I am very hairy.
Over the course of my teenage years, pants, long-sleeved shirts, opaque stockings and ankle length skirts were all my confidantes. I wasn’t sure whether it was prudishness or fear of public exposure of my unfortunate condition that made me disfavor shorts, sheer blouses and cute little dresses. Such articles of clothing were things I looked at wistfully in stores before heading to the frumpy section and sometimes, the boys’ section. I felt I was not allowed to feel or dress feminine with all that hair on my body.
Given the thickness of my savanna-like body hair, shaving was not really made for me. The hairs used to grow back so fast that a visible, prickly stubble would appear the very next day. When I grew a little older, I took up waxing, but still, I had to make peace with the ugly dots that every hair left behind upon being pulled out.
I have never met a girl that is hairier than I am and I have been with guys who are smoother than me, like way smoother. It was a weird and depressing situation; I thought I was the only one like this. Consequently, I felt an obligation to conform to the “norm” and never let my secret slip out.
I remember one of my girlfriends hitting me one time with this astonishing bit of gossip. With complete and utter disgust, she spilled the rumor that some group of allegedly cool girls had been wearing short skirts over hairy legs and were turning it into a trend.
I couldn’t tell if it was true, but the first thing I thought to myself was ”Wow! There are others?” I secretly hoped that her tale was true, that hairy limbs would finally come into fashion so I could feel not only normal but also hip and happening. I mean I was naturally equipped for that!
But if I’d managed to keep my body covered most of the time, my face always gave me away.
Before getting laser hair removal, I used to be too self-conscious and sometimes apologetic about my facial hair. If there was too much light in the room, I would feel insecure, and if someone did a double-take on my chin, I’d feel embarrassed, as if I had committed a crime.
So, I would plan my life around when my skin would be the smoothest. If I had just removed the hair, I’d feel free to go anywhere I wanted, but as the hairs started growing back, I’d start minimizing contact with the world to the point of disappearance. I would remain in hibernation mode until the hairs are long enough to be removed, after which I could continue living my life normally.
I felt it was my fault if I couldn’t keep every little hair on my body and face in check, which is an impossible thing to do when your hormones are plotting against you.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that my once inexplicable hairiness is a symptom of an endocrine disorder I have, namely, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS – a nasty condition where your hormones are permanently all over the place. Approximately 5-10% of women who are of childbearing age suffer from the syndrome, and about 30% of women exhibit some symptoms of PCOS.
I am lucky to exist in a time of laser hair removal. It minimized the hair on my legs by at least 75 percent, which is more than I ever wanted. The same results are true for my face, but I have to continue lasering it off till God knows when because my hair keeps growing back, unlike normal people.
Scientists have not discovered a cure for PCOS yet and the reasons for the disorder appear to be not fully understood. But, it can be managed by drug treatment or through adopting a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle, which is what I am trying to do now because I believe in going natural.
So, if you are a very hairy girl like me, chances are that something might be wrong with your hormones. Early diagnosis and treatment will help keep your hormones in check, control these nasty symptoms, and most importantly, prevent you from having potential health problems in the future.