thinking of it in the comments below.
*Mirror pictured above is most definitely not the one from our glamorous hotel, just a Tesco one in our bathroom at home!