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#102567 - 11/17/12 06:44 AM Re: Addiction to tweezing my chin hair. [Re: EvaPro]
Mantaray Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 711
Loc: San Diego, California
For me It was / is more of a "braille" thing. I unintentionally run my fingers along an area and feel the hair, and it just doesn't feel right. Once I notice the hair, and I mean, the singular hair, It just has to go. So, out come the tweezers.

It was a bad compulsion, then I got into electrolysis and it became more manageable because i knew the hair was scheduled to be removed. But when I stopped elecrolysis for awhile, the compulsion came back, and I'd pluck areas viciously. I'd just leave a mess. Pretty embarrassing. Me too, I'd dig pretty deep, until I was pulling out fibers of flesh trying to get to the hair. It was a true blue compulsion.

So anyway, I got back into electrolysis again just recently and the compulsion just faded, no more plucking. But, I think what's going on is that the electrolysis sensations (Flash pulses) have replaced the plucking sensations. I think it's just a tradeoff of sorts. But sensations aside, in my mind, having no hair is 'normal', hair reminds me parasites stuck in my skin.

Plucking has to be one of the most strongest compulsions there is. At it's worst, I'd be late for work because I just 'had' to get a certain ingrown out. And getting one ingrown out leads into looking for another. It never stops. So, that's why said to myself recently, "Since I'm spending so much time plucking, and leaving the same amount of scabs. Why not just get back into electrolysis and make it all count for permanence?" It was a good decision, I'm glad I'm making progress.

If the plucking compulsion is just too strong, and you find yourself digging out ingrowns that are way deep, at least always keep your tweezers cleaned with alcohol before and after each episode. It won't make them sterile, but it's better than not using it.
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Mantaray

Electrolysis, since 1875

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#102607 - 11/20/12 02:43 AM Re: Addiction to tweezing my chin hair. [Re: Mantaray]
EvaPro Offline
Contributor

Registered: 11/04/12
Posts: 16
Mantaray,
I'm glad you decided to go back to electrolysis. I think you will be glad you did in the long run. To others who find themselves plucking or tweezing compulsively, perhaps some anti-anxiety methods, such as yoga, TM or counseling could help.

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#102611 - 11/20/12 03:58 AM Re: Addiction to tweezing my chin hair. [Re: EvaPro]
Mantaray Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 711
Loc: San Diego, California
...And if someone goes to the doctor and says they're obsessed with plucking, look out. The doctor will prescribe something like Paxil or Zoloft. The doctor only hears the word "compulsion", he doesn't care about laser, electrolysis, or hair cycles. Yeah, sure the person will stop plucking, but then will have to deal with all the side-effects of being on a serious medication. Those can range from gaining a lot of weight, to becoming a homebound zombie.*

Not to imply anything on anybody here, including myself, but honestly? I think the number one thing that got me to stop plucking was just getting going, getting more of a life. When I'm busy, I never think of plucking, or even electrolysis. Just my two cents.

(*= But these medications do a lot of good for many people, and they can lead even better lives.)
_________________________
Mantaray

Electrolysis, since 1875

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#102612 - 11/20/12 01:50 PM Re: Addiction to tweezing my chin hair. [Re: Mantaray]
Arlene R. Batz, CPE Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/14/05
Posts: 1155
Loc: New York City - Queens
Find an electrologist who is willing to work with you regarding time and payment.
This might mean short appointments several times a week right before you
are tempted to tweeze. For those who can not come in frequently, shaving
between treatments is suggested. i have had clients tell me that quitting smoking was easier than stopping tweezing.
_________________________
Arlene Batz, CPE: Educator, Board Certified Electrologist, NYS Licensed Esthetician.
http://endunwantedhair.com

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#102651 - 11/24/12 08:31 AM Re: Addiction to tweezing my chin hair. [Re: Arlene R. Batz, CPE]
Neily Offline
Contributor

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 24
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I read about everyone's "tweezing addiction." I, too, suffer from this. (I've posted before about my experiences.) I'm 57 years old and have been dealing with unwanted facial hair since my early 20s. I started out with waxing and then moved on to tweezing and waxing. I now try to control things through a combination of waxing (my mustache), electrolysis (on my chin, cheeks and neck) and tweezing in between my weekly appointments. I've been doing this for 20 years now.
At one time I decided to take the approach Arlene Batz recommended -- going several times a week right before I'm tempted to tweeze. (I figured this out on my own.) However, I found this too taxing -- timewise and moneywise. In addition, I travel at least a couple of times a year with my husband overseas and my electrologist is sometimes unavailable because she travels a few times a year and also cancels on occasion due to family/personal reasons. This leaves me in a bind and I end up plucking and tweezing. (I realize I need to find a back-up electrologists for occasions like this.)
I realize that electrolysis used in combination with waxing and tweezing is not compatible, but for now that is how I feel I can best control the situation. I can't stand walking around with any noticeable facial hair. It literally drives me crazy to do so. I suffer from low self-esteem and walking around with facial hair makes this even worse. The problem has been getting worse during my post-menopausal years. I now have new hair growth on my cheeks and neck (where I didn't have any hair before).
And just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I am also starting to lose hair on my head. The thinning has been most noticeable during the past year. It's mainly confined to the crown of my head and the sides, not on top. (I believe this is called female pattern baldness.) I'm at the point where I went to the doctor and she did some blood work. I've had my hormone levels checked repeatedly over the years and everything is normal. (I had slightly elevated levels on a few occasions but nothing that would indicate PCOS.) I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Hirsutism. It runs in my family. My grandmother had a bad facial hair problem, my mother and a few of my sisters suffer from it to a lesser degree and my father experienced balding at a young age. I am now freaking out because I'm going bald where I want to keep my hair and growing more unwanted hair on my face, cheeks and neck. My doctor said that my head hair loss problem is related to my unwanted facial hair problem. Both are caused by an increase in testosterone during the post-menopausal years. I'm currently awaiting results from my bloodwork.
I am extremely depressed about the double-whammy I have to deal with. At this point in my life my main concern is trying to get rid of most of my facial hair so I'm not growing a beard and mustache on my deathbed. (My grandmother was growing a beard and mustache when she was in the hospital dying and the memory of seeing this remains very strong.) I am also worried that I won't be able to take care of my problem when I get older. Who knows what will happen then. I could be incapacitated by any number of horrible diseases and other conditions.
The area underneath my chin looks horrible. I dig for ingrown hairs and pull out skin tissue, I have scars, scabs and bumps and redness. I try to cover things up the best I can with cover-up makeup. It still looks funny but at least I still can face people to go to work everyday. (I would not be able to do this is my facial hair was showing more.) At the present time I got for electrolysis/waxing once a week and pluck in between. I tweeze approximately 15 minutes every evening and then apply moisturizer, Polysporin (to prevent infection) and cover-up makeup. I refrain from tweezing for two days before my next electrolysis/waxing appointment. At the present time I am spending approximately $150/month to keep hair off of my face. I also spend about 30 hours per month in travelling/appointment time and in tweezing/plucking and applying coverup makeup.
My plan at the present time is to deal with the hair loss on my head first. (I'm freaking out about that even more than my chin hairs right now.) I think I may have to find a new electrologist who is closer to where I live. Then at some point I can start going for short appointments three times a week so I won't have to pluck and tweeze in between. However, I don't think I'll do this until I retire in a few more years. At that point I'll be able to be more of a hermit and not have to go out in public as much. My main goal at this point is not to die bald-headed and growing a beard. Does anyone else have this same fear? I'd be interested to know. I've read everyone's posts on the subject with great interest. Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
Neily

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#102657 - 11/24/12 01:53 PM Re: Addiction to tweezing my chin hair. [Re: Neily]
margol59 Offline
Contributor

Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 42
Loc: NC
Hey Nelly.. I really don't know much about electrolysis because I just started going back in July. But what I do know is how having unwanted female facial hair makes you feel like less of a woman. I definitely know what you are going through to some degree. The hardest part about getting electrolysis is not plucking the hairs so that the next time at your appt. they can be treated. My appts are two weeks apart. Usually by the second day after my last appt. I have new hair showing up and have to go around for 2 weeks with hair all over my face and neck. You've been getting electrolysis for 20 years? Have you had any scarring from it?
_________________________
Thermolysis
Area (cheeks,lip,chin,neck,jawline)
Start date: 7/12/2012

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#102666 - 11/24/12 11:29 PM Re: Addiction to tweezing my chin hair. [Re: margol59]
Neily Offline
Contributor

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 24
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks for your response, Margol59. I wish you much success with your treatments. I do have scarring, hyperpigmentation, scabs, sores, bumps and general redness. The skin under my chin always feels slightly tight, sore and itchy. Part of my nightly tweezing ritual includes pulling off dead skin tissue in order to achieve a smoother appearance. I always end up pulling off some additional skin tissue and then I get more scabs or a hardening of skin tissue around that area. (It's a vicious cycle.)
I do not get electrolysis on my lip as I am content with getting it waxed. (I also get my eyebrows waxed.) It's the chin, cheek and neck hairs that are the most worrisome for me. I mask the condition under my chin by applying heavy cover-up make-up every day. It still doesn't look "normal" but it's passable so that I can go out in public and go to work.
I refrain from going swimming as the water would wash off the coverup make-up and expose the area under my chin. I'm also very conscious of not lifting my face when talking to others. I also mask the area by wearing my shoulder length hair down all the time, but now my hair is rapidly starting to thin and I'm worried that I won't have enough hair to mask the area.
I definitely couldn't go two weeks in between appointments. I can't bring myself to take a razor to my face so clipping (which doesn't work for me) or tweezing in between appointments is the only option. However, I think if I could go regularly three times a week for shorter appointments that I could refrain from tweezing for two days in between. I thought about this some more last night. I think I might try to seek out a new electrologist closer to where I live so I can handle going three times a week. I can't do anything until mid-January for various reasons but I'll start doing some research now. My husband said that we can forgo travelling overseas for a while so hopefully I won't have that issue complicating things for me.
I also have a lot of hair on my legs, bikini area and on my nipples and lower abdomen. Although this was of great concern to me when I was younger, none of this bothers me now. The unwanted facial hair is much, much, worse and has been getting worse as I get older. I just wear jeans and a T-shirt 99% of the time and keep my legs covered up. (I don't like hot weather because of this and stay indoors in air-conditioning most of the summer.)
I would be interested in hearing from older women who used to tweeze their chin hairs a lot but have found success through electrolysis. Did you switch to clipping or shaving your chin hairs or just let them grow out between appointments? If so, how did you face going out in public? Weren't you really self-conscious about this? Did the hair stay away or did you experience new hair growth that also needed treatment? At the moment, the only option I would be comfortable with is going three times a week for shorter appointments and trying not to tweeze and pluck.
_________________________
Neily

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#102679 - 11/25/12 03:56 PM Re: Addiction to tweezing my chin hair. [Re: Neily]
margol59 Offline
Contributor

Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 42
Loc: NC
I started going to get electrolysis because all the tweezing I was doing on my cheeks and neck was leaving me with hyperpigmentation. I have to admit that it looks like its starting to fade a little since I'm not sitting in front of the mirror everyday yanking hair.I do have chin hair. More than I thought I had once I stopped tweezing those. I wouldn't suggest touching the upper lip unless you know for sure she wouldn't leave you with deep scabs and permanent scars that would be hard to cover up. I had only three sessions on my upper lip three months ago with someone I do trust but I'm left with redness/hyperpigmentaton and what looks like two vertical lines running from my nose to my lip. I can tell you that tweezing seemed to make more hair come in. Once I tweezed one hair on my neck it started spreading. I'm thirty so I'm not looking forward to when I turn fifty because I'm guessing the hair will be much worse. One more thing have you noticed any hard knots any where you've been getting electrolysis? Well that didn't go away? Have a great day Neily
_________________________
Thermolysis
Area (cheeks,lip,chin,neck,jawline)
Start date: 7/12/2012

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#102681 - 11/25/12 08:54 PM Re: Addiction to tweezing my chin hair. [Re: margol59]
Neily Offline
Contributor

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 24
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Yes, I've had a number of hard bumps or knots that have developed under my chin and upper neck area. (I hate when I get these. The area around them is quite tender and sore.) I'm not sure, but I think it's because a number of hairs get knotted up or ingrown in the same area. It's just my personal theory, but I think this might be caused by the repeated irritation and constant probing of the tweezers. I'd also like to caution against using tweezers that are brand new or newly sharpened. (I use the Tweezerman brand.) They tend to be sharper than you think and have a tendency to tear out skin tissue surrounding the hair. This can start a scab forming and other problems. It does take a long time for these bumps or knots (or scabs) to heal once they're present.
Regarding getting older and more facial hair growing... What gets me depressed is that new hairs are going to keep growing regardless of what I do to treat my present problem. I'm in my post-menopausal years and my doctor said that it's due to an increase in testosterone in my body. The increased testosterone is also responsible for the hair loss and thinning I'm experiencing on my head right now. (Which is equally disturbing.)
_________________________
Neily

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#102700 - 11/26/12 07:10 AM Re: Addiction to tweezing my chin hair. [Re: Neily]
Neily Offline
Contributor

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 24
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Arlene Batz wrote:
>>Find an electrologist who is willing to work with you regarding time and payment. This might mean short appointments several times a week right before you are tempted to tweeze. For those who can not come in frequently, shaving between treatments is suggested. i have had clients tell me that quitting smoking was easier than stopping tweezing.<<

Thank you for your comments, Arlene. They're very helpful. I do intend to begin a schedule of more frequent regular appointments at some point in the future. (I can't do it now because my long-time electrologist lives too far away. I go every Saturday now, but I'd like to go three times a week so I won't be tempted to pluck my chin, cheek and neck hairs.)
Regarding tweezing vs. shaving... I have always felt that it's a lot easier for women who already have a regular shaving regime to transition to an electrolysis regime. Nothing much is required regarding a change in their habits. They still shave as necessary and then go for their treatment. On the other hand, women who have been tweezing to deal with their unwanted facial hair must make a stark change with their habits. (And confront a very real fear of shaving their faces.)
When I first started noticing hair on my upper lip in my early 20s I was encouraged to begin waxing treatments which I did and still continue with to this day. This was then extended to eyebrow waxing. From there I started to notice the occasional hair on my neck and chin. My mother recommended that I use tweezers to pull them out and not to shave or else I would be sorry. (My cousin started to shave her face and created a lot of problems for herself. My mother used her as an example of what would happen if I shaved my face.) I thought I was doing the right thing by tweezing, but the hairs kept multiplying rapidly over the years.
I started electrolysis 20 years ago and I was very naive. I thought I would go for one appointment and that would be it. My chin hair would be gone forever. I was in for a big surprise because this was far from the case.
I am still struggling regarding shaving my face. I just can't do it. And it's even worse now because I have new hair growth on my cheeks and chin. (I can't imagine having to shave my entire face.) The irony is that I'll probably end up being shaved in the end anyway. (I've instructed my husband and sisters to do this for me if I'm unable to take care of the problem by myself any longer for whatever reason.)
I don't feel that my tweezing is a compulsion or an addiction. It has to do with the fact that I can't bear to walk around with black nubs showing on my face in public. I am extremely sensitive about this and would be even more sensitive if I had to grow out my facial hair much more than I do now.
I have always felt that men get off a lot easier than women in many respects. They're supposed to be hairy. (Although I can understand if men want to get some of that hair removed.) But it's much easier for them to undergo electrolysis because they don't have to worry about the stigmatization associated with having unwanted facial hair (as women do). If men suffer from an embarrassing condition such as gynecomastia, they can just have surgery to correct the problem in one fell swoop.
By asking women who regularly tweeze to start growing out their beards and/or start shaving, you're likely going to increase their lack of self-esteem even more. You're asking them to exhibit their secret to the world and announce that they are women who are growing beards. (And other women are some of the harshest judges.)
_________________________
Neily

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