Women With Facial Hair
Today I went in for a session with my Electrologist. You might be like, ‘Salish, what the heck is that?’ It’s permanent hair removal and it gave me my confidence back. (Her name is Elizabeth.) Elizabeth asked me what I’d been up to, and I told her about my podcasts on the Broadway Podcast Network, specifically how I was editing an episode later on for Black Hair in the Big Leagues. She was like, ‘Oh. Nice! Do you talk about this? What we’re doing now?’
And that’s when I realized, that I NEVER talk about unwanted hair. I never talk about how I had a FULL beard as thick as my boyfriend’s back in college. I never utter a word about it. It used to be something I was so ashamed of and recently, it’s such a non-issue that I forget it was ever a HUGE deal.
When I was a princess in Mickey and the Magical Map at Disneyland, I remember sitting in the dressing room with the other girls getting ready for the show. And before I was all the way done, one of my friends was like, ‘Oh, Salish there’s something on your face. Let me get that.’ And she came in for the kill just to learn that it was…hair. Like, hair attached to my face. Gawd, I was so embarrassed. It was so thick and took up quite a bit of real-estate on my cheeks, upper lip and, chin, and neck. I had previously been going in to get threaded regularly, especially since I was the reigning Miss Fullerton, but my last visit to the salon didn’t go so well.
The girl who was threading my LITERAL beard was having a hard time. So she stopped. Went to the back. And the next thing I knew, the owner was coming out with her. The owner took a look at me and said, “Hmmm…. Yeah we can’t do this. It’s too much. It’s too much!” I was humiliated. She went on saying, “I’m shooting myself in the foot, but you need to get electrolysis.” I was so embarrassed and holding back tears. My extracurriculars required that I be beautiful and I felt like the ugliest girl in the world. I had too much facial hair for THREADING. I took a breath and hid my shame long enough to ask, “What’s Electrolysis?” And she told me that it’s permanent hair removal. I had gotten laser hair removal in the past and not only did my hair grow back after a while, but it grew back with a VENGEANCE. (On the positive side though, my ingrown hairs went away and my acne had died down. So that’s a win, for sure.)
I started doing some research into electrology. And I found someone down in Southern California to work on me. Gosh, that lady had my face looking like a balloon. I was so swollen and beaten up that I couldn’t put makeup on or go anywhere for two days when she was done with me. But I had never had it done before so I didn’t have anything for reference or to compare it against. Luckily, I was moving to New York VERY shortly after this, and my first order of business when I got to the Big City was to find a good Electrologist.
I got consultations from about 5 places, and I finally found the perfect fit for me. She didn’t have a crazy amount of reviews up or anything but I just had a feeling. And that ‘feeling’ didn’t lead me astray. I had 9 months before I went on the road with Beautiful the Carole King Musical, and it was her mission to get the bulk of it gone before I left for tour.
And she did it.
She transformed my face and my life. And there’s still a few hairs left sometimes because once the bulk of my facial hair was destroyed, I stopped going consistently, especially when I had left town. But let me tell you, it’s really tough to get me to be self conscious about my chin whiskers because I remember how bad it USED to be!
I know this is weird talking about this, but I feel like, there’s no way I’m the only woman who has dealt with this. And even though I was so embarrassed to be told I needed it, I almost wish I had learned about it sooner. I know Laser hair removal works for a lot of people. I wish I was one of those people, haha! I have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on laser for my face and bikini *shakin my head and rollin my eyes* Honey…that money went down the drain. But Electrology is an investment that has been so transformative and WORTH IT. And Elizabeth does a good job making sure I don’t look like someone socked me in the face by the time I leave her office. And since the beginning, she’s been saying, “Salisha, PLEASE let me get your upper lip. That mustache is killing me girl!” LOL! And I have put it off and put it off for years, figuring it’s so easy to wax by myself.
But you know what? When I forget to wax it, it’s just chillin on my face. And you know who has to look at that? Andrew. My sweet, hot boyfriend, Andrew. And he would NEVER say anything about it. But I know he sees it. I know he’s secretly like, “Dang Salish. It’s blowin in the breeze. Please babygirl, get rid of it.” So, *deep breath* I am FINALLY taking the necessary steps to destroy the mustache, one follicle at a time.
I asked Elizabeth to come onto my podcast so we could talk about it. I’m not the expert after all. She is! But she said, “No, Salisha. I am BOOKED.” (And she is. The waiting list to get in is cray but also-worth it.) But I am mainly writing about this just to say: Having unwanted facial hair is so not fun but also so SO common. Sometimes if your hormones are out of whack, or you just lost a bunch of weight (or gained), or if you’re having a baby, or if something else may be going on, it may cause unwanted hair in peculiar places. You aren’t alone. You aren’t weird. Instead of suffering in silence, know that there is a long term solution out there. The short term solutions like plucking, waxing, shaving, etc. get the job done for right NOW. Laser can work too. But for me, Electrolysis gave me my confidence back and helped me feel SO much better about what I saw in the mirror long term (in addition to also getting my hormones back on track). Not to mention, if someone touches my face, I won’t shrink away anymore. And as far as pain goes, I mean it doesn’t feel GREAT, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. It feels like…a little pinch. (I mean…okay. I applied numbing cream today LOL.) It might be worth it to save up and make it a priority for a few months if you know that when it’s gone—you’ll have the confidence to take over the world.