Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
In a previous page on grooming, I shared some ideas and types of products to help with taking care of our nails. In this article, I offer suggestions on how to take care of unwanted hair.
Before I go on, I am not recommending any specific products, I’m just letting you know what you might look for if you are interested. You can find these products at drug and department stores as well as online. When I refer to online, the best resources I've found for products like these are Amazon.com, MaxiAids.com, and Rehabmart.com. There are others, of course. Do you have a favorite source of low vision products? Let us know!
When I use ' ' around a word or words, those are words you can use for searches if you’re interested in knowing more about the topic.
Removing unwanted facial hair
I hate to keep repeating the phrase "as we get older," but I need it here again. The problem of facial hair is not restricted to any age. In general, however, as women get older, some of us whose facial hair was hardly noticeable when we were younger now sprout thick, individual hairs that are sometimes white (oh, the horror!) on our chins and above our lips. It happens to me. I can see well enough to remove them with tweezers. What do you do if you can’t see them? Here are some ideas:
Is the problem light and magnification? There are many types of ‘makeup mirrors’ where you get both in one product.
Can you feel those stray hairs if you run your hand over your face? Do they often appear in the same place? With practice, you might be able to find at least some of them that way.
You may have waxed above your lip or on your chin in the past, but when you have a vision problem, I think that can be too dangerous. It’s too easy to burn yourself and spill the hot wax.
There are ‘facial hair removers’ that some call ‘de-fuzzers.’ They are often advertised as ‘painless’ because some of the other options are NOT painless (see epilator below). They often look like a tube of lipstick and are battery operated. You turn it on and basically run it over your face.
The sometimes-painful option is an ‘epilator’ for facial hair as well as underarm and leg hair. It’s the one that some people say causes pain. There are small ones for the face and larger ones for underarm and leg hair. It basically pulls out hair as if it had a lot of tweezers working at the same time - did that make you cringe? The thought is often worse than the experience. You hold the skin tight with one hand and run the epilator over it. Yes, it can cause some pain at first, but many people get used to it. One advantage of using an epilator is that because it pulls the hair out, it regrows slower than if you de-fuzz or shave it.
Shaving the face
Some so-called beauty experts now say that everyone should shave their face for two reasons:
- It gives a smooth surface for applying makeup like primer and foundation.
- It removes dead skin and makes one’s face smoother. The fancy name for this is ‘dermaplaning.’
What can you use?
For those who want to shave their faces, there are special razors called ‘eyebrow razors.’ You can also use a regular shaver that has straight razors in a safety holder as you might use on your legs. No matter what you use, you need to wash your face first and apply a mild shaving cream.
For shaving faces, armpits, and legs, an electric razor is considered the safest when you have low vision. The preparation is the same as when your vision was not impaired.
Tips for shaving
The actual technique recommended by low vision therapists is to use the finger of one hand as a guide to where you are working. Here’s a simple example. You can find more in the article ‘Shaving Your Face After Vision Loss’ written by a CVRT (Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Therapist).1
- Work on one side of the face at a time.
- Put the ’guide finger’ on ‘landmarks’ which are features such as sideburns, hairlines, moles, or blemishes so you don’t go beyond or over them.
- Bring the razor up to the landmark and shave down from it or around it.
- Use overlapping strokes. Some people go back over the area a second time at a 90-degree angle to the initial strokes.
- When you are done, move your fingers around to see if you’ve missed anything.
It takes practice, but I’ve been told it works well. You can use the same technique for shaving your armpits and legs.
Hair today, gone tomorrow!
OK, I couldn’t help using this cliché. I hope that you find some of these suggestions to be helpful. When we lose vision, we don’t want to lose self-esteem or our sense of humor!
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