The sun is finally shining here in the UK so it’s time to disguard our woolly jumpers and actually show a little skin for a change. But alas, we have a problem…thinking back, when was the last time we shaved our legs?
This was pretty much my train of thought as the sun began to shine, but for many the hair on their legs is the least of the hair worries, because it grows pretty much everywhere.
This is a condition called Hirsutism and it is surprisingly common! If you haven’t heard of it, that is probably because it’s considered to be an ’embarrassing’ condition, so naturally people don’t feel they can talk about it. However, if you’ve suffered from hirsutism , know that you are not alone.
Hirsutism causes excessive hair growth in certain areas of the body such as the face, neck, chest and lower back to name but a few. The hair is thick, course and often black; very different from the usual hair that grows on your arms and legs. It also grows a lot faster than usual hair, making dealing with it a ongoing daily task.
There are several things that can cause hirsutism. In younger women it can be a sign of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition caused by a hormonal imbalance that creates cysts on the ovaries. In older women it can be a sign of menopause. Or sometimes there is no obvious reason for it. But if you are concerned about either of these conditons it is best to visit your GP; both conditions are manageable.
As a sufferer myself I have tried and tested nearly every hair removal technique out there. But here is a list of the simplest, cheapest and least painful methods I have used.
This is a pretty obvious one and is pretty inexpensive, especially if you purchase men’s razors, not only are they cheaper but they are developed for daily use so they are more durable. Razors are great for creating a smooth surface and they are really easy to use; just remember, the smaller the area the less blades in the razor you need.
However, shaving does come with several problems; the first of which being that it is time consuming as a certain level of care needs to be taken. And then after all that effort the hair will start to grow back into stubble by the next day.
Shaving is useful, especially for areas such as arms and legs etc. but when it comes to the face, daily shaving can damage the skin making it irritated and sore.
Waxing, when done properly, is a fast solution to mass hair growth and it lasts a lot longer than a lot of other hair removal techniques. For this reason I’ve found this is the best method for the hard to reach places such as the lower back. The lower back is an area that is nearly impossible to treat yourself, so it is worth getting it done professionally, that way you can cross it off your worry list for another few weeks.
Waxing is good for every area of your body, but getting it done professionally can start to become expensive if you have it done on a regular basis. Plus, on the sensitive areas it can be extremely painful, so it depends how much you follow the mantra ‘beauty is pain.’
I used to hate the idea of plucking but after a few years of dealing with hirsutism I’ve grown very fond of my tweezers. They are great for catching stray hairs on your face, neck and even those sneaky hairs on your chest. I carry a pair around with my in my handbag, which means it’s easy to use anywhere.
My only issue with plucking is that it can become a little addicting, hence the period of over plucked eyebrows back in 2007…how many of you were victims? So take care when plucking, especially around the eyebrow area.
Hair Removal Creams
I LOVE hair removal creams, especially for areas such as my upper lip and bikini area. They are more gentle on the skin than razors and waxing; the formula dissolves the hair at the base so that the hairs wash right off. It lasts a reasonable amount of time, even on those stubborn neck hairs and is easy enough to incorporate into your shower routine every once in a while.
The important thing to remember with hair removal creams is to follow the instructions on the box exactly. If the product is left on the skin for too long it can start to burn you.
My Secret Weapon
Of all the methods I have tried, I have only found one that I have loved for fighting the hair growing on my neck. A men’s electric razor.
These razors can be used on dry skin on a daily basis, making quick work of the course hairs. Although it doesn’t last very long, the persistent hairs starting to grow back by the next morning, the procedure is easy enough to fit into my daily routine.
I picked on of these up after I had tried and failed with a woman’s epilator. Unlike the epilator this razor is painless and quick. Also with the epilators you must wait until the hairs are a certain length before you can do anything about them, with this razors it will catch even the stubble. So the secret is out, men’s razors are better than women’s.
The main thing to remember if you are suffering from hirtism is to accept the situation. If you dwell on it, asking why this is happening to you, you will find yourself going insane and becoming quite depressed about it. Accept what is and deal with it actively, you will find yourself working with it rather than against it and you will become less bothered about it.
Find yourself some people to share your worries with. After a year of trying to hide my problem I finally came out and explained the situation to my house mates. They were wonderfully understanding and supportive. These days if I’m not going out anywhere I find myself leaving the hair and giving my skin time to breath because I know the girls wont judge me. (If you’re reading this girls, love you so much x)
Remember you are not alone, you are not abnormal, you are perfect and beautiful just the way you are.
I wish you luck.