How I Fix My Hairy Face
As a human being, I have a lot of facial and body hair. This is a particularly human thing, and even a mammalian thing, but it’s a thing I do not like nonetheless. I least like that my facial hair forms around the top of my lip to become a mustache not unlike Tom Selleck’s, or, if styled appropriately, the one on John Depp in the movie Mortdecai. I second least like that my eyebrows come together and join hands, like they are two people on a date to see the John Depp movie Mortdecai.
As somebody who wrote a book about feminism and also likes to practice it, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the beauty machine and if I’m falling into the rough, unmoisturized hands of the patriarchy by sitting in its contoured cogs. And I don’t really have a right answer to this. Perhaps the fact that I like to lengthen my slather myself with black lipstick is more of a #me thing, considering it’s mostly unflattering and makes me look like I eat children, but facial hair is another animal. Facial hair is considered a no-no on women, even though we all have it and it’s not a gigantic deal. I have battled with my facial hair for years, in both the removal of it, the embarrassment of having it, and the shame of being embarrassed by it.
When I was 15 years old, I was getting my eyebrows waxed at a nail salon, which I will never do again because I hate thin eyebrows and prefer my thick bushy ones. So does the WHOLE WORLD now, which you can thank all the bushy ladies who suffered through high school in the 2000’s for this. But I digress: the lady was like “you have a mustache. Let me wax it.” And I got so embarrassed and I told her no, but then I went home and tweezed my upper lip with my crap dollar store tweezer and it bled and was patchy and I got little cuts from it. This wasn’t the first time somebody had told me I had a mustache. I got told all throughout middle school and early high school. I was called a Mexican Man, because I went to a White High School™, and they didn’t know the difference between Mexican and Puerto Rican if it was standing in front of them with a mustache. But this was the first time somebody had told me that I had a mustache in a context that wasn’t just to make fun of me, and it embarrassed me even more. And I’ve been getting rid of it ever since, to various successes.
Mostly, I had used tweezers because I have an incredible tolerance for pain---both the emotional and physical ones that come with beauty. Then, I started using Sally Hansen wax strips, the kind you warm up in your hands and then pull off, leaving about half the hair and half the skin.
Here’s what I’ve decided. I don’t like my facial hair. I don’t like it because people have made fun of it, and the world tells me it’s unattractive, and I’d rather have it off me than on me. That’s my own baggage, and it doesn't mean it should be yours. But I’m not embarrassed by it anymore. I have hair on my face. So what. Bite me. Sometimes I forget to get rid of it. Oh, the horror! And as I’m getting older, an errant chin hair gets in the mix. And screw anyone who tries to make me feel bad about it. It doesn’t make me any more or less attractive, and the same goes for you.
But enough about that! Now I will let you know how I get rid of mine, if you’re the kind of person who also likes to get rid of their facial hair. The way I do it is painless, but can go horribly wrong if you do it quickly or in a rush. I am not an expert, and can only tell you what works for me, but here’s my step-by-step guide:
Step One: Wash and Cleanse Your Face
This has to be done on a squeaky clean, dry, unmoisturized face. I prefer to do this in bright lighting, which is funny because I hate doing anything in bright lighting.
Step Two: The Precision Perfect Facial Trimmer
Everybody is terrified that this is how I remove my facial hair. But I’ve been through the ringer in the facial hair removal circuit, and I like this product. I use it on my cheeks (I don’t have dark hair here, just baby hair that I like to take off because it makes my foundation go on smoother), my upper lip, and in between my eyebrows. You can also use it on your arms and hands, but I don’t give a hoot that my arms are hairy. Never have. Anyway---some words of warning if you’re going to take this on. I would actually listen to directions for once in your life and check this out on a patch of skin on your hand and make sure you it doesn’t irritate your skin. This can irritate skin if done wrong. I also find that it can cause ingrown hairs if you rush it. But other than that, I love this. I don’t believe it really causes visible stubble, and is an easy, quick way to get rid of facial hair that you don’t want, if you don’t want it. Yes, I know this means I shave my face. WHO CARES?
Step Three: Tweeze
Just get rid of any errant hairs with a tweezer. I find the more times you go over this on your skin, the more likely the ingrown hairs will happen, so I like to run this over once or twice and then just get rid of the rest with the best tweezer in the world: the slant tweezer from Tweezerman.
Step Four: Exfoliate
As I said before, I find that this kind of removal can cause some ingrown hairs, and to get rid of that, I moisturize with a gentle exfoliant (no environment killing beads!) that will help keep that from happening.
Step Five: Cleanse with an Oil
Using a cotton round, I go over any redness with a cleansing oil (or just straight up Vitamin E), like the one I use from Garnier, because it soothes my skin and gets rid of any irritation you might have. By the way, steps 4 and 5 are useful after ANY facial hair removal technique.
Step Six: Moisturize and Keep Fighting
Moisturize as usual and remember the lady who told you that you had a mustache at age 15. Well, I have amazing eyebrows now. No thanks to her!