Over the last few years there has been increasing acceptance and awareness that women grow facial hair too.
Harnaam Kaur has received attention for embracing her beard, the result of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), and former Real Housewife of New Jersey, Caroline Manzo, has claimed that she shaves her face both for facial hair growth control, and to prevent wrinkles. Such media attention has done wonders in breaking the taboo of women’s facial hair in the public sphere, but how many women have embraced their own similar flaws? I am a 24 years old woman and I have facial hair. No, I’m not about to let it grow into a goatee (Harnaam can beat me at beard growing any day). It’s taken me a long time to accept the fact that I seem to have inherited my father’s hair follicle genes. But now that I have, I want to encourage women everywhere to be and breathe happy. Here is a list of ten ways I manage my overactive follicles, starting with positive thinking. After all, it’s the key to overall happiness.
- Accept that hair growth is natural. Facial hair does not make you less of a woman. All women have hair follicles on their faces. Some women may grow hair that is invisible to the naked eye. Some grow dark, course, straight hair, and others curly hair in a variety of colors. Its natural to grow hair on your face, arms, legs, etc. However, that does not mean that we, as women, have to just let it run free and natural if we don’t want to.
- You choose how you look. If you’ve got the fearless courage of Harnaam Kaur, and want to grow a beard, go for it! I for one, am more like Caroline Manzo. Just because you have facial hair and have chosen to handle it one way or another, does not mean you need to tell the world about it, or keep it a secret either. Your face, your hair, your decision. My boyfriend certainly doesn’t know about my follicular issues. Nor does my best friend! It’s my business to share.
- Do your research. Most women are pretty familiar with different hair removal or uptake techniques. In the case of your face, however, there are a few adjustments that have to be made, as your facial skin is probably much more sensitive than the rest of your body, and most women wear makeup everyday. I’ll focus on shaving, as it’s my preferred method of hair removal.
- Open up your pores. As a person with naturally curly, full hair, I find it easiest to shower everyday. Therefore, I have a daily established period of private time, during which my pores are already opened by hot water. I have found that I get the best results fwith hair removal in the shower, as well as the least amount of inflammation, ingrown hairs, or blemishes when I shave my chin in the shower. That’s right. I shave my chin.
- Keep your razor sharp! It can be difficult to shave blind in the shower, and even more so if your razor isn’t sharp. Besides cutting yourself, dull razors tend to lead to ingrown hairs and razor burn. As someone who is acne prone, I have to be especially careful of this, so I use Men’s Gillette Fusion Proglide. This product isn’t for everyone, so remember that it may take some trial and error to find the right razor. Just make sure it’s sharp!
- Find the right shaving cream for you. Women’s facial hair is so sensitive, so it’s very important to properly protect yourself against harsh razor blades. As I mentioned before, I’ve got acne-prone skin, so its been a struggle for me to find a cream that works without causing a breakout. I’ve found that I really like Aveeno’s products, but most days I just use hair conditioner as a shaving lubricant. My face is used to the conditioner, and I don’t usually have breakouts from using it on my face.
- Exfoliate! I always make sure to wash my face with an antibacterial or acne scrub after I finish shaving my chin, and part of my neck. It’s important that you do this immediately after you shave. Rub in small gentle circles for about 1-2 minutes on the area, so you can stimulate your hair follicles while your pores are still open, and remove any excess shaving cream, hair conditioner, or hair. This makes a huge difference to your skin’s health, and will help you to avoid ingrown hairs and breakouts.
- Moisturize and take care of your skin! I have particularly oily skin so I use moisturizing base foundation rather than actual facial lotion, but whatever your preference, make sure you give your skin some love everyday. I also tend to wear makeup everyday, so its very important that you give your pores time to close after you shave and cleanse so that you don’t clog up your pores too much. At the end of the day, make sure to really clean your skin around the air that has significant hair growth. This will all help soften the hair as it comes through the skin, and help it to break through without a problem.
- Only shave in areas where hair grows densely. Shaving stimulates hair growth, so you want to make sure you only shave where you really need it! I grow other dark hairs randomly on my face, neck, and chest, but I just remove those with tweezers. My mustache is also barely noticeable, so I take care of this hair and other light but long hairs on my face with a bikini trimmer, which I have never used anywhere but my face.
- Keep all of your tools sanitized. It’s incredibly important to maintain the sanitation of your hair removal tools at all times. Especially if they come in contact with your face. Make sure to clean your tools with hot water, and then further sanitize them with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, and store them in a clean area.
In the end, embracing the complete natural nature of your facial hair is important for your wellness. We’re mammals, and facial hair does not define how you look or who you are. Let your beauty reign regardless.