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Why didn’t anyone tell me chin hair is part of aging?
I had no idea women randomly sprout dark hairs on or under their chin as they grow older. Sometimes these awkward strands grow long and wiry before I notice them. I thought I was alone with this issue, but learned recently it’s common in women in my stage of life. Changing hormones are the problem, less estrogen to balance out the testosterone. I’ve had lightly colored and barely noticeable peach fuzz on my face and chin as long as I can remember, but these course dark strands that emerge seemingly overnight are a different story. Ugh. Someone should have warned me.
Why I really hate chin hair.
This issue is a major source of anxiety for me. If chin hair is not uncommon in women, why am I so embarrassed about it? Is it because our culture considers facial hair normal for men, but freakish for women? I admit I spend vast amounts of time ridding my face of these whiskers. I obsessively inspect my chin on a daily basis, using a 10x magnifying mirror, working diligently to remove every last one. I search high and low, both online and in person, for the perfect tweezers. I pluck the hairs by first digging in gingerly, then I grab them by the root so they don’t grow back. Those pesky hairs are just so satisfying to pluck. Thankfully, contrary to popular belief, no scientific evidence exists to back up claims that doing so makes these hairs grow back thicker.
Who will be your designated “tweezer”?
I asked a trusted friend to be my designated “tweezer” in the event I am unable to pluck these nasty hairs myself. This is an important job, one that needs to be taken seriously. I worry that if for some reason I cannot pluck and pull the unsightly growth for a few days due to a hospitalization or whatever, the hair will grow out of control. As long as I can pluck and pull to my heart’s content, my chin hair remains my sad little secret. But life happens, and I’m not ready to share it with the world. The next best thing is to have a “back-up”, preferably another female who struggles similarly.
Are magnifying mirrors to blame?
My doctor dismisses my complaints as trivial because facial hair poses no health risk and is a normal part of aging for females. She is very kind, but firm in her belief that chin hair is not worth losing sleep over. She theorizes that magnifying mirrors contribute greatly to the problem. It is unfortunate that women often start to experience facial hair just as their eyesight starts to go, she says, at which point they use magnifying mirrors to apply make-up – and these larger than life reflections highlight every new growth. I know she’s right, but still the facial hair bothers me. Her advice? Stand at arms length in front of a regular mirror. Put on your glasses if needed. If you can’t see hair on your chin that way, chances are no one else sees them either.
The bottom line
Chin hair is a common and natural, albeit annoying, part of aging for women; why not talk frankly with the next generation so they are not surprised by how their bodies change? No one shared these challenges with me and I wish someone had. Would I pluck less obsessively today if I knew what was coming? Probably not, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone.
For now, my tweezer remains my best friend. My 10x magnifying mirror, not so much.
Originally published 1.13.2020