Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A sensitive issue

Lets talk about that bane of post-menopausal women - no, not men.  I mean facial hair. 

Last year, a TV broadcaster in NZ attracted complaints for referring to a person in the news as "that lady with a moustache".  More than once.  His offsider tried to hush him but he replied along the lines of "well, she obviously doesn't care about it so why shouldn't I mention it?".  While he later lost his job, it was for racially-based comments, not this occasion, so the TV network did not consider this overly insulting, just in poor taste.

Apart from losing my waistline, this is the most annoying thing I find about having gone through menopause.  The embarrassment of finding an errant stray hair that you simply hadn't noticed blooming freely somewhere on your chin or cheek for all to see is acute.

I am fascinated by women who do not remove their facial hair, and wonder why.  Is it too much trouble?  Too expensive?  Poor eyesight?  Or are they simply not bothered by it?

While I am in my mid-50s, I still try to look good for my own self-esteem, and to achieve that, I do wax my chin.  What are your thoughts about facial hair?


  1. In my case, the 'beard' has gotten worse with age (68). I now grow white whiskers mixed in with the long black ones. I've developed a habit of running my hand back and forth across my chin, always ready to pluck, in an effort to keep ahead of them. It may be that the women we see who still have whiskers have not developed this attractive habit or perhaps they have more important things to do?

  2. And don't those hairs just grow in so damn fast?

  3. I'm lucky in that I don't have many of the offensive hairs yet, but I keep vigilant and pluck when one appears. Besides checking in the mirror after washing my face in the morning, I, like SuSaw also do the frequent check with my fingers. I'm just so embarrassed when I realize I've missed one that either had an incredible growth spurt overnight or simply eluded my inspections. I think I cannot get out of my head the image described many times by my dad of an older relative of his who had a big hair growing out of a big mole on her face. Adults may not notice these things so much, but boy, kids sure do and can be quite cruel.

    There's a culture that removes women's facial hair as frequently as men shave - I can't remember if it's Indian or Pakistani, something like that. They use a method of removing with a taut string. One of these women had relocated to the U.S. and couldn't BELIEVE that we walked around with so much hair on our faces! I'm beginning to see her point! I know it sounds a bit superficial, but I do think these things matter up to a point. I'm not ready to totally let myself go.

  4. I have one hair that keeps growing on my throat. I call it my witch hair, and I make fun of it. I pluck it whenever it is big enough to be spotted, but otherwise, I wont let hair make me miserable :-)

  5. This note is rather on the gray hair subject.
    Anyway, the blog is well worth a visit!

  6. Ii turned 50 last summer and was told by my GP that I had already gone through the change some years earlier ! - hormone tests told him. So I did not have any issues then nor now with regard to facial hair as such. My issue is that my hair has fallen out from my eyebrows so they are an odd shape and I have lost hair from my armpits, legs and other intimate girly bits!! Thankfully I still have a full head of hair!! Odd or what!??

  7. It's so encouraging to read the comments and know I am not the only one with a 'hairy' problem. I haven't yet gone through menopause - help! Are you telling me those strays in my chin are going to get worse?

    I find I pick, pick and pick some more, and now I have a mark which I think has made its home permanently on just one part of my chin. I get told off for picking quite frequently - but oh the joy of getting a short, sharp, dark hair out.

    I used to have a lovely pair of tweezers from a Swiss army knife, but due to overuse I suspect - they broke. My fingernails just don't do the same job ... and other tweezers are too fat at the ends.

    Anna - are you telling me that maybe one day the hairs I don't need will drop out? I am excited about that. Waxing, using creams and the odd epilady shave (ouch) all start to cost.

    However facial hair is something I don't want to make friends with.

    Thanks for all your words of encouragement.

  8. In addition to the hormonal effects of the "ageing woman", my problem was made worse by my GP. He changed my prescription for anti-hypertensive medication to something he said was new and would be more effective. It was called Minadex and, having been withdrawn shortly afterwards it was repackaged and remarketed as Regaine, for hair loss. It didn't lower my blood pressure, but it did encourage my facial hair!