Not by the Hair of My Chinny-Chin-Chin

In honor of No Shave November, I thought this would be an appropriate topic to bring up.

1-BeardedLady-600As I got to that “certain age,” somewhere between menstrual cramps and hot flashes, I was prepared for things like lip lines, upper arm fat and the fold of blubber that shows up right under your butt. But somehow, someone along the way forgot to warn me of one of the other scourges of aging: Chin hairs.

The first time one of those suckers appeared, I thought it was an anomaly: an eyebrow hair that fell out of my forehead and reimplanted in a pore on my chin. But as I got further into my 40’s and more and more of those hairs appeared, I realized that some dormant hair follicle gene from one of my ancestors who lived during the  Neolithic period had been awakened and if I didn’t do something drastic, I was either going to start to resemble the bearded lady from the circus or a Yeti.

Just to clarify, I am neither a hairy person nor particularly masculine, so the sudden appearance of these evil chin hairs was kind of a surprise.  That being the case, when things started to get noticeably fuzzy, I made an appointment to see my dermatologist to make sure I hadn’t developed some kind of little known chin hair disease, and also to figure out how to get rid of the darn things.

As my doctor peered at my chin with her magnifying mirror and oohed and aahed at my goatee, I wondered if she was going to diagnose my condition or just take pictures and sell them to the National Enquirer.

“So what’s the deal?” I finally asked.

“You definitely have chin hair,” she remarked. I glared at her and wondered if I was actually going to have to pay money for this observation.

beard“I wasn’t really coming for confirmation,” I explained. “I was coming for a solution.”

“Well, it’s definitely hormonal.  As your estrogen level drops you get an increase of dihydrotestosterone in the hair follicle and that causes increased hair growth in places like your chin and upper lip.”

“Yeah,” I sighed. “Not really caring about the cause, either.  Just want to know how to get rid of them before my kids look at my husband and me and start to wonder which one of us is their dad.”

“Well, you can laser, wax, use depilatories, or try electrolysis, but with all of those, you have to wait for a certain amount of hair growth before you can remove it.”

“So, you’re saying I have to get really hairy before I can get unhairy,” I wondered.

She nodded.

“Any other options?” I asked.

She shook her head.

“Sometimes you just have to say, ‘pluck it.’

©2013, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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16 Comments

Filed under Growing old ungracefully

16 responses to “Not by the Hair of My Chinny-Chin-Chin

  1. I have very long one that just won’t go away! Ever.

  2. These hairs have been the bane of my existence lately. I spend more time in front of my magnifying mirror than my computer lately. Some people suggested shaving, which I tried and it worked beautifully until I started breaking out. So now I’m back to plucking. I live in fear of missing a big black hair and going out and everyone will see it but nobody will say anything.

  3. Oh, gawd… this is ME! And I’ve got a ways to go before I hit 40. It started earlier this year. I’ve had bloodwork done and my estrogen level is FINE. Why, why, why? I carry tweezers in my purse!

  4. Cute story, Tracy. My chin is good, it’s my mustache that makes me cringe. My hair stylist loves the extra waxing appointment and resulting tip. sd

  5. Nice to know I’m not the only one!

  6. I’d rather say “pluck it” than dihydrotestosterone. My sister once asked a close, make rellie considering a beard why he would cultivate on his face what already grows wild on his behind. Not sure how she knew he had a hirsute hiney……. May your chin hairs be blond and short. Or invisible

  7. Ha! Some of mine are white. You can still see them! Erg!!

  8. Gotta appreciate an oh-so-helpful dermatologist. While maybe not as traumatizing as chin hairs, as I have started into my forties, I suddenly have an overabundance of nose and eyebrow hair. Not to worry though. Taking care of it. All the Missus had to do was casually mention that my eyebrows were making me look like Grandpa on the Munsters! Pluck on Sister!