Collective Stories: You are not Alone
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
I wanted to ask women who struggle with excessive hair growth to answer one or all three questions. We all have something in common and we all react to our extra hair differently. The purpose of this blog is to let you know that you are not alone! If you like to share your story or experience in the comments, please do! We would love to hear from you!
1. How has your significant other responded to you having facial/body hair?
2. When did you notice you had facial/body hair and how did you manage it over time.
3. In what way/s has unwanted hair affected you.
"Hey Jazzy, So my story is really pretty short. Basically, in my mid-20s I noticed some dark, coarse hairs on my chin. I’m pretty fair so you can definitely notice strong black hairs on my chin! I began to pluck them and was wary of waxing/ hair removal cream on them as didn’t want it to come back thicker. My boyfriend, now husband, didn’t say anything about them until we were in a cab one day and I guess they glistened in the sunlight and he mentioned them to me... I almost died back then but for the following 15 or so years, I have continued to pluck them. I always decline for anything to be done with them at the salon, again as don’t want them to come back thicker. They get ingrown from time to time which is unsightly and painful but overall I have kept on top of it with regular tweezing and makeup. Thankfully for me, they haven’t got massively thicker, just a few more here and there over the years. If there was a non-medicinal treatment I’d definitely be down to try if it lasted longer than a few days!"
"I am Italian-American and my hair grows pretty quickly.
My mom made me VERY aware of my body hair from a young age, insisting on plucking my eyebrows and eventually taking me to get them waxed. I really wish I wasn’t made aware of it, because then I legit wouldn’t care — and I shouldn’t, it’s HAIR! My mustache also grows really quickly, which I hate and need to get rid of regularly. Besides that, I shave my armpits and legs whenever I feel like it, regardless of hair there. And I trim my pubic hair when I feel it start to get caught on things.
As far as my partners’ feelings, I have pretty much solely dated amazing feminist men who don’t really care. My fiancé likes me hairy or not haha."
"I've been dealing with this issue since I was about 13 years old. At the time I was diagnosed with PCOS. At first, I found it to be uncomfortable and embarrassing because I felt more "masculine" because I was able to grow more hair than many women (and men).
I use to wax my face with Nair and unfortunately, all that chemical waxing left me with some scarring ( on my neck). But that's how bad I wanted it off, I wouldn't even leave the house until the hair was off my face. I also tried laser hair removal and although it reduced the thickness of the hair, it did not get rid of it entirely. I now shave my face once a day every day and I've found much success with this method.
It has affected me to be more self-conscious about my appearance, worried if others can see it or not. However, as time went by I have learned to embrace it and accept it. Everybody's bodies are different and unique and there really is no shame in it at all we as women go through it, it is the reality that does not get discussed often enough.
My significant other does not care for it. At first, he was curious but never thought of me as any less of a woman. He loves me for who I am and at the end of the day it's how I feel about myself, I do it for me, not for anyone else."
"I have PCOS and have always had excessive body hair. For a long time, I shaved it because I thought I had too but it always caused issues, like bumps and irritated skin so I decided to stop! I stopped shaving completely about 5 years ago and let everything grow naturally, except the chin and mustache and I shave those off about once every two months. My partner has no problem with it, even though my armpit hair is longer than theirs, but some people I have dated did. My mother had extreme issues with it too!"
"It's gotten better but got bad after I got pregnant. At 1st it was just a couple of hairs. Add pregnancy (3 boys) and it was a full chin! But now it's settled and managed with a wax strip here and there"
"I've got hairy legs and a bit of on my chin used to wear long dresses and trousers just to hide it and trim my chin cause it felt so embarrassing but then met with other women who encouraged me and were comfortable with themselves
Now I wear anything I want and I'm not ashamed of my hair cause that's who I am"
"I have PCOS and lately, the hair growth on my chin is so bad!! I get so self-conscious and embarrassed by them because they grow back rapidly!! I have to wax almost every week and it's soooo irritating. I hate my chin because of it!"
"My story with hirsutism begins at about 16 years old I believe. I had the usual upper lip hairs that many women have since I was 11, except it didn't stop there. One day my mum asked me if I would like her to wax my neck and face, as the fuzz there had become quite noticeable. After that, there was a lot of self-consciousness about it. I personally didn't even see it, but my mum was terrified that I would be bullied because of it, as teenagers can be quite insensitive. I started using what was then an ultra-modern epilator on my face, basically rotating mini-tweezers that would pluck my face skin along with my hairs. Sometimes I shaved, and when my mum first caught me shaving I remember the horror on her face and the sentence "you..you shave... as men do..". I know she always meant well, but she never fully understood how I felt about it and how shaving was really the best solution I had at the time. In my second year of university, I got laser treatment through the health service in the country where I study. Everything went smoothly (ha) until COVID19 happened, and now I have to restart pretty much from scratch. Reddit has been a very important resource for me to compare my situation to other women out there, and knowing that if they got out of this, I can do the same. I am not the kind of person to "embrace my beard". I have a masculine name and I am a very strong, leading personality. I do not want people to see me as any more manly than what I decide to be, and that will not be because of my beard. However, if you feel like taking care of your beard and even styling it I want you, reader, to know that you have my support and approval!"
"I've struggled with excessive hair growth since I was 12... my neck/chin, my chest, and breasts.... it makes me extremely self-conscious and I tweeze every time I notice hair growing in... my significant other has responded so wonderfully I am truly blessed.. I do still find myself self-conscious about it even with his understanding and love.. It determines what I'm comfortable wearing in public... my mom said it would go away when I finished puberty but I'm about to be 23 and it's just gotten worse..I've always known I'm not alone, but it's nice to see others sharing"
"I just had to love and laugh when my niece was sitting in my lap, looked at my 5 or so chin hairs and said so matter of factly, “I like your beard” from her it was a compliment so cute and innocent"
"I’m 23 and I’m from Italy. Actually I never openly talked with my partner abt my excessive hair growth, mainly because I was too embarrassed to assess and highlight the situation. Theoretically, I think I shouldn’t have to justify or explain why my body looks the way it does, but sometimes it’s hard and frustrating. Since it affects my period so much, he knows about my PCOS, it’s impossible and also pointless trying to hide it.
I started noticing my excessive hair growth in middle school, but it wasn’t a huge problem back then. I started shaving my legs and waxing my arms and that was it. A couple of years ago I started hair laser removal under my chin and on the sides of my cheeks but I had to stop due to a severe case of cystic acne (which didn’t help my self-esteem at all as you can imagine). I had to take isotretinoin to get rid of it, I stopped about a month ago, so I can’t start laser removal for a while. In the meantime the hair growth under my chin got worse and worse, I usually wax/pluck them. Waxing works better but they have to be long enough, so I can only do it when I spent many days at home."
"I first noticed facial hair around the age of 16. I immediately started plucking that one little hair, which grew to many more over the years. I felt like every little hair the whole world was looking at it. Luckily for me, I met my husband as a teenager so he has been with me this whole process. I've tried listening to his advice of leaving it alone but the more I left it alone, the more hair grew over the years and I couldn't take it anymore and starting plucking again and looking for the root cause of what was going on with me. I tried waxing but my skin is so sensitive it burns my skin, so that's a no for me. However, now knowing why this is happening and having a better healthier way to maintain this battle is is okay with me now. I've learned to live with it."
I thank these women for sharing their short stories and experiences, I know it's hard to do that for most. We are all in this s good that together and it's good to have a community that you can relate to :)