Hair, Hair, every effing where

By Rachel Frank

Rachel is the beauty expert behind @rachelfrankbeauty and passionate about changing the discussion around beauty standards.

 
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I am proud of my culture and my people. We have fun weddings, extremely flavorful and exotic food, and music that will make anyone dance. Unfortunately, with all that comes lots of body hair.

Yes, I’m sure this is not just a brown girl problem, but growing up I felt like this was an issue because I was Indian. As a kid, my other friends didn’t nearly have as much body hair as me. And, as a daughter in a traditional Indian family, I was too embarrassed to talk about it with anyone. On top of that, I had no idea how to deal with it.

Let me set the stage. When I say I have a lot of hair, I mean it. I had a uni-brow, bushy eyebrows, a mustache (no, not peach fuzz), and an unfortunate amount of random chin hairs. So, to say the least, I am very hairy.

So what is a young and inexperienced girl to do? As a 14 year old, I decided the best solution was a GD razor and a secret hair removal session. Obviously, I couldn’t tell my mom who thinks I’m perfect and believes that I have no reason to be showing my legs off anyways. My mom did not understand that I was almost a teenager and boys were starting to smell less gross. Maybe I’d be married now with a family if you weren’t so restrictive and controlling…. I’m not bitter or anything.

Now imagine the horror I felt when I realized that not only is shaving hard, but you can’t shave your eyebrows and still look cute. After my mom caught me with my dad’s razor and thoughtfully lectured me with her shoe, she promised she would take me to her eyebrow lady, aka the goddess of hair removal. 

But first, I had to wait for my eyebrows to grow back. When that unsightly ordeal was over, I was finally able to get rid of that hair, in a better, professional way.

Since then, my go to facial hair removal method has been threading. Threading is the art of hair removal that pulls the hair from the follicle level using a cotton thread. Threading allows for precise shaping and hair removal. It is done without chemicals and therefore is much more gentle on the skin. And, in my opinion, is less painful than waxing. I normally get my eyebrows and upper lip threaded and I will pluck my chin hair as needed.

If you are interested in trying threading, here are a few things you should think about before going in:

  1. Find an expert. Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and go to someone you trust. The hardest part of threading is getting the shape right. After you have a shape you like and suits your face, it’s just maintaining from that point forward.

  2. If you have a shape you like and just need the stray hairs removed, be clear when you go to your beautician. Say “clean up only”. This way they know to leave the shape alone.

  3. Moisturize and clean your skin before you go. Make sure your hands are clean as well. Eyebrow threading is an interactive process that involves you holding your skin taut. 

  4. Try not to pluck in between threading sessions. It’s hard, I know, but beauty comes with a price.

  5. Lastly, who gives a damn about how much facial hair you have. You are beautiful and if you want to remove that hair, go for it, but you don’t need to.

I think the stigma of hair has changed a lot in the last decade. Eyebrows today are much bushier than when I was a kid, and the ideals of traditional beauty are ever changing. With influencers shedding light on the lack of diversity in beauty and brands taking an active role to provide more color ranges in foundations and updating their campaigns, I feel more empowered in my own skin (and hair), and I really hope you do too.