Not By the Hair of My Chinny Chin Chin

I admire women who are confident enough to embrace their imperfections and find a way to grow old gracefully.  I don’t want to be the kind of woman who has a plastic surgeon on retainer or one who is still wearing Juicy Couture when she’s fifty years old.

The way I see it, there are two ways to approach aging:  you can either try to hide your imperfections and wind up looking like a bald guy in a bad toupee; or you can let nature take its course and save yourself a lot of money on plastic surgery, beauty products and bad rugs.

He should have spent his money on a cruise to the Bahamas instead.

I do have my limits though.  When nature goes beyond a few grey hairs or wrinkles and starts throwing weird gender curveballs, even I have to say screw it to the growing old gracefully crap.  On some level, men expect to lose a little hair when they get older and women expect their boobs to sag.  But when women go bald and men get saggy boobs, something has gone very, very wrong.

I may not be battling male-pattern baldness (yet), but there is another masculine issue I’m trying to contend with – I’m starting to look like the character Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.

A chick with a goatee? AAAAAGGGHHHHHH!!!!

There are a lot of guys who can rock a goatee, but I’m not one of them…. probably because I’m not a guy!!!   It makes NO sense.  I never participated in medical experiments for money, never lived near a nuclear power plant, and I’m pretty sure none of my immediate ancestors were gorillas.  So what’s with the freaky facial hair??

In my early 20’s I laughed about the one stray chin hair that would occasionally crop up.  It was funny for a few reasons….

  1. There was only one of them.
  1. Everything is much funnier when you’re young, stupid, and don’t realize the middle-aged crap that’s waiting for you around the corner.
  1. By the time it was discovered it was about four inches long, which gave it kind of a circus-freak-show quality.  And who isn’t entertained by freak show oddities?

Inevitably I would spot the errant chin hair when I was outside my house – a quick glance in the rearview mirror when the sun hit me at just the right angle, or in a public bathroom underneath the unforgiving florescent lights.  Then I was left to wonder how long it had gone undetected and how many other people had noticed it before I did.  But one quick pull of my tweezers was all it took to return me to my normal, non-freak show appearance.  No big deal.

It became decidedly less funny when that singular whisker got lonely and thought it was a good idea to invite all of its hairy friends to come live with it – on my face.  I thought my new goatee was a byproduct of my second pregnancy (the hormonal gift that keeps on giving) because they seemed to coincide with each other.  But it could also just have been the first, in a long line of reminders that I’m no longer in my twenties.

Either way, it was a problem that was no longer resolved by a quick yank of my tweezers.  Now it was a daily project to make sure I didn’t walk out of the house looking like the bearded lady.  No matter how much time I spent yanking hair out of my face, there was always one or two (dozen) that I missed.  I swear I heard my tweezers groan at me one day as if to say, “Sorry Hun, this ain’t gonna cut it anymore.”

Even though I was already getting my eyebrows and lip waxed once a month, I was resistant to waxing my chin at first.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it was because I knew tons of girls who waxed their eyebrows and lip – it seemed as mainstream as getting your hair dyed.  But I had never once heard about another girl waxing her chin.  Ever.

The hairy cheese stands alone.

Once tweezing became a part-time job, I finally caved in.  During one of my waxing appointments with Geri (my professional waxer), I casually said something along the lines of, “While you’re at it, why don’t we wax my chin too.”

Even though Geri spends most of her work days elbow deep in women’s unwanted body hair, I still felt embarrassed to draw attention to an area of my body that by all gender rights, should be naturally hairless.  So I tried to make it seem like I was enjoying the hair being ripped out of my face SO much that I hated to see it end with just my eyebrows and lip.

Geri made waxing my chin seem like a normal occurrence – maybe in her line of work it was.  She talked about other female clients who came in with 5 o’clock shadow on their face and quickly followed up that statement with, “But you’re nowhere near that bad.”  I love her.  With that one comment, I went from feeling like a circus freak to being as normal as apple pie… or at least as normal as this apple pie….

After the waxing was done, I wondered why the hell I had waited so long.  Sure, my chin felt like it was on fire, but in just a few seconds the wax had accomplished what it took my tweezers forever to do – my face was as smooth as a baby’s butt…. or a normal woman’s face.

I’m wondering if this is the last of the embarrassing facial hair problems or will muttonchops be next?   Will I get to the point where it would be easier to have Geri cover my entire face with hot wax rather than doing it piecemeal?  She could put it on like a mud mask, and then rip it off in one big sheet.  Sure, my eyebrows would come off in the process but at least the painful part would be over quickly.  And I think I could live without eyebrows – works for Whoopi Goldberg, right?

Blissfully hair-free

I don’t think waxing is a permanent solution though.  Eventually I’m going to get to the point (in 30 or 40 years) where I don’t give a shit about getting rid of my facial hair anymore.  Then my grandkids won’t want to kiss me because prickly kisses from Grandma are gross.  Or worse – I’ll get into a horrible accident while I’m still young, wind up in a coma in the hospital, and my loved ones will be too busy crying to remember to wax off my goatee.  (Note to my family:  If I die looking like a Billy goat, I will haunt your ass forever.)

The only real solution to the problem is laser hair removal but it’s EXPENSIVE.  What I need to find is a philanthropist who is uninterested in ending world hunger, saving poor children in third-world countries, or finding a cure for cancer.  Someone with several thousand dollars burning a hole in their pocket, who would rather see me hairless than make the world a better place.

Mr./Mrs. Moneybags, if you’re out there, I promise to be the perfect charity case.  I’ll send you monthly pictures of my hairless face, write you letters about my new life outside the freak show, and (as a one time special gift), I’ll mail you my old tweezers with your name embossed on them.  I bet you won’t get a sweet deal like that from the guy over at the Christian Children’s Fund.

Obviously he doesn’t give a damn about
making the world a less hairy place to live.

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84 thoughts on “Not By the Hair of My Chinny Chin Chin

    • I think blonde facial hair is far easier to disguise when you’re a natural blonde – it’s usually really light and almost has a downy, fuzzy look to it. Not AT ALL like the gnarly whiskers I’m contending with.

      But when you’re a “fake” blonde things get a little messier. There was a girl I knew back in college who had a full blown, Groucho Marx style mustache, which I could tell was dark brown/black originally but she had dyed it… badly. Instead of turning blonde, it was more in the strawberry blonde family. When the sun hit it, it looked like she had a orangey-colored caterpillar perched on her upper lip. Made me think two things….

      1. Did she come from colder climates where it was inadvisable to wax off body hair because of the extra warmth it provides? Did her mustache act like a little lip scarf?

      2. Did her friends and family let her walk around like that because they all secretly hated her?

  1. Ah yes, the chin hair. I find myself absent mindedly checking my chin all hours of the day or night. You must read Gina Barecca’s (“It’s Not That I’m Bitter…) take on chin hair — she writes about spotting them in the rear view mirror

  2. Chin hair, nipple hair, gray hair (and not just limited to the top of my head…but the nether regions as well) and bunions, bad back stooping crow’s feet and elephant knees…damn when did we hit middle-age puberty?

  3. What was that line from Sex and the City about grey hair down there … you murder one and all of its friends show up to the funeral? Same thing with chin fuzz. I feel your pain. *sigh*

  4. I feel your pain. I’m still at the just-a-few-stray-chin-hairs stage, but full on billy goat is just around the corner. Thanks for the laugh.

    • Ah…I remember 19. That was a time in my life when facial hair and stretch marks were still like urban legends – spoken about in hushed tones, but I never believed they’d ever happen to me 🙂

  5. The only thing worse is when you have one UNDER you damn chin and you can’t get it with the magnifying mirror upside down and backwards.

    Hey, men at this age have hairy ears. EW!!

  6. Like Sanna, I’m still at the just-a-few-stray-chin-hairs stage, but that’s alarming enough. Especially on the day that I noticed them in the mirror at work and came home to pluck them, only to find that the tweezers were missing! I had to ask my husband if he knew where they were. He asked me why I needed them. I asked him the same thing back. He handed them over. I hide them now.

    • The more I write, the more I find the topics that are the least talked about (because they are either too embarrassing or taboo), are the ones that get the best response out of my readers. Norah Ephron once said, “Everything is copy.” Meaning there is no topic out there you can’t write about. I’ve tried to adopt that motto into everything I write.

  7. I’m quickly falling in love with your blog. I’ve had chin hairs since my teens and now they’re just adding up. I think it’s the middle eastern in me. Might I suggest the best tool ever? Groupon. I’ve found a reputable place that does laser hair removal, and I got a $1500 package for just $100! I promise I don’t work for them or anything 🙂 But take it from a furball, laser changed my life. Take it from a cheapskate, Groupon is the way to go! It just so happens that the place I go to has done a few more promotions, so I just keep buying them up and attacking problem areas one by one. Boom!

    • You may have just saved my life… or at least saved me hours and hours of tweezing time. I’ve heard about Groupon, but didn’t know they did deals like the one you described. Amazing! How many laser treatments does it take until one area is completely hair-free?

      • I think you need about 4-6, but it really depends on your hair, the area, how strong your roots are, the color of your hair compared to your skin (light skin and dark hair is the best scenario). Everyone reacts to it differently and it may or may not work, or may or may not work completely. The $100 packages I’ve gotten come in 6’s and are for a “small area” which can include chin, upper lip, brows, etc. I’ve done my chin (successfully!), upper lip (success!) and am no working on my hair line (successful so far!). (I know that sounds weird but apparently my parents decided I didn’t need a forehead and thus decided to withhold that gene from me).

        Sessions are typically 4-6 weeks apart, and they really take no time at all, although it DOES hurt. I almost punched the lady out with the first zap! LOL woops! It’s sort of like a heavy duty rubber band snapping on your skin in 1/2″ x 1/2″ squares. Plus there can be heat depending on the area they’re doing it. But it goes pretty quickly. And if your skin/hair/body are receptive to it, then it’s worth a little pain for really long term results.

        Try it out! My only disclaimer is to check out the place offering the groupon, through review sites like yelp. Laser can leave scars, so you want to make sure you’re getting a deal from a reputable company. All the ones in our town that offer groupons have great reviews, so we get a lot of options.

        Sorry for the uber long response : ) I’m just so happy with my results!!!

        • Thanks SO much for leading me through the complicated and costly world of laser hair removal. If I can find a deal like the one you described for a place in my area, I’ll definitely give it a try.

          I’d say the pain (you described) would totally be worth it if it works. I think I’d be willing to experience the pains of child birth again if it meant being hairless. Besides, waxing the hair off my face month after month isn’t exactly a pleasure cruise either 😉

  8. This post almost made me get in trouble at work because I was trying to stifle my laughter. Wonderfully hilarious and I can completely relate. I too always seem to “find the hair” out of the house with no way to pluck the bugger. I have considered the waxing route but I know some women whose faces are so bare of hair that they look like they belong in Madame Tussaud’s (I had to look that up) wax museum. Unworldly and not human. So I remain a plucker of the long dark and frightful and hope that it is enough.

    • Here at Get Write Down To It everything is fair game, so you can say whatever the hell you want, LOUD AND PROUD 🙂 I will keep poking fun at the human condition, and hopefully there will keep being people who can relate.

  9. Hilarious and, sadly, so relatable. I just saw my professional waxer yesterday after 5 months (I had a baby in March and haven’t been able to get out long enough for a wax). It was ugly.

    • Ouch! The thought of having 5 months worth of body hair ripped out sounds harder to go through than child birth (this coming from a mom of two). Hope you enjoyed a margarita or two when you were done 🙂

  10. Your blog is awesomely funny. I, too, can relate. To almost Every. Stinkin. Word. Dern chin hairs. And where ARE the hairless philanthropists? There have to be some Real Housewives somewhere that want to take THAT on for charity, right?

    • I think we should make a website dedicated to all of us facial hair sufferers and start accepting charitable donations. There’s probably a superficial millionaire out there who will sympathize with out plight. Angelina Jolie and Sean Penn must be looking for a new cause by now, don’t you think?

  11. Reblogged this on In other words and commented:
    I’m hysterical! This is so funny and so true. It’s my biggest secret . . . how many hairs grow on my chinny chin chin and how much time I spend in front of the mirror cursing them!

  12. Oh. Thank you for the laugh. I needed that, very much, I think.

    Call me whatever you like, but I happen to enjoy the rare instance of seeing a woman with a little peach fuzz of a moustache, and maybe the same for a goatee. It is rather unusual, especially with all of the spas offering *[BodyPart] Waxing Special!* these days. — It’s all part of growing up. (Isn’t that we’ve all told our children numerous times?)

    Just a thought: I’ve never liked that guy from Christian Children’s Fund. For one, he gets paid to do all of those commercials, and has only ever donated a couple hundred dollars from a single check of thousands (from what I read last,) and his voice is irritating.

    • C.A. – Thanks for returning, once again 🙂

      Sadly, I’m WAY past the “peach fuzz” stage of things and leaving that aspect of my face au natural isn’t an option… unless I really do want to give up writing and join the freak show. While it may be a part of growing up, unwanted facial hair is not like laugh lines or a few silver hairs – they don’t add character to a woman’s mature appearance. They are gnarly and gross and must be destroyed.

  13. HILARIOUS!… and yeah… someone in my family said something about growing old gracefully, but gravity and aging is seemingly working against me no matter how hard I try. 😀

  14. I am enjoying all of your entries. Thanks for writing and you’ve inspired me to put some more wit into the thoughts I have to write about. Keep up the great work!

  15. I laughed so hard because I am going through this now. Already have been to the lazer hair removal guy twice and it is expensive and will only get rid of dark hairs, maybe, not the peach fuzz all over!! Try the coiled threaders. Just bought one from Amazon and I love it. Smooth as a baby’s butt now and make-up glides on!!!

    • Yeah, bizarre hair growth was definitely not one of the things discussed in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. I should write the REAL deal on what to expect when you get pregnant. Chapter One – Stretch Marks and Facial Hair…..

  16. That was seriously funny; probably because my tweezers are groaners too. However, not only is my face a mess but so is my neck, chest AND belly region. There are days I spend 40 mins “self grooming” and when I am done I am a hot red sweaty wreck!
    Thanks for letting me know I am not alone 🙂

  17. I am an Italian and I feel your pain, sister. The moment I turned 27, shit got real and hair started growing on my chin. Thankfully, I work at a spa, so I get it waxed for free and quickly (though I wish it would just go away). Thanks for your advice earlier! MUAH!

  18. Dear kindred spirit Linda,
    it’s a bit late, but here’s my comment on your woes, which you share with many, many others:
    I’ve just been watching old episodes of Sex and the City. Well, in one of them, Samantha is groaning about how difficult it is to keep her nether regions acceptably trimmed. Her way of putting it: “You pluck on of these guys and seven more come to its funeral!”.
    Oh yes, girls, I hear you. Remember I told you about Alice Bradleys Blog “Finslippy”? In one hilarious article, she shamefacedly has to admit to her husband (after stumbling out of the bathroom with bloody feet) that he has been living with a hobbit all those years: a monster who has to shave her TOES. I wrote back that not only have I been shaving my toes for as long as I’ve benn shaving my legs, but also I have to deal with the stray, bristly, horrible black hair which now and then decides to sprout from my decolletage (is that the right word? I’m not sure. It’s the area between throat and cleavage) or directly from the front of my throat. I hate, absolutely hate these suckers.
    There is no way I am giving in to them, and neither should you, even if this means we have to keep on shaving, plucking, waxing them for all eternity or at least until we are too demented to care!
    Love, Miriam

    • Miriam!!

      So good to hear from you, my friend. Sorry it took me so long to reply – I’ve been away for the last week (camping trip to Virginia with my husband’s family.)

      As for your hairy tale of woe – too funny! I too have hairy hobbit feet. Well, hobbit toes anyway. I don’t even think about it anymore, I just give my big toe a swipe with the razor when I do my legs. My hairy toes are the least of my unwanted body hair troubles! It takes two seconds to get rid of, and how often do people stare at your toes? Now, my chin on the other hand….. right smack in the middle of everybody’s sight line.

      The rogue hairs on your neck and chest though – that’s a bitch. Might I suggest wearing turtlenecks? 🙂

      Keep on waxing and plucking!
      Love, Linda

  19. Lol that is cute, I recently had my 27 birthday and I have never had facial hair, but the last week or so I have had a few of my friends point out to me that I have “peach fuzz”, I’m like what?! Lol peach fuzz, what is that?! Sure enough I looked closely in the mirror and I have 5-6 hairs! Yikes I’m freaking out 😦 and I am trying so hard not to pluck them, but if a guy points it out I’m going to panic lol

    • Nice of your friends to point out your peach fuzz – happy birthday buddy, by the way, you look like a baby duck made its nest on your face! 🙂

      Peach fuzz is fine, and I think most women have it to some degree. But if some guy points it out, just tell him his hairline looks like it’s receding. When he gets pissed off, just look innocent and say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought we were making inappropriate observations about body hair. My bad.”

  20. Loved the article! Definitely can relate… If being from south Asian decent wasn’t enough of a crime, my second pregnancy has gotten me on my knees everyday praying I find one area that I don’t have to remove hair from!

    A quick advice – try those electric pluckers (epilators) for quick plucking instead of the tweezers. They seem to do a really good job just you have to get used to the pain. Good luck to us all 🙂

  21. Ha! Oh gawd, the visor mirror in broad daylight – that’s enough to send anyone to the ice cream aisle. And how did I never notice Whoopi Goldberg’s lack of eyebrows??

    This is hilarious – amen to gracious groomers and amoral philanthropists – let me know when s/he comes through. I, unlike you, might not be opposed to a nip here and a tuck there… But if that goes to seed, well, Imma plant me some muttonchops right here on this mug.

  22. Pingback: Once Was Lost and Now I’m Clowned | Get Write Down To It

  23. I literally cannot get it off. NOTHING has worked. I even tried Brazilian wax. Zippo–it’s like frigging barbed wire. I’m about to look into electrolysis, because I want it GONE. I’m sick of shaving twice a damn day.

    • Mabel –

      I feel your pain!! Before you look into expensive salon treatments, check this out:

      http://www.triabeauty.com/home-laser-hair-removal

      I have a friend who just purchased it a few months ago, and she LOVES it. It’s expensive, but not nearly as bad as salon treatments. I think I’ll be buying one as soon as I can scrape together the money. It’s worth it if I never have to worry about embarrassing facial hair EVER AGAIN!!

      Linda

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