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.
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