Hi everyone

I have a good news story. But just a thought, both parts of this post might put you right off your breakfast – not sure.  Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so here goes! OK I was in the gym changing room, and I ever so slightly knocked my eye and went, blast, my contact lens, I’ve knocked it into the corner of my eye. And I was sure about that because I didn’t hear it fall to the floor (you do hear it) so it must be somewhere in my eye. Sorry if that’s too much for you, but I’ve had contact lenses for decades and this sometimes happens. Mr F had a good look (I looked left, right, up, down) and couldn’t see it, so off I went to the nearest opticians (10 minutes away) and managed to get hold of one who had a look and said, no, it’s not there. EEEk that really freaked me out as was she sure? Then I phoned the opticians I go to (in another town) and ordered a new lens (at quite a cost) because obviously it was lost on the floor of the gym changing-room. And then I thought, but did I search the floor, actually, no, because I thought it was in my eye. So shall I go back and have a look? It was 10 minutes walk away after all, and really would I ever find it as it’s a grey contact lens (gRey for right, bLue for left, so you don’t muddle them up) on a grey floor. Well, I decided, yes, I would go back and look for my tiny contact lens.

Reader, I found it! There in the empty changing-room not on the floor but on the bench (see it behind me and it is quite grey) and twinkling in the electric light (pic above was taken earlier) was my tiny grey contact lens just sitting there. Wow/yay/and big cheer! And wearing, btw, my yellow £5 coat topped with a new and very orange beanie bought in Skolden, Norway and just beautifully soft as it is made from wool spun from a local goat.

And now for a subject close to my heart, which I have written about before and it’s time to do so once again. Yes, this part of the post is all about hair and not the stuff you have on your head, although it is connected.

Hair – it can be such a challenge especially if you have rather too much of it, for whatever reason, or if you have too little of it.  For instance, I know that as we age, for some of you the hair on your head becomes thinner and more brittle. That hasn’t happened to me but, if it is a problem for you I urge you to look at Catherine’s blog at Atypical60 because she  has a condition that has led to thin, very sparse hair and what has she done about it? She wears the most amazing wigs. She is based in the States and I have heard that over the pond their wigs are really the business, and, my word, if you go on her blog or visit her Instagram profile you’ll see she really is the poster person for wig wearing.

When I read one of Catherine’s posts on her wigs I almost want to get a wig, yet I don’t have to. I always had an  abundance of hair and here’s how it used to be.

And another one taken when I was feeling very sick during the first months of my first pregnancy.

In both pix I have permed hair – remember that style?

But there’s a price to pay for all that hair and it is that I have a lot of hair elsewhere on my legs, arms, toes and face. Yes, not just my chin but all over my face. Now that’s called down and I don’t have a hormonal condition I just have the Scottish red hair gene inherited from mother.  My daughter hasn’t inherited this gene but my son, yes, he’s got it and has red hair in abundance.

Edith Lillian Campbell, 1935

My mother was 20 when that portrait was taken.  She had red hair and rather more down on her face than I have. It was like soft swansdown, sounds bad but was actually rather lovely and not all that noticeable unless the sun or the light caught it. I’ve read somewhere that one of the reasons why Marilyn Monroe was so photogenic was the way the light caught on the down on her face.

Anyway, this is my story. As I became a teenager and the hair began to grow hugely on my legs my mother said, ‘don’t shave your legs, dear’. And what did I do? I shaved my legs. She also said, ‘never pluck the hair on your face, dear’. And what did I do? I plucked the hairs I could see wafting around on my chin. Well re: my legs after a couple of years of shaving the hair turned dark and bristly.  Eventually, I had to shave my legs every 2-3 days, which I did until my early 30s when I began waxing. That got it under control but I still need a wax especially in the summer as I’m certainly not hair free and never will be. Now, you might wonder why I didn’t try laser treatment, but that wasn’t around at the time and if it had it might not have worked as laser treatment definitely doesn’t work on fair hair.

And re: my facial hair. In my teens I plucked the visible hairs on my chin until much to my dismay the hair went dark and bristly. By the time I was in my early 20s I was near to despair as I had to pluck every day. Thankfully in London where I was working as a nurse the first electrolysis clinic opened, and that saved me from ….. I wouldn’t like to say.  And there at the clinic I found electrolysis experts and 3 floors of rooms just for electrolysis. I felt such a relief not only to have the treatment but also to find I wasn’t the only one with rather too much facial hair.

So I’ve been having electrolysis for 50 years now and get it done approx every 6-8 weeks in a reputable beauty salon. But here’s something which happened, which was a tad trying. Not every beautician is able to do electrolysis and all of a sudden the ones who were good at electrolysis left and new ones came along who were absolutely hopeless. This went on for several months and I believe it is because they don’t get the training for electrolysis – it’s all about lasers and threading.  No, please, we need electrolysis to be done and done well, and nothing fancy, just electrolysis as these other techniques do not suit everyone. Glad to say this has been resolved with a new person (Jenny) who is the best electrolysis technician I’ve come across in years. If you live anywhere near Lewes where the salon is I highly recommend, because, people, with 50 years of experience I know when someone is good and Jenny is good 🙂

Also I’d just like to say here that I’m not keen on people pontificating about us women removing hair having a distorted view of femininity because after all it’s natural and we should leave it alone.  I wonder if the people encouraging us to leave our hair to grow, actually have a problem and/or understand the angst.

Before I do a short summary in the form of a list of treatments, do look at your body and think about whether you need to get yourself checked out by your general practitioner/medic. I made my hair go dark, it wasn’t like that originally, and I didn’t have hair on my chest or back. If you have dark hair on your chest and back then it could be hormonal – do ask for a blood test.

So, here are a few pointers to various treatments to reduce facial and body hair, of which I’ve tried a few but not all.

Laser – never tried it, but I do know of people with heavy dark growth at the top of the legs who have had it, and it worked.

Creams – that was the only treatment 50 years ago, never used them though. Does anyone out there use them? Would be interesting to know.

Tweezers – I would never ever use a tweezer on my chin hairs ever, as I know my facial hair and it would just encourage it.  However, tweezing might be sufficient for you, and I do, of  course, use tweezers on my eyebrows.

Waxing – for the legs, yes, it works as when I began the waxing (in my 30s) my hair was dark and coarse.That changed over time to softer fairer hair, but the growth continued so I still have regular full-leg waxes although probably due to my age more than anything I have less growth now. Waxing elsewhere? Not sure about that. Be wary of waxing of the face, I’d say.

Threading – never tried it, but it’s apparently very good for eyebrows. Elsewhere? Not sure.

Electrolysis – my lifesaver.  It works but on me didn’t totally get rid of it.  So to begin with (in my 20s) I had it every 2 weeks and that was misery as I had to let what was almost a beard grow. It took a couple of years to get it under control.  It’s nothing like that now, but I do go for top-up maintenance every 6-8 weeks. And actually because of the situation which I explained above I need it slightly more often at the moment, just to get over the months of missed hairs. Does it hurt, though? It does after all involved a needle going into your hair follicle. Well, not if you go to a technician who has the very latest equipment. Jenny has the latest and most advanced digitalised technology, which includes wearing a headset like a dentist – amazing. But that is how it should be.

And really the pain (from the needle going in and the whatever it does!) from this machine is nothing, absolutely nothing in comparison to how it used to be. But in the past I needed the electrolysis so I went with it and got so used to it I didn’t think anything of it.

My view is that if you have the beginnings of hair on the chin for whatever reason, but possibly because you are past the menopause and near or into your 60s, then tweezers are probably all you need, but if they keep returning then I would definitely think about electrolysis. If you are younger and have strong fair growth, also think of electrolysis. But the machine needs to be really up-to-date and you need to seek out what I’d call a professional technician rather than a beautician. Actually, my last three tips are that you would find one at a transgender clinic, or look for a good beauty salon that has slightly older experienced beauticians. There are also beauty salons out there that specialise in hair removal.

That’s all for now, but do let me know about your experience with hair, excess or otherwise. I think it helps those who might be anxious about a hair problem to know that there are others experiencing exactly the same thing. I know it helped me when I walked into the huge premises of the Tao Clinic (no longer there, btw) and saw so many women going in for their appointment – wow, I thought and phew   🙂

With love Penny, the Frugafashionshopper

Tagged on:                 

28 thoughts on “A good news story and Hair Part I

  • 20th November 2019 at 11:00 am

    Tweezers for just a few recurrent ones. Lucky – my (adoptive) mum had dark hair and used to use cream and that seemed to work for her.

    Lens story. long years ago we were renting a place in Italy and one night I was taking out my lens and somehow mislaid it. Searched everywhere. Not a sign. No spares with me. Disaster.
    In the morning, miserably starting to get ready for a one-eyed day, went to fill the basin with washing water – and there was my lens, adhering to the underside of the plug! lucky or what! another one, which popped out some time before that in the University car-park (gravelled) after dark on Guy Fawkes night, was never found…

    • 21st November 2019 at 8:41 am

      Yes, when we were young(er) cream was the go-to treatment for the ‘moustache’ area, and I don’t know why, but I never used it.

      Ah yes, the ‘losing’ the lens stories one has! Usually you can hear the lens drop on to something. But a graveled car-park, oh dear!!!!

  • 20th November 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Use an epilator. Doesn’t hurt once you’ve done it once or twice and even the first time it’s just tingling. Hair eventually gives up and takes much longer to grow back. I use it everywhere that I don’t want hair. Once you’ve bought a device it’s quick easy and cheaper than a salon visit.

    • 21st November 2019 at 8:42 am

      Might investigate this for my legs – thanks.

  • 20th November 2019 at 2:54 pm

    You say your replacement lens was expensive look on the internet they seem cheaper. I prefer specs which I also buy on the net but I do have bi focal lenses too. I get my prescription from my ophthalmologist.

    • 21st November 2019 at 8:49 am

      That’ll work for some, I guess, but I have quite a complicated prescription what with my astigmatism alongside the usual deterioration in sight. I’ve had to wear glasses since I was 7-yrs-old. I’ve also been going to the same ophthalmologist for several decades and just trust him. The replacement contact lens wasn’t overly expensive it just wasn’t in my monthly budget (I can allow one expensive item per month) but naturally, because I found it I cancelled the replacement – yay and big cheer!

  • 20th November 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Until I was in my 50s, I had a head of mostly dark brown hair (had strands of auburn, chestnut, etc. through it) much like yours in the first photo, only there was even more of it and it was naturally curly/wavy and never permed/coloured. Once it was past a certain length, it would sit in ringlets, didn’t need brushed except to run my fingers through it. I often got told how gorgeous my hair was but just took it for granted at the time. Over the last 10+ plus, my hair has receded at both sides of my face and from my forehead back. For a long while I thought my hair loss was stress related and it would grow back eventually but long story short, it’s a form of alopecia triggered by a wonky immune system (I also have asthma, rhinitis, CIU and an under-active thyroid, I take prescribed medication for all of these). I did use prescribed creams/lotions for a couple of years, but tbh, the mess they made of my hair plus the time taken to apply them (had to let each one dry before applying the next, had to be done twice daily) plus they only partially held the problem at bay, and didn’t in my case encourage new growth, made me give them up. I’m not at the stage of needing a wig yet but that day is definitely “in the post”. As long as my hair is short(ish) and cut in a certain style, I don’t look like an egg when my hair blows back if it’s windy. My hair is now still mostly very dark, but with more and more silver growing in as time passes. When kept short, it’s basically straight, curls re-emerge after a certain length. I often get complimented on how bonny and shiny it looks, and oh boy, how I do appreciate these comments nowadays.
    Oddly enough however, given my full head of hair, I’ve never had a thick growth anywhere else. I’ve never had to remove hair from my legs, etc. My eyebrows are starting to fade in colour and thin (I’ve only occasionally plucked the odd hair to tidy them over the years) but I do now get a few really thick dark hairs around my chin, they get plucked when spotted.
    When I compare photos of a much younger me to how I am now, it’s like two different people head-hair wise.
    I wore contacts for many years, lost countless ones (always wore soft or soft gas permeable, so didn’t hear them if they fell to floor). Haven’t been able to wear them for last few years (despite following ophthalmic advice) due to blocked Meibomian glands – is there a part of me that still works right? “Auld age disnae come itsel’ richt enough”, an oft used and very true phrase. I used to hear old people saying this and laugh. If only I’d known! 😁
    Totally unrelated – did you watch “Guilt”), a 4 parter on BBC2 recently? From your previous comments, I think you’d really enjoy it. You might have to use sub-titles, as apparently, according to some on Gransnet, the Scottish accents are impossible! It stars Mark Bonnar, Jamie Sives and the wonderful Bill Paterson. MB and JS were at school together and I think the long-time relationship shows. It’s written by Neil Forsyth, who was born/grew up in Dundee. He also wrote “Bob Servant” starring Brian Cox, another Dundee boy so little wonder I also loved that.

    • 21st November 2019 at 9:03 am

      Thanks so much for the tip – currently watching War of the Worlds, Dark Materials, and The Crown! I’m aiming to check out Olive Kitteridge, which was a short mini-series made a couple of years back. Doing this as I’m mid way through the first book which is wonderful.

      Have you looked at Catherine’s blog – she has over a 100 wigs many of them gifted as she’s taken to wig-wearing like a duck…. On her Instagram account she often shows herself wearing a different wig every day so everyone (at work/home/friends/family) knows its a wig and everyone says – wow! Interesting that in the States I know of two other bloggers who have thinning hair but nothing like Catherine’s problem, and they wear a wig just for fun. I’ve asked both my hairdresser and a beautician about this and apparently American wigs are amazingly good and inexpensive.

      Interesting to hear about your full head of hair with no other strong growth, and sorry about not being able to wear contacts. I feel a different person when I wear glasses out and about. Geez the things that start going wrong – I so understand – totally with you on this!!!!!

      • 21st November 2019 at 1:33 pm

        I do follow Catherine, and some of her wigs are really nice. I’ve recently changed hairdressers and the new one also said to go to American sites if/when I eventually need a wig/s. Her own Mum (86) has several American wigs and apparently no-one meeting her for the first time ever realises she’s wearing one until she delights in telling them.
        I’ve never bothered with The Crown, but love both Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies, so might start watching it. She’s always good and he was wonderful in Outlander, don’t know if you’ve watched any of that. I’m a fan of the books but don’t think the Starz series has done them justice due to too many changes in the story lines. All the cast however are excellent. TM was also in Rome, that’s another of my all time favourites. It stars Ray Stevenson and James Purefoy amongst others, dream time indeed 😊
        I enjoyed the first episode of War of the Worlds, loved the original film, hated the Tom Cruise version, apart from the CGI in the first 30 mins or so.
        Never heard of Olive Kitteridge, will check it out.

        • 22nd November 2019 at 8:42 am

          A quick reply to say that The Crown Series 1 and 2 are really excellent as in I’m not a royalist but the script, the production, everything about it is wonderful. Actually Series 3 with the new people and that includes Olivia Coleman, doesn’t feel quite right. Will give it a couple more episodes but the change of actors is a bit hard to take – oh dear! So you could go straight to Series 3…..

          • 22nd November 2019 at 4:39 pm

            You’re not alone in not liking Series 3 as much as the first two. Lots of negative comments about it online.

  • 20th November 2019 at 5:12 pm

    So glad you found your lens, Penny! I’m with Maureen on the subject of hair removal: I’ve used an epilator for over twenty years (I’m on my second, bought about five years ago, so they’re quite longlasting); and as Maureen so succinctly puts it, “I use it everywhere that I don’t want hair.”
    Obviously the level of discomfort depends on where you’re removing the hair – lower legs, easily bearable, bikini line, rather more excruciating. And the hair certainly seems to weaken over the years.
    Your dear Mum – what a stunner!

    • 21st November 2019 at 9:05 am

      Jeanette I think I’ll investigate one for my legs as the growth is really so much weaker and I could just tidy it up myself – thanks to both of you 🙂

      P.S. She was a stunner. Yet sadly most of my memory of her as my mother was of her wearing those huge glasses – she wore very thick lensed big-rimmed glasses which was all the fashion in those days but didn’t really suit her. Her beauty comes to the fore in all the old photographs of her. I’ve actually made a photo book of her for the family to see what ‘granny’ was like when she was young 🙂

  • 20th November 2019 at 5:14 pm

    I’m so glad you found your contact. That makes you feel so good and just think of all the money you saved on the new one.
    As for hair, I guess I should be glad that mine is thin, fine and virtually unnoticeable. Because I haven’t had to tweeze it or anyting besides that one little witch hair on my chin

    • 22nd November 2019 at 8:43 am

      Oh my word – to find the lens was soooo lucky and such good fortune 🙂

  • 20th November 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Some three years ago I had a facial. ‘Shall I do your eyebrows?’ I was asked. I agreed and a warm creamy substance was put on me. After a few minutes my eye area felt quite warm. By the time I got home my face was on fire. I hadn’t realised she would be waxing me, my eyebrows had previously been tamed experience with tweezers. The long and short of it was that all my eyebrows fell out and have only started to grow in the last three months. I must remember that i have an allergic reaction to wax!

    • 22nd November 2019 at 8:45 am

      Wow! That’s really bad practice and to wax the eyebrow area makes me shudder – tweezing or threading is quite sufficient. So sorry to hear about your experience – it is so challenging I think to find the right people.

  • 20th November 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I must be very lucky as I have never had to shave my legs in my life and only very occasionally underarms I think it is probably because I have an underactive thyroid so I suppose that is one benefit of the condition.

    • 22nd November 2019 at 8:47 am

      Oh gosh, yes, I guess you’re right about the thyroid situation! Genetics comes into it a lot as well as I’ve definitely inherited this tendency. Thanks Pauline, have a good weekend 🙂

  • 20th November 2019 at 8:18 pm

    How fab you found your contact lens!

    I had really thick, naturally curly hair very like yours but darker. Then about 12/13 years ago I started to notice a bald patch at the back of my head and gradually on other parts of my head. After encouragement from my hairdresser over the years, I eventually went to the doctor; who diagnosed alopecia areata for which there is no treatment. According to the doctor it’s stress related; it started as my mum became ill and gradually got worse throughout her illness and dying. It has not grown back either but keeping my hair short helps. It’s the reason why I will sometimes wear a headwrap if I feel the bald areas are particularly noticeable.

    I had thick dark body hair when I was younger and just shaved my legs and underarms; occasionally using depilatory cream – when I could afford it! No facial hair, though. I’ve noticed the hair is less dark and has definitely reduced on my legs; something to do with the ageing process, I guess. When I get my eyebrows waxed (a recent innovation; I always had them threaded before) I’m always asked if I want my top lip done. I don’t have a moustache and if I do develop one I will bleach it rather than have it threaded or waxed. I still shave my legs and underarms but often not for weeks in the winter!

    Love you in the yellow coat and orange beanie.

    • 22nd November 2019 at 8:55 am

      The contact lens find was such a gift – phew!

      So interesting to hear of your experience and sorry it was when your mother became ill as they are trying times, but your headwraps are divine. You really rock that look!

      Interesting that you’ve had your eyebrows waxed – see two comments above – it doesn’t suit everyone and I do think it sounds a bit hot for that area. I have hair everywhere and I did have quite a bit on my upper lip albeit fair, but unlike everyone else who just concentrated on the chin area Jenny has got rid of the hair on my upper lip and I conclude that it’s better for it. She’s amazing and we’re just so lucky to have her as electrolysis technicians are getting hard to find.

      The yellow coat is wonderful and so cheerful in the gloom of our grey skies – bit of blue showing at the moment 🙂

  • 20th November 2019 at 9:17 pm

    You wear that warm orange hat very well. Your Mom was beautiful. Isn’t funny how we didn’t listen to their words of wisdom. Thanks for all of the sharing. Judy @fancified.ca

    • 22nd November 2019 at 8:57 am

      Oh Judy when I look in the mirror and when I come up against an ageing niggle and wobble with worry (she was a very anxious woman) I remember my mother. But she was wise 🙂

  • 20th November 2019 at 10:35 pm

    My facial growth started when I went onto the pill, aged 25. For years I used tweezers, with the same result as you – thick, dark regrowth. I put up with it until one of the children at my son’s school asked why I had a beard and then I looked for help. I went to a beautician for electrolysis and eventually the hairs became finer and fairer but still kept coming. Each time I moved house I would find a technician but it became more and more difficult, as you said, they just weren’t training the staff. Luckily, 2 years ago I found a lady who works from home to help me. She used to teach at a beauty college and knows her stuff. She tells me her father was involved in the invention of the electrolysis machine and taught her the best method to actually get rid of the hairs permanently was to cut them with scissors, or pluck and they immediately start regrowth. This is the optimum time to zap them whilst they are actively growing as it kills the root and they don’t come back. Gradually it is working and my visits are further apart and don’t take as long. One day I hope those little blighters will stop growing. I have been having electrolysis for 40 years.

    • 20th November 2019 at 10:38 pm

      Oops Edited
      That should say “the best method is to cut with scissors NOT pluck”

    • 22nd November 2019 at 9:12 am

      Oh my word – so interesting and rather wonderful (but not for you of course) to meet someone who has had the exact same experience as I had/have. It was the strong dark regrowth from plucking which I found so devastating in my late teens and early twenties. It ruled my life. Thankfully the electrolysis when done well, really works, as in it reduces and weakens it, but I think what people don’t realise is that we have so very many hair follicles on our face that it takes a very very long time (decades) to get to nothing much. And then for me, the beauticians who didn’t know what they were doing kind of began to make it bad again. Thankfully I think with Jenny I shall go back to 6-8 weeks for not many hairs to zap. At the moment it’s still once a month.

      RE: your correction – that’s how the Tao Clinic sorted me in my mid-20s – cut not pluck which was agony as there were so many, and I looked…. but it worked. Mr F said, when he read this, I didn’t realise, but I said no you didn’t because the Tao Clinic sorted me out between the age of 23-25 and that was well before we met when I was 27. Then I was going to the Tao Clinic every two months for maintenance – but you move away and yes, like you, you have to find other people to do it who aren’t so good. And you know what happens, it comes back slightly…. Over the years there have been good and OK and only recently three bad ones all in a row, all resolved with Jenny. Have a great weekend and thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  • 26th November 2019 at 5:11 pm

    My Mum was quite hairy and used to bleach her moustache & shave her legs. One of my two daughters takes after her but I’m fairer and have never had a lot of body hair so shaving was fine. Now I’m older it has reduced a lot ( I did not know this could be related to an under active thyroid which I have) and I just get the occasional coarse grey hair near my chin which I pluck. I’m more concerned about how thin my hair is getting. I went grey very early so my hair is now white which I’m happy with but the pink scalp peeking through is not so welcome. I’m thinking of trying a nutritional supplement – biotin tablets I tried years ago didn’t work though. Cod Liver oil has helped my nails but does not seem to be doing anything for my hair. I’d be interested to know if anyone has had success with supplements

    • 27th November 2019 at 11:51 am

      It is such a shame the wigs in the UK are nothing in comparison to the US wigs which seem to be very natural and inexpensive and something that women with not particularly thin hair like to wear just for fun. (Not that I’ve really tried to find out about this, but this is what my hairdresser and my beauticians have said). Catherine has quite a problem with her hair and has become a total champion for wig-wearing, but the two other bloggers I know about have lovely hair and absolutely wear a wig to rig the changes. Meanwhile, Catherine has different wigs for different occasions and outfits – amazing!

Comments are closed.