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Facial Hair in Girls & Women
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Facial Hair in Girls & Women
My 15 year old daughter waxes her upper lip and brow twice monthly (at
roughly $30 each visit, this is adding up!). She has dark hair and very
white skin. She would like to go away for the summer, but cannot do so
without permanent hair removal (laser or electrolysis). We are interested
in the following feedback:
1. Which is better, Laser or Electrolysis
2. Places in the El Cerrito/Albany area
Hairy Mama, too!
I personally liked laser better then electrolysis. Elec. is slow and
painful. Laser covers more hair per ''click'' and depending on the
machine is not as painful, or not painful at all. I've gone to the
American Laser Center on Tele. and Ashby in Bkly (# on line or in
phone book). I found them to be reasonably priced. Over time it kills
the roots so you don't have to go back. The down side is the laser
recognizes only certain types of hair on skin...dark hair olivey or
darker skin is more successful then fair hair, fair skin. Good luck/
no longer hairy
hi, i've had electrolysis for some facial hair (chin and
upper lip) for at least 6 years now. There's much less hair
than before and much of it is thinner than it used to be,
but this is just to say that doing electrolysis helps but
your daughter will still grow hair back over the summer. I
had this problem as well when we went to Europe in the
summers and I could not find electrolysis there so I would
just cut my hairs. If she's able to do her own waxing, I
guess that's the way to do it. Haven't done laser and can't
say much about it although I have heard that it can scar so
I didn't want to risk that on my face. Waxing is probably
painful enough---electrolysis is extremely painful. just
be sure she cuts and doesn't pluck!
sympathetic and self conscious
My daughter, 17, is very concerned about the amount of facial hair she has
growing on chin and sideburns. Her father is from India (although nor
particularly hairy) and I have mostly believed this must be a family trait.
I am embarrassed to check in with his sisters about this, and I believe my
daughter also feels shy about asking, but I would really like to know what
could be the cause of this more than average hair growth on her face. She
has beautiful skin and complexion. I secretly fear that this may be the
result of a hormonal imbalance caused by my heating up plastic bottles,
etc., in the microwave when she was an infant and small child (before we
knew any better!) Her doctor did a testosterone test, and it came back
normal. If anyone has any idea about what could be the cause and what to
test for, as well as a plausible solution, I would be most grateful.
Facial hair varies widely from person to person. Some ethnic groups and
some people are hairier than others. This does not mean it's your
husband's family's ''fault.'' This is not some secret, embarrassing thing
that no one mentions. And no, you didn't cause her to be hairy because of
things you fed her. I'd gently like to suggest that you're losing a
balanced perspective on this. It's just some hair.
I'm glad you had a hormone test done. If your daughter's doctor feels
there's no problem there, then there probably isn't. You could always ask
for a referral to an endocrinologist if you're really that worried, just
to completely put these fears behind you.
Lots of women use laser hair removal for permanent hair removal. There is
also waxing. When my (rather hairy Armenian) girlfriend visited Turkey
and got a haircut, the women there automatically started waxing her arms
as part of the salon treatment. I have a Turkish friend who just had lots
of laser hair removal done at Kaiser dermatology (facial hair and other
areas). It's commonplace to get unwanted hair removed--it's just a matter
of how much you can afford.
relax and hit a salon or a dermatologist
One of my daughters has struggled with unwanted facial hair on her chin
and cheeks since she reached puberty. For what it is worth, she is
half-Asian-American. I am a rather hairy Caucasian myself, but nothing
like her. Her sisters have been spared this too, so I don't know how much
ethnicity is linked to this condition in our family's case.
For this and other symptoms (early onset of puberty) she was seen by the
endocrinologist at Oakland's Children Hospital, who diagnosed PCOS --
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, when she was 14 or so. Hirsutism, the excess
of facial hair, is one of its symptoms. So are painful menstrual periods.
Over the past 7 years or so, she has gone through that same testosterone
test twice. It was never very conclusive but her new endocrinologist
still confirmed the PCOS diagnosis. Use of a contraceptive has helped a
lot with menstrual pain but has not changed the facial hair problem. For
this, she sees a wonderful,understanding esthetician who treats the
unwanted hair by waxing it every few weeks. The dermatologist has
strongly advised against laser hair-removal because of its possible
effect on skin-pigmentation.
I should add that my daughter, now aged 20, has been overweight and that
both endocrinologists have mentioned that weight-loss could well lessen
correct the facial hair issue. One of them specifically recommended a
low-carb diet similar to Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet. At this point
she hasn't really felt ready to embark on a focused weight loss effort,
so I can't confirm this either way.
This has been a very delicate issue with my daughter as well and I wish
there was an easy solution. There is a prescription cream called
Vaniqa,which didn't help my daughter's condition, but who knows -- it
could be helpful to yours.
Your doctor might consider PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. In this
condition, the ovaries may have many cysts, preventing them from making
adequate amounts of hormones. The level of testosterone may not be
excessive, but if not balanced by adequate estrogen, it can cause various
problems including hirsutism (abnormal hairiness in females). Here's one
page with good info: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001408/
- Note, your daughter doesn't have to have all symptoms to be affected by
My 11 year old daughter shaved her underarms for the first time
tonight. This lead to a discussion about unwanted hair for many
different areas. My questions are these? For darkening upper lip hair
should we pursue bleaching for a pre-teen? When is electrolysis safe,
recommended or reliable (won't keep coming
back) for a pre-teen or teen? Waxing? Any thoughts about bikini line
hair for younger (11-14) teen that wants to remove it? We are entering
new, uncharted territory so all advice and info welcome. Letting it be
natural is not what she/we are interested in. Thanks.
Mom of a pre-teen
As a formerly mustached girl, I can speak from experience... go for bleaching.
Sally Hansen makes a good facial bleach that you can pick up at any drugstore
and use every few weeks. I started tweezing and bleaching as a pre-teen. As a
teen, I had my upper lip waxed for a while until I learned that waxing of the
face can cause premature wrinkles. I had electrolysis done in my early twenties
and it worked well and didn't hurt much. Now I just tweeze a few stragglers. I'm
not sure at what age you can start electrolysis, I would ask a dermatologist.
They also do laser hair removal now.
Another idea that's chemical and pain free (although pricey) is threading.
There's a booth on Bay St in Emeryville, and I imagine other local places also
do it, and perhaps for cheaper. -no longer mustached
If BPN members can recommend electrologists who are highly
competent, provide great customer service, can treat teen girl
skin and whose rates are really reasonable I would really
hagar orren is across from monterey market- she would be a great
choice- very professional, but also very kind and cool. also, if
she hasn't already, she should get her hormone levels checked to
explore any possible underlying issues.
I would like to recommend Hagar Orren to you. She's in Berkeley.
Here is the link to her website:
http://www.hagarorren.com/index.html. She's a wonderful
practitioner, and I am sure that she'd be great working with a
Have you considered laser hair removal for your daughter? No one
I know even does electrolysis anymore bacause of the
hyperpigmentation and scarring it can cause---plus that they
have to put a needle into each follicle to kill it. I've had
laser hair removal done (the LightSheer laser)and the hair on my
legs is pretty much all gone after 7 sessions (sessions were 6
weeks apart and I couldn't pluck or wax during that entire
time). There are so many offices having promotions on laser hair
removal these days, it's really affordable. I paid 3 times the
price people are offering now. But do your research! Call in and
see what laser they use, who does the treatments, how long that
specific person has been doing treatments, how long they've been
in business, etc....Also, I remember them telling me that it was
imperative I avoid the sun for 2 weeks before and after each
treatment. Good luck!
I recommend Hagar Oren. She sees teens and adults all the time,
(though I don't have a teen myself), and I know she treats teens
with extra care.
She is a great person, wonderful to talk to, and her office is
lovely and creates a calm environment. She's located in the
Westbrae neighborhood near Berkeley Hort and Monterey Market.
Her rates are $35 for the first 15 min and then for every
additional 15 minutes - (only) $10 more... makes it $45 per 1/2
hour, $55 per 45 min and $65 for 1 hour....
My 5 year old daughter told me that ''every time she meets a
stranger they tell me I have a mustache''. I was shocked only
because of the timing - I also had a lot of facial hair, hair
on my arms and legs and was teased - but I was able to largely
say ''bug off!'' and move on. It did bother me a little, but not
too much (no tears, that I recall).
Well, after recovering from initial dismay, I told her that I
also was teased, also about my hairy arms and legs but it
didn't matter to me - and did she think there was something
wrong with my arms or face? Also that her brother was teased
about his ears sticking out but didn't she think he was
handsome (she did) and a whole list of things that anyone can
be teased for if someone decides to pick on them.
I told her that she can't let other people decide what is good
or bad about her body and that she has to remember how many
times people have stopped and told me/her how beautiful she is
and how much they love her/that she's special.
I was proud of myself for figuring out something to say, then
pondered how much this will bother her and what to do later.
Every time I have mentioned the story to her dad, my mom etc -
i get the same reaction - they immediately start considering
options to bleach or ''deal'' with the hair! Her hair is darker
than i remember mine being, so i think the concern in part is
the prominence of it.
I'm very concerned about sending her the signal that because
someone teased her - she should change herself.
I figure if it continues to bother her to the point of
emotional distress, that I will then consider what to do, but
for now she seemed satisfied with our conversation. She seems
to have a very strong self esteem. Am I missing something
here? Am I trying to force her to be ok when she's not? How
young is too young and how do you deal with this with as few
mixed messages as possible! (I do wax myself!).
only 5 years old
I was teased and told ''You have a mustache'' from as early as I
can remember. It plagued my life. My mother would tell
me ''ignore them''. When I was in 7th grade I got electrolysis
which really hurt. At some point I started bleaching and that
solved my problem but I had to do it every 6 or so weeks.
Finally at 53 (I'm now 55),I had laser facial hair removal
done. Where has that been all my life? For the first time I
am ''mustache'' free and LOVING how I look.
You can help your daughter without giving her a message that
she is not OK. People notice facial hair and kids are not the
best always at being appropriate.
I say help your daughter feel better about herself. Bleaching
is pretty easy (a little smelly) but pain free. At this point
in her little young life laser/electrolysis/waxing would be
pointless (and painful) because when she goes through puberty
all that might change (or not). Good luck
Same! I also had upper lip hair, and I vividly remember feeling like
part of the
group, or that people were actually listening to what I said, and then
to be totally
knocked down by someone commenting on my facial hair. I did bleach in
school, and finally in college, got it taken off completely.
Now I have two daughters, both of whom have hair on their legs, arms,
lip. My 10 year old tried bleach on her lip, and finally this year has
started waxing at
a salon in Albany.
My 7 year old wore long sleeves and long pants all through kindergarten,
to hide the
hair on her arms and legs. She has even had ADULTS comment to her about
on her arms. Some boys at school call her ''bush.''
Why should ANY child have to turn the other cheek? Why should they
always have to
rise above it? I know that you and I believe that we are beautiful
anyway, and we
love our daughters, but it s PAINFUL.
My 8 year old has not done anything about the hair on her lip, but has
Nair on her arms and legs and is much happier. She wears shorts without
now, and I can see her interacting in stronger ways now that she does
worried that at a moments notice, someone will comment on her hair.
It's not fair. But, if children have acne, parents seek medicine to
improve it. Why is
this any different? It's not fair, but why should our daughters suffer
just to prove a
point that we should embrace who we are? I say bleach, bleach, bleach.
harmless and will help her feel better about herself.
Those comments stayed with me a lifetime!
I am deeply touched and impressed by your caring words to your
daughter. I think you are doing just the right thing and I will
remember your words for my own kids too. She is going to be just
fine. While it hurts to be teased, and it's good to allow her to
acknowledge that, you are giving her a deeper and lasting gift by
letting her know she is fine just the way she is. You are also
giving her the gift of knowing that other people who are
different for whatever reason are fine just the way they are too.
I am a Mediterranean woman with lots of hair. I was often
called a "monkey" by other kids. (The jab wasn't at my facial
hair but the abundant hair on my arms.) Of course the other
side is that while many other kids had such fine hair on their
heads that they couldn't even keep a barrette in it, I always
had gorgeous hair and I bet your daughter does too. (My mom
told me the hair on my arms and the hair on my head go
together. If I get rid of one I'd have to get rid of the
other.) I think your instinct is absolutely right - no
bleaching at age 5. The chemicals can't be good for such tender
skin and, while I understand your husband's instinct to protect
his little girl-it is so hard to see your baby hurting- you are
right to point out that to her that we are all different and
our bodies look different and they are all beautiful. One day
someone might tease her about something that just can't be
changed and she'll have learned how to brush those comments off
at age 5. I'll admit that I started bleaching my facial hair in
college. When your daughter is a young adult, she can decide if
that's something she wants to do - or not.
Just because it didn't bother you very much, doesn't mean that it
doesn't bother your
Ask her what she wants to do. Tell her she can get it waxed if she
wants, though it will
be painful. Tell her you don't think it is a big deal (you already gave
her the good ''love
thyself'' talk) but let her know that if it *does* bug her, there are
things she can do
about the mustache.
-Girl who hated having a 'stach growing up
I appreciate very much the heartfelt concern you have for protecting
daughter's self-esteem and for nurturing it as well. Sometimes these
compete, and it is indeed very hard to find a middle path that works.
In the end I would come down on the side of what seems to be the more
issue: that your daughter has a prominent mustache, and that is,
first thing that other children notice about her. We live in the 21st
there are many treatment options for problems like obesity, buck teeth,
palates. In your place I think I'd be consulting a professional who can
help treat a
simple problem like a mustache.
Ultimately we want our children to relate to others for who they are
inside; and yet
their outsides can, in the rough-and-tumble of life, sometimes forbid
(especially immature 5 year-olds) from getting to know the person they
This would be my worry for your daughter - that if you leave her
mustache untreated, other kids will relate to her as the girl with the
she'll come to relate to herself that way before she is really old
enough to have a
solid self inside.
I hope this doesn't seem presumptuous, but I am imagining that there are
things at the front of your mind as you experience your daughter's
1. Your own childhood history, when there may not have been a simple
for a mustache, and in which you learned to put up with the social
effects of your
mustache (and you mention that your daughter's is much darker than
2. Your present adulthood, in which, at whatever age you are, you have
you need not be defined by your physical appearance.
But in the long run I think that age five is too young to be presented
with such a
lesson. Personally, I'd get the mustache treated now, and then later if
she wants to
let it all hang out she can, with the light of experience and of all the
she'll learn along the way about the unfairness of experience
experiences) in the material world.
That's my thought, anyway. I hope it is of help.
Can you be my mom too??
I am in my 30s, and apparently I have a moustache. I am of the
opinion that the apropriate thing is to completely accept
myself as is, and that I'm not 'wrong' for growing hair.
Apparently it's biologically appropriate, on my face at least.
But my last two boyfriends complained about it (really I don't
think it's that noticeable, but then again I don't kiss myself).
I have grappled with this, not sure what to do. I really don't
want the expense and hassle of waxing, plus like I said, I'm
I think we should be more loving and accepting as a society. If
we cave to these ideals of perfection (which as you know, are
way more focused toward women being perfect than men), then
perhaps we are just part of the problem.
I hear where you are coming from, and my parents had a similar
attitude. However, I was teased a lot about various aspects of my
appearance and looking back on it there are many things my
parents could have done to help me out which they did not do
because they didn't think looks were important. Small things
become more important the more you are teased about them, and you
may not hear about the full extent of the teasing until serious
damage has been done. I like the way you handled it but you
could have also asked her what SHE wanted to do. Would she
rather the dark hairs not be so noticeable? You could tell her
what can be done and then let her decide how important it is to
her. That way you are still acknowledging her beauty and right
to be different while also validating her natural desires for
conformity. Unlike ears that stick out, your daughter's hair
situation can be easily and painlessly managed as a matter of
grooming. As long as the parents don't place more importance on
it than the child does, and it's at the child's request, I can
see only benefits.
Teased as a child
Your daughter is learning about the values that our society
holds. I agree that she should feel comfortable ''as is.''
However, girls don't usually have ''mustaches'' and it sounds
like she does. If it continues to be an issue, you could say
something like this ''honey, I think you look fine. However, if
this is really bothering you, we could do something such as put
some cream on it that would lighten the hair. What do you
I grew up with a very large and visible birthmark and was
teased endlessly. My mom told me I was beautiful inside and
out. However, when I got a bit older she supported my decision
to look into getting it removed. I appreciated her being kind
yet realistic about my situation. (p.s. the ''removal'' process
did not work and I am no longer bothered by the birthmark)
My 12-year old has dark facial hair above her upper lip and
she wants it gone. I understand that laser treatment or
electrolysis are the only permanent solutions, but both are
painful (she's not that stoic). Bleaching is an option,
but I'm wondering how involved it is and how often it has
to be done.
Would be grateful, on my daughter's behalf, for suggestions
of what's worked for other young girls. And if there are
specific professionals (if we go the electrolysis or laser
route) you can recommend, please do.
Oh, the facial hair. I'm very hairy and was teased
starting in 2nd grade? My girlfriends and I bleached our
upper lips - it's not that complicated - you mix the
powder and the cream and put on top - it does sting and
you have to be careful.
But you end up w/ a blond upper lip - which if you are not
that hairy is not noticable - but if she has thick, dark
hair, is noticable.
I never tried the hair removers (i'm not sure they are
safe for the face) but that might be a second option - but
will also likely sting a bit. Veet is much less offensive
smelling than Nair products.
I'm just waiting for the day I have to figure this out for
my little 5 yr old who has a very dark upper lip...as an
adult, I wax, but might take advantage of a friend who
works at a laser center!
Laser and electrolysis both have pros and cons.
Electrolysis is cheaper, works for all skin and hair types
and hurts more.
Laser is faster, less painful and a lot more expensive and
only works for hair that is darker than the background
Most laser is associated with a doctor's office and so
they have access to topical anesthetics which help a lot
with the pain. Also, one laser blast hits an area so
depending on the density of hair many follicles are killed
with one jolt of pain. But this does not work if the hairs
are very light or the skin very dark as the laser needs to
see a contrast in the pigment in order to target hair
rather than skin.
Electrolysis is readily available and much cheaper but it
really hurts. The upper lip is especially sensitive. Ice
and a prescription topical anesthetic from your doctor can
Both can leave residual redness for a few hours (more so
electrolysis) so it's not something to do before a social
I have three daughters, 12, 15, 17. Bleaching works,is
painless and lasts about 4/5 weeks. I usually mix the
bleach for them and they do it at the same time.
For myself, I have had laser treatments for the chin area,
100 times more effective than electrolysis. I go to the
Laser center in Pinole, phone number is 724-8282.
Wouldn't recommend it for a twelve year old though. The
hair may diminish by itself after puberty is over.
I also use hair removing cream, but wouldn't recommend it
for such young face skin.
My youngest daughter is also hairy and we found a good solution after trying
waxing and electrolysis (which was painful, expensive and gave not-very-
satisfactory results). The woman who waxed her upper lip (who also had dark
upper lip hair) told us to buy those little blunt-tipped nail scissors (invest in a
high quality pair) and trim the upper lip hair closely. It is effective, cheap, can
be done often and by oneself. Highly recommended!! My daughter still has
waxing for 'special occasions' but overall is much less self-conscious and happy
with the scissors technique.
Our middle school daughter has been receiving multiple comments about her
body hair, particularly the hair above her upper lip. It is blonde, but
much more than ''peach fuzz.'' We are dealing with the comments, talking
to her, trying to empower her, and so on. BUT, she does want the hair OFF!
Question: Where can she go to get the hair removed? We would like
recommendations about waxing and other methods of removal. Also, which
business will deal with a girl (rather than a woman)? Albany/El
Cerrito/Berkeley area preferred.
You might try electrolysis. You could at least get a consultation - there's a wonderful
woman I go to across the street from the Monterey Market. Her name is Hagar Orren and
her number is 510 526 4288.
After years of arguing with my daughter about her upper lip hair (which is brown), she
is now waxing it off herself. I didn't think it was a big deal but it was for her. I
don't think people where saying anything to her about it, she just looks at herself
under a microscope at every hair and blemish. I suggested bleaching, which she does too
sometimes (not an issue in your daughter's case). Then we bought some wax product at
elephant (I can't remember the brand name). It's a little pot of green wax that you
carefully heat over the stove (first few times it was all over and was really hard to
get off the stove). We discoverd you don't have to melt the whole thing just a little on
the sides will do. Then you take what looks like a wooden ice cream stick and smear it
over the hair, wait a few minutes and rip it off! I do it too sometimes. It does a good
job but it's painful. Waxing is painful, no way around it. Good luck.
hairy family of women
I don't know if she works with pre-teens or not, but I have worked with a wonderful
electrologist in North Berkeley (across the street from the Monterey Market). Her name
is Hagar Orren & her phone # is 526-4285. She has a website, if you want to check it
out: www.hagarorren.com. She's very gentle and kind. My mom brought me to an
electrologist when I was a young teen because I had dark hair on my upper lip and a
''mono-brow.'' And I was really grateful - it made me feel much more comfortable.
A good referral for hair removal is Esther Torres at Au Natural 339-1152.
I am a late 30s woman and have more peach fuzz on my face than
I would like to have. It's not long, but there is just a lot of
it, and because I have a little layer on my whole face, I
rarely get that glow of nice healthy skin, and instead my skin
looks dull and flat even when it's at it's best- because of the
hair. I am not interested in laser- doesn't work on blonde hair-
or electrolysis I don't think though I am interested in
hearing what's worked for any others with this condition. I
have also heard of a hormone that you can take in low dose to
shed the hair. I'd love feedback of any kind. Thanks!
Have you considered waxing? It doesn't work for me b/c my skin reacts badly to
it, but several of my friends do it in certain parts of their face (eyebrows,
moustache, etc.) and it they are happy with the results.
Our ten year old daughter has very light skin and dark hair. She has been
increasingly upset that her peers have been telling her (daily, in one context or
another) that she has a moustache. She is self conscious and self aware, and would
like to get rid of it. We tried Nair, which worked, but burned and left blotches.
it has grown back.
While I know that removing it or bleaching it may not be the PC thing to do, I also
know, having also endured the same sorts of remarks all through my teen years,
how damaging it can be and how it eats away at you. Yes, she can rise above it, and
does so beautifully. But my question is: What products or procedures are out there
for her, should she care to pursue them?
Been there, in another era
As another hairy gal, my heart goes out to your daughter. I think it's
terrible that her peers are teasing her, and would hope that if this is
happening at school, you could ask the teacher to give the kids a
refresher lesson on respecting differences. At some point you might
want to take your daughter to see (or rent) some Indian and Iranian
films, where she can see some absolutely gorgeous women with dark facial
hair. On a practical level: Jolen bleach (available at any drugstore)
is specifically designed for lightening facial hair. After a ten-minute
application, her mustache will be blonde and much less visible. To use
it you mix together a bleach powder and an activating cream. If she
experiences an uncomfortable stinging sensation, cut down on the amount
of powder and use more cream. How often she'll need to re-apply
depends; probably at least monthly if she wants to keep it up. Another
movie tip: my mom and I (who both have been using this stuff for years)
were delighted by a scene in ''A Fish Called Wanda'' where Jamie Lee
Curtis is shown with bleach over her lip before a big date. The movie
may be a little too racy for your daughter now, but in a few years she
can get a good giggle out of it Been There
If you want long term effective hair removal I would suggest calling
Susan Parks Electrologist in Alameda. She is wonderful and professional
and works on men, women and children. She is in the phone book. her
website is www.hair-be-gone.com Good Luck Ursula
Sounds like my childhood. I feel for your daughter. Kids can be really
I recently had laser hair removal and have been THRILLED with the
results. For the first time in my life I have NO HAIR on my chin or
upper lip. It's permanent (for the most part...I may have to have a
touch up done in a few months).
It hurts, but it's quick.
As a teenager I had electrolysis. Hurts too and takes a long time, but
Mostly in my adult life I''ve bleached.
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have done the laser treatments.
Your daughters complexion sounds just right for laser. Light skin, dark
hair. I went o Aura Skin Care on San Pablo avenue in El Cerrito. It's in
the medical bldg across from the plaza. It's great that you're tackling
no longer hairy
At 10 years old, your daughter can be treated with laser hair removal. The treatment with
the Candela Gentlelase laser is safe and will permanently remove the unwanted hair. Each
treatment will decrease the hair in the treated areas, and it will take 3-5 treatments to
get near complete hair elimination.
The treatment is uncomfortable, like a rubber band snapping on the skin repeatedly, but
topical anesthetic cream can be used to make the process less irritating. It is also quick
and much less painful than electolysis or waxing. Our young patients tolerate this very
well, particularly when they are prepared and motivated.
I have written about the specifics of the laser on the BPN and have included the link in the
I have a problem with chin and lip hair. I searched the archives
and found some advice- but it was back in 2002. I'm specifically
interested in learning about a home electrolysis kit- if anyone
can recommend one. I know the professional is the way to go, but
it's not something that I can do. Also, oddly, it seems this
problem started when I started taking the pill. I've been off the
pill for a couple of years, yet the problem continues. Has anyone
experienced that? Suggestions? I'm really tired of this problem,
so I appreciate input.
At home kits DO NOT WORK. I also developed dark facial hair and
excessive body hair after using the pill for 6 months. I finally went to
see an electrologist after watching an episode of Oprah that dealt with
hirsuitism (tons of body hair). I learned that (a) I didn't have
hirsuitism and (b) hair can be permanently removed. The wonderful
electrologist treated my hairs once every two weeks for about 2 years
and now I only go in every few months for a dozen or so hairs. I can
travel, be in direct light, have close conversations all without
worrying that my hairs are visible. It takes so much of the mental
stress away. If you explain your hesitation and/or financial hardship to
the electrologist I'm sure they will help you through this.
Home kits don't work, they are a waste of time and money. I tried a
bunch before I started to see a professional electrolysis for the same
You said that you ''couldn't'' go to a professional, but didn't say why.
If its the expense, for your chin/upper lip you probably only need 15-20
min. per session which will run you between $20-30. You have to go at
least 6 times to get the area free of hair, but you won't need to go
very often, to start probably once every 2 weeks.
The upper lip and chin are very painful areas to have treated. I have a
pretty high pain threshhold but I was glad that I used a topical
anestetic prior to my first visit- when we did my upper lip. Lately I
have been using Emla cream, which is available by perscription in the
US, but not in Canada, so I order it online from a Canadian pharmacy.
You put it on an hour before treatment(follow the directions
explicitly-this means putting plastic wrap over the area-so you will
look funny so you cannot plan to run errands before your treatmant).This
numbs the area, but you will still feel a little pain just not nearly at
the level that you do without the cream.
My electrolysist will let people come and get a couple hairs removed for
free so that they try it out before committing to a set amount of time.
She is Marcie Davis (510)432-4179, located on W. Grand Ave in Oakland
across from Fairy land in a very private setting. Tell her Lisa sent you
I've treated myself and my 18 year old daughter to facial hair removal
treatments in San Francisco at the Epi Center Clinic on 450 Sutter
Street (415) 362-4754. I say ''treated'' because it's been a real
blessing not to have to tweeze, bleach or feel embarrassed about having
a 5:00 shadow anymore. And it's relatively inexpensive and painless
compared to electrolysis and laser hair removal offices I contacted.
(Be sure to arrive early to use the numbing gel they give you 1/2 hour
before) Cost: $99 per chin and upper lip treatment, which only took a
few, plus a 1/year follow-up. Couldn't be happier!
Stubble-free in the E. Bay
I have three girls, ages eight, five, and three. All three have
ample hair on their heads--nothing outrageous, though. But, soon
after their second birthdays, all three began to grow body hair on
their arms, legs, and especially on their backs! I don't mean the
light, goose-down hair that most people have. I mean dark hair,
and a lot of it (it is long, too. It is not 'peach fuzz'). They
have more than the usual amount of hair on their arms and legs,
too. The eight (almost nine) year old is getting some light brown
hair on her upper lip (though it is still slight). She is in the
third grade, and is getting very self conscious about it, asks why
she is so hairy, and says she does not want to wear shorts because
of the hair on her legs. She has a lot of hair on her arms, and
kids are starting to say that she is hairy and so on. The fact
is, she IS hairy. I try to shrug it off for her, but I am
wondering at what age can she do something about it (what can she
do?), and if it is going to get worse (it seems that the older the
girls get, the more hairy they become). The pediatrician thinks
that it is simply their genes (I am not hairy, by the way), and
they may get less hairy at puberty (or more, if possible). Does
any one else have ''hairy girls,'' and if so, what happened at
puberty? When can children bleach/wax/do whatever? My shrugging
it off has worked up until now, but as my eldest daughter gets
older, she is more and more wounded by the comments of others, and
more aware that she is ''different'' in this way.
Mama to Fuzzy Babies!
I was really hairy as a kid. I had a lot of hair on my arms(I'm
female) and dark hair on my upper lip.
I remember as early as 2nd grade kids (especially the boys)
teasing me. Kids would say ''ooh, you have a mustache''....and
they'd call me ''Hairy Harry'' and ''Hairy Banana'' (these were 9
and 10 year old boys) It never stopped untill I became a teen
and started bleaching my upper lip and getting electrolysis. By
then I didn't care so much about my arms and I started shaving
I didn't have hair on my back....
My mother would tell me to ignore it....it was hard to ignore
and my self esteem was pretty low.
When I was in 7th grade my mother took me for electrolysis...I
still continued to bleach my lip and even to this day.
I don't know much about laser hair removal...don't know if it's
perm! anent or not, but electrolysis, though it's a little painful
is permanent if you do it consistantly till the hair is under
control. Or you can help your daughter at least bleach her lip
hair. SHe'll feel and look so much better.
Good luck. I feel for her.
same amount of hair, just bigger arms
I was hairy as a little girl, and by 5th grade I was very aware
of it and embarrassed by it. I stole my dad's razor to shave my
legs... You might check in with an electrologist to find out
whether it's a good idea to treat somebody young. An
electrologist I saw told me that she had treated girls. I think
it's very unlikely that somebody will get less hairy w/
adolescence. My experience and that of others I know is that
things get worse with adolescence, and that's a long time to
hope for a problem to go away and a difficult time of life).
Unfortunately, our society doesn't value hairy bodies, and this
is difficult for hairy kids--especially girls. I'd suggest
taking some action that is both healthy for the kid and
supportive of their desire to manage the problem. And continue
to let your ! kids know that they are beautiful, handsome, unique,
etc., so they can love themselves the way they are and not feel
like they are inadequate for what they're born with (or you move
to Thailand, where people find hairy bodies to be beautiful!).
I'm a 36 year old woman who has battled chin and upper lip
hair for years. I started shaving when I was a teenager and
have kept up the practice. But, the downside is that it
seems to make the dark hair come in darker and coarser
and I get very self-conscious near the end of the day. I feel
like it is always somewhat visible and I also often end up
with a razor rash.
I heard there was a new drug (pill or cream, I'm not sure)
that can be taken to get rid of the hair and I've also heard of
the laser light zapping treatment to remove (although a
recent expose on that practice on some night-time news
show made me doubt the practice) - but I'm wondering what
others' experiences have been with either of these (or a
I don't have money right now for the laser and I'm not sure I
can afford the prescription. I'm also hesitant to try a new
drug that hasn't been on the market that long - but I'm so
sick of dealing with this hair thing. I feel like it gets in the
way of my being confident and it really messes up my skin.
I dream of a smooth, blemish and hair free face!
Do you have any experience/opinions with these or other
methods? FYI - waxing is not an option as I would have to
let the hair get long enough and I wouldn't feel that I could
go out in public in the meantime.
I had the same problem for many years. I was very insecure about
it, though I bleached and plucked instead of shaved. I finally
decided to try electrolysis, even though it was not cheap and
was a year-long process. It was also painful depending on the
area and the sensitivity that day. In the long run it was
cheaper than therapy for dealing with the emotional side of
feeling unattractive. Maybe that's shallow of me, but if a
simple superficial change can be transformative in a deep way,
then why not!?! It does depend though on how much hair we're
talking about. I would not do it for my legs for instance,
because it takes too long.
Have you considered electrolysis? I did it and it really changed
my life (as you know, it is really draining and depressing to have
to deal with the whole facial hair thing). I went to Petra Stine,
in Berkeley. She charged by the length of each appointment and
would schedule appointments for anywhere from 15 minutes to one
and a half hours. Initially, I just went for 30 minutes each time
because I had very little money, but I finally figured out that it
was actually more economical to spring for an hour at a time,
because Petra could do much more at each appointment, so she made
progress much more quickly. I'd really recommend looking into
eclectrolysis as an option -- it takes a long time if you're doing
a lot of work, but you see results immediately and the hair
removal is permanent.
I use ''Surgi-Cream'' depilatory. The product has been around since
1957 (according to the box) and seems to do the trick. It is
available at Longs, etc. (I have heard that shaving makes hair
grow back more thickly.)
In the past I've used electrolysis for facial hair removal. I
believe it's the only system that really works permanently.
A hair follicle has a 9 month cycle, so when a hair is removed
by the root through electrolysis the root will either die or be
weakened. In 9 months that hair may grow back but much lighter.
Meanwhile it seems like the same hairs are growing back quickly
because we have millions of pores and new hairs are growing all
When I went for electrolysis I went once a week for eithre 15 or
30 minutes. It's a bit painful so it's not a lot of fun but it
really works. Some people will make a stop at the dentist first
for a shot of numbing anesthetic and then the practitioner can
work for a longer time and get more done.
I noticed that if I had an apt. closer to my menstrual cycle,
the treatment was more painful. That might have had to do with
PMS stress, extra fluid in the body,...who knows, so I'd try to
schedule apts. before and after but not as my cycle is starting.
A few years ago I bought a ''laser hair removal'' kit to use at
home. It cost $100.00 and supposedly was good quality. I got it
from a catalogue. It had a case that you plug in to electricity
and then a cord you wrap around your finger with a tweezer type
thing at the end. You grab a hair with the tweezer, press the on
button and hold for 45 seconds, then pluck the hair out.
It seemed to work but was incredibly slow. I would sometimes do
it while watching TV or a movie (in front of a magnifying
cosmetic mirror). I did it for a while and then stopped cause it
wasn't very convenient. I still do it occasionally for short
I keep thinking I'll do electrolysis again. As I get near 50
yrs I notice a lot more chin hair, which I tweeze. I also bleach
my upper lip hair....what a hassle. I hate having to deal with
The electrologist I used to go to was Lisa Bruce on Marin Ave in
Albany. I know there are a lot of others around, but she's the
one that comes to mind.
The problem with the creams, waxing, etc. is that the hair comes
back. Good luck with this. I really sympathize with you.
Dark haired and anonymous
Do not despair! There is hope. I've been there I know. Laser is
the way to go. I've tried everything else! Although
electryolosis worked very well it was painful and you had to let
the hair grow out.
If you can spare $99(a small fee considering how
annoying/depressing this problem can be) go to Aesthetic Laser
Center (www.aestheticlasercenters.com) in SF near bart. It takes
only about 10 minutes to zap your face, then you can use the
other 20 min. elsewhere on your body (you must book a min. of
1/2 hour) After maybe 3 or 4 treatments, a couple mos. apart
(the hair does not need to be long to be treated) the hair grows
back so fine, you might not want to come back.
Just do it. The risks are minimal.
even though the laser hair removal is expensive (and you may
need multiple treatments) it is extrememly effective and
permanent. you sound like you just want to get it taken care
of. i don't know how much money and time is involved with doing
the cream treatments, but laser works! i don't know anyone (and
there are quite a few in my office) who regrets having the laser
The creme you referred to that supposedly inhibits hair growth is
called Vaniqua. I am not sure how well it works but it is
applied to the affected areas twice a day (only on the face). I
researched it out at one point and found that most health
insurance plans don't cover it. However, the cheapest place to
get a tube would be Costco Pharmacy at about $41--. I would check
with your doctor and maybe try it out. Wish I could tell you how
well it works.
i have been using Vaniqua for about a year now and it really
works. You need a prescription for it. First you have to get
rid of the hair either by shaving or by using hair removal cream
and then you apply a very light layer of vaniqua twice a day.
That's it! I use so little that I barely squeeze a drop from the
tube but that's enough to stop regrowth.
My 12 year old daughter is bothered by the hair on her face. She is
at the age where she is examining herself and comparing herself to
others. She has some hair between her eyebrows and in the past year
very faint mustache hair has appeared. Her hair is dark so it stands
out more than it would if fair haired. She also has "sideburns" which
bother her so she won't wear her hair in a pony tail or behind her
ears. Being extremely unhairy, I have no experience with this. It
seems to be effecting her self image so I would like to offer her
some remedies (especially for the "mustache"): shaving, plucking,
bleaching? Does anyone have experience with this?
Facial hair can be waxed quickly, easily, and relatively inexpensively.
The area will be red for a few hours but the waxing can last for up to
6-8 weeks. With dark hair, it might be sooner.
I write as a parent, someone with abundant, dark hair, and as the
daughter of same.
I do not recommend facial shaving, as it encourages hair growth, feels
stubbly as it regrows, and is a typically male grooming activity.
Bleach and other chemical depilatories work, but smell unpleasant
(especially under the nose area), and may irritate delicate skin.
My mother favored wax, which she would warm on a little hot plate in a
small pan dedicated to this activity, and apply with a tongue depressor,
in the privacy of her bathroom. Once cooled, the hot wax is peeled off
quickly, bringing the unwanted hairs with it. Initially, I think she
had this done at a salon, until she learned well enough how to do it at
home. It's not as unpleasant as it sounds. I've used the technique on
my legs, and had my brows done at a salon. (Supplies are available at
I opted for electrolysis (for the upper lip), which is not a
magic-one-time cure, but which, over time, discourages hair growth,
until a satisfactory balance between nature and artifice is attained.
Appointments are made about 6 weeks apart, and the hairs return each
time finer and fewer. Mole hairs can be treated in the same way, but
are somewhat more persistant. (When I plucked them they became ingrown,
which was unpleasant and unsightly.) I pluck my brows. You can get
electrolysis recommendations from a dermatologist or a salon.
Plucked, waxed, and electrolyisized hairs grow back slowly, with no
re facial hair...Having reached that lovely stage of menopausal facial hair,
I can recommend Andrea Gentle Cream facial bleach. Available at Longs. It
is easy to mix and you leave it on ten minutes. Works for most facial hair
and you could dab it on the "side burns" as well. Any hairs not bleached are
obvious and can be plucked. It would be good to try a small patch first to
make sure there are no sensitivties. Also, I am not sure how it interacts
with acne, should that be an issue. I would supervise the first couple times
and get a procedure down with a timer. It is best to lie down while it is
bleaching cause it kind of clumps as it dries and falls off if you walk
around. If this doesnt work, I would go the salon route for waxes. It is
uncomfortable, but is quick and gets less painful over time. Sign me
anonymous but sympathetic!
I'm like your daughter in this regard: I have pale skin and dark hair, and
a lot of hair everywhere I have it. I also have quite a bit of hair
between my eyebrows, and a light mustache. I've tried just about every
option other than professional electrolysis (I never felt it was worth the
expense and time): shaving, waxing, bleaching, plucking, depiliatories,
home electrolysis. I've just learned to live with it most of the time. My
husband actually says he likes it. But the teen years can be especially
challenging. Here's my thoughts on the options:
Shaving: a bad option. Grows out immediately, and every hair is the same
length and blunt, so it's "prickly," and appears darker as it regrows than
it did before you shaved. Resist the temptation.
Waxing: painful, but effective for longer than shaving. The hairs grow out
at different times and lengths, so you don't have that 5 o clock shadow
effect. Waxing around the eyes should be done by a professional (hot wax,
and delicate skin), but you can do your own lip at home. Some people say it
grows in darker and heavier after you do this a few times; I'm not sure I
buy that, but then I only did it a couple times. Others say that if you
keep doing it you will eventually destroy the roots and the hairs won't
grow back at all. This works to some extent, but it takes a long time. I do
have a couple of "bald" patches near my knees from professionally waxing my
legs twice as a teen, so it could happen.
Depiliatories: Like waxing, but not quite as long-lasting, and without the
possibility that some hairs won't grow back. Test the cream on a less
noticable spot, like the ankle or back of the knee, because some people are
sensitive to the chemicals and can break out. Not cheap, of course.
Bleaching: I found this good for my upper lip, but bad for the eyebrows.
The hair between the brows is quite thick (at least on me), and the bleach
does NOT make it disappear--just calls attention to it being blonde (or
worse yet, some hairs only get as far as red...) when the rest of my hair
is dark. If you start, you have to keep up with it, because you'll have
Plucking: Good for brows, but not for upper lip. It's cheap of course,
but takes a lot of time. Like waxing, they grow in a different rates.
Also like waxing, there's a point where it's growing back in where you
can't do anything about it for a while: the hairs are too short to "catch"
in the wax or the tweezers. With plucking I found it works OK if I keep up
with it: spend a few minutes every day--that way, the hairs are all growing
out a different rates, and there aren't very many that are long at any
given moment. Supposedly this would have the same effect as waxing of
making the hairs thicker and darker over time, or of killing the roots. I
haven't noticed either effect.
Home electrolysis: I never found any of the kits to work well, but it's
been many years since I tried. They might be better now. My experience was
that it was kind of like plucking, but slower and more painful--and it
didn't do what they promised, and actually kill the hair roots.
Professional Electrolysis: supposed to kill the hair roots to keep it from
growing back. It's pretty expensive, and people I know who have done it
said they had to keep going back for a long time (they only do a little bit
at a time, usually). But it does eventually work on most people.
FWIW, For my wedding, when I wanted the pictures to be perfect, I waxed
both my upper lip and eyebrows.
Other than that, I've mostly just learned to live with it. There's a
famous Latino artist who had such thick brows she looks like she only has
one. She did a lot of self portraits. Maybe you can find one of her
paintings to give a bit of perspective (she also had plenty of self-esteem,
I'd say!). And there are men who like hairy women--maybe she should take a
trip to Europe!
Good luck. I wish her well.
My daughter too has had a problem with facial hair. Her hair is very
dark and her skin is light. I had this problem myself at her age and
it can cause a serious self-esteem problem, especially if kids make
fun of her (they will!). I took my daughter to the salon (we went to
Festoon in Berkeley) and they shaped her eyebrows and waxed her
lip. It made a very big difference to her & she loved the experience
of being in a salon. It cost about $25 for both and is very worth it!
She also got a hair style which she loved.
In regard to the post about unwanted facial hair, from experience with friends
and relatives, go to a good electrologist, who can remove the hair follicles
safely and forever. I can recommend Lisa Bruce in Albany.
re facial hair:
Includes "One-Touch" Inverness home electrolysis system for $29.38
I bought a different one from a TV ad and although the hairs come
back after a while, they are finer each time.
A co-worker of mine recommends laser hair removal. She said had this
been available when she was a teenager, she would have found her life
to be a lot easier. If you have Kaiser, you can get it done at the
dermatology dept. for a base price of $150 plus a set price per zap
of the laser -- something like $1 per zap. She says it is somewhat
painful (similar to waxing), can take more than one visit, but is
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