It is clearly difficult being a 21 year old (relatively attractive) female with PCOS. Purely because it takes so much of grooming and effort to maintain the visual image of being “pretty”. I’ve tried very hard, since a young age, to look appealing to people around me (perhaps doubly hard because of my insecurity that I might just be ugly – cos of the hair). The first time I actually shaved, it was because of my fear of being teased for the jungle on my legs. I did it without the permission of mother. To her horror, she later introduced me to the concept of waxing.
I’ve waxed almost every part of my body (except a full Brazilian and my arms). For 10 years, I’ve been waxing and I’ve tried all kinds of waxes – the ones beauticians swear by and say they will reduce hair growth (honey, sugar, collagen) – nothing worked. My face would turn red as a tomato and I’d be left with opened pores and the hair would grow back relatively quickly.
I realized waxing wasn’t helping my face. I switched to threading; they told me it was less painful and perhaps more effective. I agree it works for my eyebrows because (surprisingly), I have less hair there so it’s easier to shape using a thread. But in terms of my upper lip and my chin, it’s a time-consuming and equally painful process. I remember beauticians seeing me and arguing with each other on who should take me this time, because having to thread me meant hours (and I’m not exaggerating) of painstaking threads that would break and be done over and over again. They all hated me – as if my money spent was not worth their time. I hated myself; for inflicting on them the horror of having to deal with my hairiness (but I think they felt sorry that I had to deal with it on an everyday basis)
Girls, if I have to give one word of advice – Don’t even start! I start plucking following my mother, who plucks her chin hair until now. I did it for the loose strands that would grow out but eventually, it became a hobby – like a habit. I loved the cathartic feeling I’d get when each hair would be pulled out of my chin. It became so bad to the point that my mother had to confiscate my pluckers. I still use my fingers to pluck my chin hair…it’s a habit that I’m still struggling to get over. It ruined my face. It left me with ingrown hair and hair that grew back stronger and coarser. Don’t. Pluck.
My first glimmer of hope. A promise of permanent hair removal. I met a Christian (formerly Sikh lady) who vouched that with a combination of electrolysis and IPL (cos my hair was way too much), she’d be able to stop my hair growth within a year. It was expensive (by the hour) and it took 2.5 hours each time. I had to go every other week. She took a sterilized needled and put an electric current into my hair follicle to kill the hair – it worked to reduce my hair for a bit. I was hopeful. But if I missed even one appointment, my hair would grow back full swing. Disheartened. Moreover, with electrolysis I was forbidden from plucking (oh the horror). I think electrolysis works but it takes a lot of time and patience, something I really didn’t have.
5) Laser Hair Removal
i’ve tried this once in a hospital with a professional dermatologist and she shaved my chin area (I didn’t let her touch my other parts of my face because SHAVING scared me). It was like a surgery, she put local numbing cream and made me wear googles – proper medical grade laser. She told me that after the treatment my hair would fall off and I was not to touch it. My hair never fell off and I was too afraid to shave it off ; so eventually I went to my threading lady and threaded it off. What a waste of money (but at least my hair didn’t grow back thicker – thank god).
About 2 months ago, I decided to give Laser Hair Removal a chance again. This wasn’t a dermatologist, but a mere beautician who assessed me and promised me I’d see a reduction. I decided to take the plunge and SHAVE MY FACE. SHE MADE ME SHAVE MY FACE. I was afraid; I asked her a million times – do I have to? Will it grow back thicker? Coarser? She reassured me. My mother warned me not to shave my upper lip…I went against her warnings and let the beautician laser my upper lips too. At first, for the first 3-4 treatments, I was genuinely happy. It burnt at first and my face was red and inflamed but the hair reduced and grew back soft and not coarse. But I had to go back to my home country and eventually, I stopped treatments and have been shaving – my hair now looks like a man. My upper lip before was never a problem but now it’s my biggest insecurity. I have a constant 5’O clock shadow and my hair grows back every day! Each time I shave, it comes back with a vengeance the next day. I’m having exams now and I recently got tanned, so I can’t do laser for another month!
My word of advice is – from this long process of trying every single method – don’t even start. To begin with, my hair was very little compared to what it is now. I urge you to feel comfortable in your own skin and not do anything more – anything more you do will only damage you. Don’t let that beautician shave your face / eyebrows or thread too much. Don’t listen to her when she says you’d look better with shorter hair or thinner eyebrows or an arched eyebrow or less hair on your face. Because once something is done, it can never be undone. She has nothing to lose -you have your whole life left. I’m stuck in this process of shaving and laser and threading and waxing and my insecurities are only getting worst.
To end this, I leave you with a picture of my hairs close up – I don’t look in the mirror anymore because I feel I look terrible (like a man). Once beautiful, I’ve faded. Don’t fade too.
Lots of love,
Anonymous Sikh xx