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#51054 - 04/16/08 05:38 AM Is it still really bad to pluck 3 or 4 chin hairs?
hopelessandhairy Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 51
Having read many threads on this forum, I know about the risks of plucking, especially on the female face. But is it really that big a deal when we are talking about a small amount of hairs, such as 3 or 4 chin hairs that all grow out at different times (so only 1 or maybe 2 need plucking at once)? I don't have much in the way of facial hair, but I do have a couple dark, thick hairs that grow out on my chin. I usually pluck them because it takes about 2 seconds and I don't have to worry about it for weeks. I would really rather keep plucking, because if I shave I will have to do it way more often, and you can still see the dark spot under the skin. I would also rather not use delapitory creams because they are messy, and I don't want to take the normal female peach fuzz off my chin.

So, is it still a big deal if I just pluck 1 or 2 chin hairs every couple weeks? I don't really care if the hairs themselves grow back thicker, since I am plucking them anyway. But I don't want more hairs to grow in the area as a result of plucking. I am on anti-androgens so hormonal stimulation should not be an issue once the meds take full effect. I know electrolysis would be a great solution for these hairs and I am sure I will get them done when I get electrolysis on other areas (sometime in the not-so-near future). But, in the meantime-- is plucking really a horrible idea?

Edited by hopelessandhairy (04/16/08 05:39 AM)

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#51059 - 04/16/08 01:08 PM Re: Is it still really bad to pluck 3 or 4 chin hairs? [Re: hopelessandhairy]
dfahey Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 9237
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
I think it is okay for just a few hairs, but do seriously consider electrolysis when you are ready. It would really be no big deal or a huge effort. I would consider it being like what I do when I remove hairs from a facial mole. To describe this, it's a couple to several short appointments spread out over a year to reflect the hair growth cycle of ALL the hairs that are really present inside the mole, but unfortunately those hairs do not show up at the same time. It would not be costly.

Dee Fahey, R.N., C.T.
Licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio for Nursing license and Cosmetic Therapy/Electrolysis license

British Institute & Association of Electrolysis

#51060 - 04/16/08 01:26 PM Re: Is it still really bad to pluck 3 or 4 chin hairs? [Re: dfahey]
hopelessandhairy Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 51
Thanks dfahey. I do plan to get electrolysis on many other areas once I have my hormones balanced and have enough money for it. I figure it would be a very simple matter to just have the electrologist hit a chin hair or two while they are doing other areas on my body. But, it will be some time before I can start electrolysis, so in the meantime I'm trying to find the best temporary method. I am glad to hear that you think that plucking a few hairs is ok.

#51066 - 04/16/08 08:58 PM Re: Is it still really bad to pluck 3 or 4 chin hairs? [Re: hopelessandhairy]
LAgirl Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 9994
Loc: New York, NY
It's not that big of a deal for a couple hairs. Just keep in mind that for some people they may get more coarse with time and that every time you pluck, you're sending the hair into a 2-4 month dormancy period. Which means that you'll have to wait that long before it shows up again to get killed with electrolysis.

#51070 - 04/16/08 09:09 PM Re: Is it still really bad to pluck 3 or 4 chin hairs? [Re: LAgirl]
hopelessandhairy Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 51
Thanks lagirl. I don't really care if the hairs I am plucking get coarser, because I never plan to let them grow out, so it doesn't matter much to me. As long as new hairs don't get stimulated to grow, that's fine. I do know about how plucking affects the hair cycles, and I will definitely take that into mind once I start electrolysis. But, I think it will be easy, since I plan to get electrolysis on other areas and maybe get the chin hairs treated as an afterthought, so I can just get them whenever they come up, in the course of my regular electrolysis. So I don't think it will be as much of a problem as it would be if I was only getting electrolysis on those hairs.

#51074 - 04/16/08 11:41 PM Re: Is it still really bad to pluck 3 or 4 chin hairs? [Re: hopelessandhairy]
James W. Walker VII Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 8016
Loc: Buffalo NY, & Traveling the US...
One doesn't know if the hair will get thicker, distorted, stimulate additional hairs or some combination of some or all of those possibilities (and then some).

That is why it is recommended that one get electrolysis on such a few hairs. The appointments would be short, and the total cost would be small. You might want to do some underarm hair, eyebrow hair, or leg hairs to get a little more done with the time.
Electrolysis World Heavyweight Champion James W. Walker VII
Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan. --- Tom Landry
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#51077 - 04/16/08 11:53 PM Re: Is it still really bad to pluck 3 or 4 chin ha [Re: James W. Walker VII]
CoffeeGal Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 94
Only thing about plucking facial hair (take it from me) is that if you have a lot of free testosterone floating around in your blood or you have follicles that are sensitive to testosterone, plucking will make the testosterone-rich blood rush to the follicle from which you just plucked and possibly cause a terminal hair, as was mentioned. So just keep that in mind and pull gently! (less trauma)

One or two terminal hairs, no biggie. You just don't want those androgens affecting the follicles around the one you plucked, so don't pluck too many. Else you'll just end up with a face full!

#51078 - 04/17/08 12:03 AM Re: Is it still really bad to pluck 3 or 4 chin ha [Re: CoffeeGal]
hopelessandhairy Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 51
CoffeeGal, do you think that could still be a problem if I am on drugs that block androgen receptors? Once my Spiro really kicks in, my hairs should stop being able to respond so well to testosterone. I am hoping that means that the blood rushing to the area poses less of a risk.

#51080 - 04/17/08 12:12 AM Re: Is it still really bad to pluck 3 or 4 chin ha [Re: hopelessandhairy]
CoffeeGal Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 94
Technically, that is correct. As long as you don't have a whole lot of androgen in your blood, it should work that way. Spiro doesn't do as much for the free testosterone in the blood as it does for the receptors in the skin. So if you still have a bad hormone imbalance, think twice about doing too much plucking. Besides, if you're going to go to an electrologist, let her/him zap it for ya! That doesn't stimulate hair growth. Plucking does. Oh, if only I had known sooner!

#59973 - 02/17/09 04:35 AM Re: Is it still really bad to pluck 3 or 4 chin ha [Re: CoffeeGal]
Neily Offline

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 24
Loc: Ontario, Canada
This is my first post to the list. (And it's rather long, too. I hope that's OK.) I've been searching for a forum like this for a long time and I'm happy to find this.

I wanted to relate my own experiences about this. (A case of "Don't do what I did!")

Much like CoffeeGal, I also got into a lot of trouble with plucking. Had I known what I know now, I would have chosen to start electrolysis much earlier.

I'm a 53-year-old female and I've had a problem with excess body hair since I was 12 years old. By far the area that gives me the most problem, both physically and mentally, is my chin. I also have hair growth on my lip, but the hairs are lighter and finer there.

I started out with just a few stray hairs on my chin. This would have been in my early twenties. At the time, I was also getting my lip waxed every three months, and would have my eyebrows waxed about that often as well.

Those few hairs on my chin soon turned into six and then twelve. Before I knew it I was plucking two dozen. And then more.

I thought when I first started electrolysis that my chin area problem would be completely solved after a few sessions. That was not to be the case. (Not by a long shot.)

I've now been going to electrolysis for 17 years (once or twice a week). My problem is ten times worse than when I first started.

This is because I pluck in between electrolysis sessions. I just can't stand to feel and see the dark hair bristles growing on my chin. I feel so self-conscious and just can't face the world looking like that. (I also can't bear to shave. I just can't do it. It's too much like what a man does, and I would feel like too much of a freak doing it. I also think it might make my problem worse, and I just don't want to take the chance.)

My electrologist has suggested using nail scissors to trim down the hairs, so that I don't have to pluck. I've tried that, but I can still feel all the little nubs and bumps and it still looks unsightly on my face.

In order not to pluck at all I would need to have electrolysis every 2-3 days like clockwork. (My electrologist is removing about 150 hairs a week. That's when I've tried not to pluck as much in between.) It's just not possible to go this often with my work schedule and family responsibilties.

My electrologist also goes on vacation with her family twice a year for two weeks. Consequently, I end up plucking even more then and my skin gets very damaged. (I pluck very closely and it sometimes tears the skin. I use very good tweezers made by Tweezerman.)

The effects of 17 years of electrolysis and constant plucking has resulted in my skin becoming permanently damaged under the chin. I have hyper-pigmentation, scars, pitting, bumps, scabs and open red sores at various times. I use make-up cover-up to deal with it as best as I can. (I don't ever dunk my head when I go swimming now because it would wash away the cover-up on my chin and expose it.)

I try to keep my head down in public so people can't see under my chin and I don't like people getting too close to me in general in case they might notice it.

I have been to many specialists for my problem and have been diagnosed with IH (Idiopathic Hirsutism). The endocrinologist tested my hormone levels and they were "slightly elevated," but not enough to make a diagnosis of PCOS. He thinks it's most likely hereditary factors in my case (my grandmother on my father's side of the family most definitely had this problem and a first cousin from that side of the family does, too), although hormones and excess weight (30 lbs.) most likely play a part in it as well. My mother and four sisters have also experienced problems with excess facial hair, but not nearly to the degree that I have.

I've been to an endocrinologist twice and a dermatologist three times about my facial hair problem. The only advice they could offer was to try and control the problem as best I could and that "there was no cure." The dermatologist gave me a prescription for Vaniqa, but I find that it really doesn't have any effect on me whatsoever. I was also prescribed Diane birth control pills prior to menopause, and those had absolutely no positive effect either.

I asked the endocrinologist what he thought of laser hair removal. He said that they "didn't get good results" from their patients who tried it and he "wouldn't recommend it."

I asked if this meant that the hair eventually grew back and he said "yes."

Even though I know that I shouldn't pluck, I still end up doing it because I'm too self-conscious about the hair showing. My plan at the moment is to go to electrolysis twice a week and really try not to pluck in between sessions.

The only problem is that I'm also experiencing new hair growth. (Hair growth in areas where I didn't have it before, such as my cheeks and on my neck.)This is another reason why I think I'll always have this problem. Electrolysis gets rid of old hair, but there is new hair growing all the time.

I asked my endocrinologist point blank if I would have this problem the rest of my life and he said "yes." This is what has got me really depressed lately. No matter what I try, I'm still going to have this problem the rest of my life.

I get even more depressed when I think of the future when I'm older and not able to look after the problem myself.

I picture myself being in a chronic care facility after having a stroke (or any other debilitating illness)and not being able to go to electrolysis or pluck. I would start growing a full beard within a week. I've already told my husband that he has to look after this for me. (My four sisters also know about this.)I suppose it's at this point when I will finally be shaved, because there won't be an alternative.

I also picture myself lying on my death bed and my grandchildren come to pay their last respects. I am slipping in and out of consciousness, but I'm alert when I hear one grandchild innocently ask, "Why is grandma growing a beard?" (I remember asking my own mother this when I saw my grandmother growing a beard on her death bed in the hospital. My mother told he it was a side-effect of my grandmother's medication. Now I know the truth.

My advice to someone with a just a few chin hairs would be to get to the electrologist as soon as possible and not to pluck. I wish I had known this sooner myself.

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