What Are We Doing About Our Facial Hair?


I pluck my chin hairs, Nair the hairs on my upper lip, and sometimes, when I’m really frustrated and can’t get a good light or the right handle on a particularly thin strand, I just shave my whole face. Fine!!! Secret’s out!!!! Are you happy now, New York Times Style section?!?!!?

Makeup artists are actually responsible for facial hair on sets, so back in beauty school we sat through entire classes devoted to tactfully and gracefully removing stray eyebrow, lip, chin, and cheek hairs, as well as filling in beards and artfully applying fake stubble for men. It went without saying that if we saw a hair on a woman’s face we would remove it. At the time, I probably had to Nair my upper lip every few weeks; since then I’ve been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and the hormones make my hair grow at a truly wild pace. I think I pluck every two days, on average, and recently I bought a TRAVEL-SIZED TWEEZER to carry IN MY PURSE because I was so AFRAID of finding a stray hair and having someone see it and, I don’t know, decide they don’t like me anymore?

That’s the real fear running through this article on women who shave their facial hair: that men will see it and not love them anymore. It’s not even subtext. It’s actually said quite overtly!

Michelle Money, who appeared on “The Bachelor,” made a YouTube video about shaving her face. “I don’t care who you are, ladies, you have hair on your face,” she says in the video, which has had more than 251,000 views. “Men don’t like it. Get rid of it.”

Men don’t like it. Get rid of it. Like, pardon my French, but go fuck yourself, men who don’t like seeing a stray chin hair!! One of the hottest women I’ve ever met had a proud mustache and slight beard; as always, let me please state for the record that the only thing that matters w/r/t physical appearance are what makes you feel most confident, every choice you make is beautiful and perfect, hair is a natural part of being a human being and it’s yours to do what you want with it.

If you DO choose to remove your facial hair, I did learn something in beauty school that contradicts this New York Times article: we were taught not to shave that “peach fuzz” on a woman’s face because it was too delicate for a razor and would irritate the skin. I’ve only done it when I was really frustrated and immediately regretted it. So, I mean, if you’re shaving and it doesn’t seem to be irritating you, go for it, who cares. I might try the olive oil trick mentioned in the article because I am a lemming.

BUT if you do pluck the most important thing to remember is to create a taut surface around the hair: put two fingers on either side of the hair to be removed and pull the skin as tightly as you can as you pluck it out. This will allow the tweezers to really rip the hair right out of the follicle, instead of just superficially removing the hair that rests on top of the face. I think we were told that would make the hair grow back slower, but this seems scientifically inaccurate, so, whatever.

What do you think about your facial hair? Is it glorious? If you remove it, what’s your preferred method?