Two days ago I ventured into the bizarre world of facial hair.  Not growing it.  I’ve been doing that for years, unfortunately.  I’m talking about removing it.  Specifically, removing it with hot wax.  I had managed to put that beauty procedure off for as long as I could, but I am now somewhere between those women who enjoy a unibrow, and those who join circuses.

There was no way around it, I was going to have to start mowing.

Perusing my options, I saw wax strips, hot sugar wax treatments, and some kind of little mystery pad.  One side seems to “crystallize the hair” while the other side buffs it off.  Personally, I suspect some desperate housewife invented it by crossing a dog grooming glove with a brillo pad.    No thank you. 

‘No thank you’ to the sugar wax as well.  According to the box’s warnings, if not heated properly, it becomes a cross between a fattening dessert and bubbling lava.  If the resultant scarring stopped hair growth, then I would consider it, but I have seen too many hairy warts on people to hope for the best.

That left the wax strips.  According to the box, the results last up to 8 weeks.  All you do is warm the plastic encased smear of wax between your hands, peel plastic strips apart, stick them on the hair to be removed, and rip off.  It sounded the least damaging, so I bought some and took them home.  

Once home, I opened the box and read the instructions.  Apparently, stupid people have been known to use these strips as well.  There were warnings  not to use them in your nose.  Since I had no intention of doing that, I skipped on to the directions.

For best results, it read, hair to be removed should be at least one fourth inch long.

EXCUSE ME?  Do they know how long a fourth of an inch is?

If you have to get to that state before you can wax, why bother?

Direction #5 also caused me concern:  If strip is used on old people, skin may come off when pulled. 

I tried it anyway.

It was as effective as a strip of scotch tape.  As effective as scotch tape, but with messy repurcussions.  Not only did it leave every hair still in place, it left the wax as well.  Now my unwanted hair was encased in a shiny shell that not even tweezers could penetrate.  Encased and fused to my skin.  I looked like I had groomed with a block of cold lard, then sprayed my face with hair spray. 

Hot water didn’t get it off.  Scalding water did not remove it.  Neither did nail polish remover.  I stopped short of using Rit’s crayon and wax remover for fabric, and settled on rubbing it off with an eraser.

Well, it’s back to turbo tweezing for me . . . 

And now, let me leave you with a far more disturbing picture than the one my words painted –

Do you have any of your own ‘hair-raising’ grooming tales you want to share?  Remember, to leave a comment, click on the ‘Comments’ tag at the end of this blog, and don’t forget to check out the latest (unbelievable!) Photoblog on the right.  Just put your cursor over the picture to read the caption, or click on one if you want to leave your comment.

And now, to watch a funny video that has absolutely nothing to do with the blog (thank goodness) – click on the link below and watch with the sound up:

Have fun!

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  1. Kippy says:

    My Daddy takes a pair of toenail clippers and trims the long hairs around my mouth.

  2. Snuffygump says:

    They don’t make it like they used to! Ten years ago was the last time that I was able to purchase the now old fashioned hot wax hair removal goo. This stuff had to be melted down on the stove top, then carefully cooled enough so as to not sustain a 3rd degree burn. A double wide, wooden popsicle stick is used to apply it to say, the mustache area. Then once you have counted out slowly and out loud, the recommended time to let it harden over, and I mean it HARDENS, then you close your eyes, hold your breath and let ‘er rip. This action is enough to drop you to your knees, involuntary tears streaming down your cheeks. But it worked. Holding your mustache strip up close under the bathroom light, it is amazing to see a forest of more hairs than you ever could see with the naked eye. You notice that I am not speaking of this old fashioned wax in the past tense? That is because I still have in my possession the bulk of the original wax slab. I ration it. I allow myself to use it once a year, for a certain convention. Why they took it off the market for all of the other products that DO NOT WORK, who knows? I think that we can both recommend to all, DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY on the new stuff.
    Another gross hair eye opener for me was when a dear friend handed me one of those 10x mirrors and told me to look at my face. I was flabbergasted…….mortified that I had been walking amongst people while looking like the kind of woman that I usually pity. The kind that wear hairnets and thick support hose. Thinking that I am soooo well groomed! What I saw with that first look made me panic, and then worry. What have people been saying? “Poor SnuffyGump, she used to be kinda cute, but have you seen her lately? Why doesn’t she buy some wax?
    I definately bought a giant 10x mirror!

  3. Kippy says:

    My Daddy wanted me to tell you that he hasn’t used the toenail clippers to trim my mustache in a long time. He wants you to know he uses the little nose hair scissors instead.

  4. Thea says:

    Kippy, tell your daddy that I’m proud of him for not using wax strips in HIS nose, otherwise, he wouldn’t have those little scissors in his possession.
    And for not using wax strips on your face :)

  5. Thea says:

    Snuffygump, I remember those tubs of industrial wax hair remover on tv commercials. It looked like people making pudding from scratch.
    Yeah, I don’t need a magnifying mirror. I can see all of mine just fine when I get in the car and look in my plain old rearview. If you open the ash tray in my Subaru, you will find a pair of tweezers.

  6. Slarty says:

    Thea Wan-Chih, did your wax not come with the wax remover? Most of them do. It is a much easier way to remove the excess wax. Also, did you warm the wax enough? Usually, if I don’t get it warm enough it doesn’t take all of the hair, but once it is warm enough it all comes right off. Don’t try the little rubbing pads. My mom tried them…they take the hair off, but it makes your skin pretty sensitive. I’ve never heard of sugar wax. Strange. One time I used the really big strips to take the hair off of my arms. I only did that once. One time my mom used the hot wax on her armpits. It took her 45 minutes to get off. 45 minutes and a lot of sweat. Apparently that HURTS! When I was younger and wanted my lip waxed I would have my mom do it for me. I would have to lay on the floor with my head on a pillow and she would countdown for me. When she got to one I would hold my breath, close my eyes very tightly, and squeal. I’ve gotten tougher since then. Now, I just slap the strip on, rub it on a little, and yank it off.

  7. Samudra says:

    Unfortunately, I have nothing humorous to say about this dilemma. However, I DO have a suggestion: Jolen or Sally Hansen “creme” bleach for facial hair. Back when I was pretending to be a redhead I even used a bit on my eyebrows although the directions say not to. Bleach doesn’t eliminate a mustache, but it does make it blond, and thus less evident. My poor little Mama got electrolysis, a few hairs at a time. I have heard that electrolysis is more painful than a tattoo, although I don’t know if the person who told me this had gotten both for purposes of comparison. As for eyebrows, I pull them out with my fingernails when I’m anxious, then finish up the job with tweezers and the 10x mirror. BTW, don’t believe the 10x mirror. You don’t really look like that to other people, because they don’t have 10x vision. There’s also a little shaver thing you can buy, not to mention facial versions of Nair and Neet & other removers that warn you not to get them in your eyes, but denuding yourself of facial hair means it grows back as stubble. (Think Randy’s face before he shaves.) Therefore I recommend going with tweezers for the brows and bleach for the ‘stache.

  8. Purplume says:

    Ah facial hair, why is it that a single thick white hair sticking out of your face will get you labeled as a bearded woman?
    Thank you for posting that info about older people may have their skin come off. I have been unable to get myself to have a waxing for a few years now since I so realistically envisioned that happening. Now that I see it in print, I will never overcome this fear.
    It’s ok according to my 10X mirror I need to go out in public in a burka.
    Why is it all the hairs show up so well in the car. The epitome of pitches for a good mirror would not be like sunlight but rather, like what you see in your car. Maybe they should say what you see in your car expanded. I have glanced at myself in my rear view and then happily gone off to meeting with clips in my hair at the top of my head. Clips that I would not have gone off to a meeting in and clips that left me wondering why everyone kept looking at the top of my head.
    At least age gets you some excuses without even asking for them.

  9. Thea says:

    Ah, Slarty… words of wisdom! If I actually made money at writing, I would hire you to be my beauty consultant.
    It is entirely possible that my package came with wax remover and that I never saw it… So I just now checked. Nope. Only wax strips and an after-waxing-minimize-the-resultant-scarring potion. Is that the wax remover, by any chance? If it is, you would think that if the manufacturers who thought it necessary to tell people not to put the hot strips up their nose would think it was necessary to label things accurately.
    And as to getting it warm enough, I thought I did. I tried it more than once just to make sure – hence, the wax all over my face… Now that I think about it, I might have accidentally invented a new facial procedure. This morning my skin looks as clear and smooth as a baby’s… Or maybe that is melted epidermis… I don’t know. We’ll see what I look like tomorrow. :)
    And as to your mom waxing her armpits, and you waxing when you were younger, all I can say is YOUR MOM IS A VERY BRAVE WOMAN! And you definitely take after her! :D

  10. Thea says:

    Samudra, I can’t even picture your Mama getting electrolysis. :) She was too petite, dainty, and gracious to grow something as inconsiderate as a moustache. I’ve never tried electrolysis, except the info-mercial, home-kit kind. Apparently, it didn’t work, but I still hang on to it… like some kind of talisman… Somewhere in the back of my mind is the thought that I will wake up one morning with chest hair and my home electrolysis kit will be the miracle that saved me. I’m keeping the creeping werewolf at bay by hiding the kit under the scarves in my vanity.
    Well… you never know…
    I tried the bleach route before too… until this complete stranger in Florida gave me a big grin and informed me that I have a big blonde moustache. Apparently it was glinting in the Florida sun. I acknowledged his remark, then told him that I’m soon going to have to do something else to take care of it besides bleaching. He advised me not to, saying that God gave me that moustache, and that it was beautiful. I wanted to tell him that the beef from Winn Dixie probably gave me the moustache, not God, but I restrained myself, vowing to go home and shave it off with my husband’s electric razor.
    I did.
    Hence my trouble now…
    (Actually, I’m considering going the bleach route again… The sun in Arkansas isn’t quite as bright…)

  11. Thea says:

    Purplume, your comment still has me grinning :D… I’m sorry about solidifying your waxing-old-people fears. But you are not old. I think they’re talking about people with skin so flappy and loose, one good tug and it comes off the bone like a crock-pot chicken.
    As to why car rearviews are so much more revealing, I’ve actually stopped my random thoughts to consider it on occasion. I think it is because one is surrounded by a curve of window, and then the dash throws up the reflected light. I’ve stopped wondering what my neighbors are thinking when I get in the car, tilt the rearview, and start grooming. I used to wonder if they thought I was making like a monkey and picking off nits. Once, when one college boy came out of his house and stared at me (I’m the oldest resident on my full-of-college-kids street), I considered putting the tip of the tweezers in my mouth, but didn’t, deciding I needed to “play nice”. It’s not kind to traumatize children.
    You might be on to something, though. Maybe car manufacturers need to give us more than one interior mirror. Maybe just a little one behind us and one above our heads so we can all groom properly…

  12. Samudra says:

    Golden hair glowing in the sun? Sounds to ME like a gift from God, even if it IS on your lip. Compare to large shadow of Levantine nose cast upon cheek by sun! From whom do you suppose THAT gift comes?

  13. Thea says:

    Samudra, you’re really cracking me up :D :D :D

  14. Slarty says:

    Well, I dont remember the name of the potion I used being that long. My little potion was blue, and I always used it to remove the excess wax. I wonder, now, if that was even its purpose. I’m pretty sure it was. It always took the wax off for me. The Veet brand had finishing pads. I am almost positive they were to wipe the extra wax off, so I just figured that’s what the blue oily liquid was for also. Thanks for the blog. It has reminded me that I am way past due for a waxing. I’d rather not be confused for Sasquatch.

  15. Lisa Bauer says:

    I have laughter tears rolling down my cheek…play nice!…Jack comes into the office & says,”What are you doing?”

  16. Thea says:

    What are you doing? :D
    He probably wasn’t sure if you were laughing or crying.
    Love it ! :)

  17. Thea says:

    Slarty… Blue oily liquid… maybe I should have used Crisco to get it off…. Hmmm…

    And you couldn’t look like Sasquatch if you tried :)

  18. Curly Head says:

    Haha last time lext waxed my lip, She got some in my nose. I screamed

  19. Thea says:

    And I’m screaming just thinking about it.

  20. Elmo says:

    I don’t have any hair. But I hate it when my mammy makes me take a bath. Once a year my mammy puts me in a pillowcase and ties it shut. Then she throws me in the washing machine. Then after that I have to go round and round in the dryer. I just hate that!

  21. Thea says:

    Wow, Elmo! I would hate that too! (Too bad you didn’t get a chance to tell us this before I got to introduce you to all the readers :) )
    But your mammy must love you very much to tie you up in a pillowcase first! She doesn’t want anything to snag your lovely eyeballs!

  22. Kipper says:

    Auntie Thea! My Daddy has saved the day!!! I wish I had more grooming stories, but I already told all of them. Now, If you had a blog about experiences of losing your head or your tail, or having to have your mammy sew your mouth back on, I’ve got bucket loads of those kind of stories!

  23. Slarty Cheeks says:

    Yay! It’s fixed! And now I have forgotten what my comment was going to be before I realized the comment box was gone. Hmmm…Isn’t that sad. I thought memory loss was supposed to come later in life. Oh well. I hope it comes back to me!

  24. Elmo says:

    Auntie Thea, do ya want me to send you a cookie?

  25. Thea says:

    Hello, guys! Been playing catch up after flu :0I
    I’m back :)
    Elmo, cookies make me happy too!

Comments are closed.