Pharos-Tribune

Columns

March 28, 2013

FREY: Unnoticed battle begins

I had never given much thought to facial hair until six years ago.

It was a bright, sunny day in the middle of summer. My son Charles and I were standing on the backyard deck having a pleasant conversation about a topic which has long since been forgotten.

He was 10. I was 49.

I noted that the conversation turned quiet, and my son, who was staring intently at my face, more specifically at my upper lip, and squinting his eyes, made the following declaration: “Mom, you have whiskers.”

I am not sure I liked that statement.

Even worse, how was it that I had not noticed the whiskers, but my son had. Who else, pray tell, had noticed the whiskers (guffawed out loud in their minds perhaps), ignored the situation, and said nothing?

The whisker revelation got me thinking about my eye sight. Clearly, I was missing a few things while cleaning, exfoliating, moisturizing, and applying make-up to my face each morning.

So, post haste, I ran into the bathroom, grabbed my daughter’s magnified mirror, and began inspecting the unwanted facial hair.

Much to my chagrin, they were really there. Whiskers, I tell you, similar in nature to what a cat would sport, only not quite as long. They were black. They were nubby. They were nasty looking. I also found a few of them lurking on and under my chin. It was alarming.

When had this disturbing turn of events taken place? How was it I had not noticed?

In the wee hours of the night when all in the house were asleep, I crept into the computer room, quietly sat down, and began my quest to conquer the whisker situation. Here is what I learned.

The problem itself is called the management of unwanted facial hair, a frustrating and embarrassing condition, which, according to varying statistics, affects between 25 and 40 percent of women worldwide. Epilation is the removal of hair from under the surface of the skin. Depilation is the removal of hair from the surface only.

The most awkward of hair removal systems, it would seem, is delapitories (which sounds like lavatories, and therefore, not so good), and involves smothering the area with a harsh alkaline cream and then washing away the broken pieces of hair.

The oldest is threading, an ancient and somewhat archaic method originating in the Middle East and India, whereby a thin cotton string is attached to the unwanted hairs and then yanked out of the face.

Waxing, seemingly the most painful of methods, involves painting the upper lip with a blazing hot resin-base wax. The hairs, which permanently attach to the wax, are then quickly ripped off the face in one fell swoop.

Laser hair removal sounds just like what it does, and involves an intense, pulsating beam of light that destroys the unwanted hair and hair follicles. Darth Vader comes to mind. Need I say more?

And finally, there is the old-fashioned razor and shaving cream method, recommended highly by Dr. Oz. This is the method I initially chose for the management of my unwanted facial hair. Sadly enough, my husband’s shaving cream broke my face out. Which was yet another problem.

Here is what I now know.

The least painful and least expensive way to remove facial hair is to pluck them out with tweezers.

And unless you are a man, I encourage you to put the razor and shaving cream away. Oh yes, and purchase a new pair of glasses.

Alvia Lewis Frey is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at alewisfrey@aol.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • KITCHELL: Tax bills show what smoke & mirrors don't There's a price to be paid for the decline in what we call civic engagement -- and local property taxpayers are paying that price. In case you haven't received your 2014 Cass County property tax statement yet, be prepared for a bit of sticker shock w

    April 23, 2014

  • MARCUS: Illinois brings joy to Indiana From the email this week, I sensed a profound need by Hoosiers to find joy in the problems of Illinois. Our neighbors to the west are fighting their way through a mess of their own making. They have forced themselves to raise taxes and cut services t

    April 22, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Wait a minute here — what did I just sign? When Dr. Sam said, "You've got the prostate of a 16-year-old," it was hard to keep from beaming. This must be how a woman feels when a complete stranger tells her she has a beautiful baby. Well, maybe not quite. Still, it was hard not to feel proud o

    April 22, 2014

  • LYONS: How we devalued the 'R' word At the risk of angering somebody like MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, I sometimes used to joke that I only look white. Actually, I'm Irish. Meaning basically that I wasn't raised to think the man in the big house had all the answers, nor deserved all t

    April 21, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards. That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation

    April 21, 2014

  • KNISELY: Adventures in cat spaying If you're a regular reader of this column, you know I have a cat. I got the cat to deal with the mice. Even if you only pop in on this column from time to time, you still likely know I have mice and that I hate them. I complain about it quite regular

    April 20, 2014

  • GUTWEIN: Strengthening Indiana for Hoosier veterans America's legacy was built on the foundation created by our brave service men and women. Whether they defended our nation's borders overseas or assisted Hoosiers during the harsh winter months, we need to do everything we can to make Indiana the best

    April 20, 2014

  • CEPEDA: Baseball's sacred temple Call it a character defect, but I don't like baseball. And I especially don't like the Chicago Cubs -- losers I never found lovable. I grew up less than a mile west of Wrigley Field and games there represented summer-long inconveniences such as midda

    April 20, 2014

  • HOWEY: Doctors Brown and Bucshon become seekers Seated across the table from me at Cafe Patachou were Drs. Tim Brown and Larry Bucshon. Dr. Bucshon was a heart surgeon from Newburgh. Dr. Brown is an emergency room physician from Crawfordsville. What made this breakfast meeting extraordinary is tha

    April 20, 2014

  • WOLFSIE: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 18, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.