Body hair has been one of my biggest obstacles throughout my life. I’m Indian, light-skinned and blessed, or maybe cursed, with thick, Desi hair. I wouldn’t have minded if it chose to stick to my head but instead, it basically plagues my entire body.
I have PCOS, which leads to hirsutism, which is basically excessive hair growth in certain areas of the body. As a teen, my mum noticed my irregular hair growth and had me bleaching the hair on my face. It didn’t make much of a difference, and I became extremely self-conscious.
The hair everywhere else is easier to hide but having it on my face was hard to deal with since I couldn’t really hide my face. So, I grew out my locks and hid behind my hair. After some time, my sister introduced me to waxing. I loved it. My skin would feel so soft and clean afterward, my spots would clear away and it was basically heaven. Well, at least for a few days before it started to grow up back.
That’s the thing about waxing, you have to actually let the hair grow back to get it waxed again.
I began to get my face waxed every 10 days.
I became immune to any pain that came with it. The days where I couldn’t go to get it waxed or it over-grew were awful. I was so insecure that I wouldn’t want to leave my house, I didn’t even want my family to see me, so I’d stay in my room. I’d miss important events just because I didn’t want to be seen.
I would eventually get frustrated at myself, and I really did begin to hate my body in those days.
The hair was just as bad all over the rest of me, I’d wear long sleeves and tried to cover up as much as I could. It was the beginning of a very insecure version of myself.
As I got older and became I guess, more of a feminist, I learned about the “love your body hair” movement and was intrigued. I tried to get myself in that mindset I really did, but it just made me feel so uncomfortable. I couldn’t bring myself to love my body hair. It made me feel less feminine and less beautiful. Not to mention that the increase of body hair brought along body acne with it, so it was hard to love something that was so ugly.
I felt like a false feminist for not embracing my body hair.
Then, I heard about laser hair removal. The idea of being able to permanently rid myself of hair was too good to pass up, so I went for a consultation. The clinic adviser explained that the hair removal would not work as well for me as it would on a normal person because of the PCOS.
I’d need more treatments, and it was possible that the hair wouldn’t permanently go away or that it may just not work on me.
Regardless, I thought it was worth the risk and I signed up. What I didn’t realize what that in between treatments and before the first one, I would have to shave my face. The thought made me shiver, I felt very unfeminine shaving my face daily but it would be was worth it.
I had one treatment every month, and the hair on my face started to reduce slowly. The treatments went well. She’d switch up the levels every time, so they did get more and more painful. But after years of waxing, I wasn’t really crying about it.
I’ve had around a year worth of laser hair removal treatments done on my face at this point. The hair isn’t completely gone, but realistically I didn’t expect it to have gone either. I have treatments just over every two months now but in between, there isn’t much hair growth.
The hair that grows is thin and small, additionally, the treatments cleared up any acne that I did have on my face.
I’m happy to admit that laser hair removal was the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve learned that I can be a feminist and still hate my body hair. Getting rid of it is a form of self-care and self-love, and it has changed things so much for me. I feel so much better about myself in general. I can look in the mirror and for once, not hate what I see.
For the first time in years, I sometimes dare to actually tie my hair up. It sounds normal but for me it’s revolutionary. I can show off my face without feeling extremely self-conscious. When I can afford to, I’m coming for the rest of my body hair too.
For now, I feel prettier, happier and way more confident.