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****the bearded lady NO MORE!****

Thursday, January 03, 2013

I have PCOS. Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS has cursed me with incompetent womb and a 5 o'clock shadow that shows up everyday about six hours too early (SCREW YOU MOTHER NATURE!!!). If being a hundred pounds overweight wasn't enough to keep the groves of men off of me, the competing beard surely did it. Havin facial hair has cramped my self esteem for so long. I have spent years experimenting with every product you can think of. Nair did nothing but burn my skin and make me itch. Plucking takes too long and is painful. I have had my chin, neck and sideburns threaded. It hurt like crap and my body responded by covering my throat in little, red, razor-like bumps. I have been prescribed Vaniqa and while it SLOWS THE GROWTH of the facial hair, it has only helped to reduce my need to shave to EVERY OTHER day and broken my bank account. It costs $124 a tube!!! OH HELL NO!

I have been going back and forth with the idea of laser hair removal. I talked to my dermatologist about it. He is an grouchy old man who has been in practice over 40 years. His response: "You're Black. It won't work." (Ok, forget Mother Nature. SCREW YOU MR. DOCTOR MAN!) Three years later, I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment. Yesterday was my first treatment.

First things first. Does it hurt? Depends. My underarms (They threw them in for free. Their hairiness must have offended them emoticon ) were so easy. It felt like someone was spraying my underarms with bug spray. There was a little burn afterwards. My sideburns burned a little more but were pretty much more of the same. My neck. Oh honey, my neck. I don't know how many times I called on Jesus. He must have been busy.
Basically, it smelled like perm and burnt hair and it felt like I was being slapped with whip dipped in peroxide. BUT, it only lasted about two minutes.

So let's talk costs since I know there are other bearded ladies out there. I got my sideburns, chin, neck, jawline and underarms done. I will have a total of 5 sessions over 36 weeks. I will also receive life-time touchups for a $40 co-pay. So what did it cost? $5600. Ok, don't fall over. Let me tell you how affordable it is. In a matter of a few minutes I was approved for in-house financing with no interest. And if I am being honest, I have good credit but not great credit and i was approved for up to $6000. They then divide that amount up over 36 months. I will make a payment of $160 a month. And I will no longer have to shave my face while my man sleeps so he doesn't know his fiance has a chin strap. That alone is enough to validate the cost. But also, the laser shrinks the pores which will tighten the skin and reduce scarring from hair bumps. It's like getting a mini neck lift and peel in one sitting! And when I throw away my $124 a tube of Vaniqa and all the other products I have tested on myself, it will be like spending $30 a month.

There goes my experience and this blog was in no way endorsed by Ideal Imaging!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CAMAEL100
    A great blog. Our self-esteem is so important it is well worth spending money on. I know what it is like to be out and feeling people are just looking at my chin! It is something I am thinking of as well. You are worth it and it will make life better for you.
    1872 days ago
    I've had a few sessions of laser hair removal also. I found it only hurt if I didn't shave well enough first (it zaps the root of the hair, so if there is hair growth there that gets zapped too and OUCH.)

    I don't understand why your doctor would say that to you???? What does being black have to do with it??

    Also, good for you investing in yourself. Making your life easier by erasing that kind of self consciousness is awesome, and you deserve it.

    (p.s. Does your man not know you have been shaving all this time?)
    1875 days ago
    I'm a huge fan of doing things that make you feel better about yourself!! It sounds painful, BUT it will be worth it. It is something that has affected the way you feel about yourself and has caused discomfort. You are not even factoring in the time you will save from not having to pluck!!

    1876 days ago
    I don;t know if it's gonna work, I think it depends on the doctor. There are friends of mine who had great results and others who were disappointed. I have never tried it, so I don;t know how it feels.
    I hope it will be what you expected!!!
    emoticon emoticon
    1876 days ago
    I'm so glad you shared this. Thanks! I have made a plan when I get to goal weight to get some type of treatment. I too suffer from PCOS and have hair growing on my chin and neck. Right now I shave every few days but the area still feels a little rough. I tried Vaniqua very briefly and gave up. I even tried to wax it at a salon but it did not work. My doc wanted to give me aldosterone but I'm hesitant about taking any medication for it. Male members of my family laugh hysterically when I explain this to them, and I have hardly shared it with friends. I have had a couple of embarrasing moments when a few people touch my face as a form of endearment or hug me and my skin touches them. I've had to flinch back when this happened a few times. It so frustrating.
    1876 days ago
    I hope it works out well for you!!
    1876 days ago
    I hope it works well for you. I'm thinking about it as well so it's good to know the costs.
    1876 days ago
  • SOFT_VAL67
    they can put men on the moon, they can track your dog with a chip and they can make gps to tell you how to get anywhere at anytime...but cannot find a real salvation for us ladies who suffer this hell
    and it is hell
    its a joke to alot of people.
    but not to the one dealing with it, i will be interested to read future blogs on the subject, as you go on and continue the treatments and see how its working long term...i have considered laser
    for me i just pluck, have never and will never shave, just pluck away like a chicken
    well, good luck, i might look into it, but i doubt very much its covered and or affordable to me.
    1877 days ago
    still canĀ“t afford that and i think over here is alot dearer than pleased you are pleased with the results though. emoticon
    1877 days ago
    WOW! look at all your responses! you must have touched on a sensitive issue here, that effects many, I also have PCOS, and I have costed out the IPL surgery also, for the SAME thing, the beard! aaaaahhhh
    Mine grows in every 2 or 3 days and if i forget to pluck it all out (takes about half an hour to one hour) someone will notice it and say "HEY! you've got hair there" usually on date number 3!
    *hide face*

    It's going to cost me approximately $2000 NZD. thats for one years repeating monthly, at 150$ per session. (tho i havent got a specific quote that was over the phone) (I've decided to link it to my exercise minutes to put money into savings... so that i'm more motivated to exercise) 250 mins = 10$ if i exercise 1 hour a day, its 2 years away lol.

    We have 3 or 4 laser places in our city, one that sold a deal for only 150$ for 6 months worth..(it was the equivalent of a groupon deal).. and thank GOODNESS for friends, (NO REALLY!) I asked around and apparently that company that offered it cheap... burn people!!!, and you don't want burns on your face do you!! that's worse than a bit of hair!
    So make sure you get a good laser company who is the most popular in town. (possibly most expensive).. but most trusted! skin is sensitive and if repeated exposure, eg a year.. will damage it... :/

    But just like you... my confidence is too depleted to keep having it around. So I have to do something.
    *Hugs* best of luck!! with your sessions :D

    - Fellow PCOS warrior :)
    1877 days ago
    This is one of the reasons why I love you so much!! You tell it like it is and tend to talk about what others can't. Someone has to do it and I'm so glad that you are!! I've had facial hair problem since I can remember. My dear Mama would wax and I always vowed that I never wanted to deal with that mess. I started with laser treatments probably 20 years ago and then some. I haven't gone for a long time now, but I would definitely advise that that's one of the best ways to go! I remember my Electrologist saying that she liked the thinker hairs more because they could get killed right away, where the finer hairs take several times before they're thick enough to get the final kill!! I should go to her again and at least get my upper lip. Oh my, does it ever help with our self esteem! I've never been diagnosed with PCOS, but I wouldn't doubt if I had it. We've adopted our two kids from India years ago now. The love of our lives, by the way! I have a Hypothyroid, so I know that doesn't help in that dept. either! Thanks again sweetie, for a terrific blog! Love it and keep on with the laser, as far as I'm concerned! You'll love yourself all the more down the road and the weight will start coming off easier too, because we have to love ourselves!

    emoticon Karen
    1877 days ago
    if it works long term, it's definitely worth every penny.

    heck, YOU are worth every penny (and then some), right?
    1877 days ago
    I think that the Laser treatment would be much better in the long run. Sorry that it costs so much but it really is amazing what they can do with laser treatments anymore. I would personally prefer that over using a tube of medication or any of the other, more painful, treatments. Good luck!
    1877 days ago
    threading is a little painful, but cheaper and it does the job! :)

    Laser hair removal could be a good thing but I'd be too afraid that it would leave scars or discolor my skin. I do not like to do anything extra to my body. I dont use fancy lotions or soaps, I like natural things..

    I hope this works for you though and helps you feel better about yourself! :)
    1877 days ago
    Nice to know I'm not the only one dealing with stuff like this! It's encouraging to see someone take action and say no to the tweezers!!! emoticon
    1877 days ago
  • ASHESS85
    Good for you! No matter what anyone have to do what makes YOU happy! I also have a little shadow problem (I'm Italian which explains it) and have contemplated hair removal too. Now that I've read your blog, maybe I will try it.
    1877 days ago
  • DEBLYNN323
    emoticon ...youare so funny, but so REAL!

    Adding you as a friend to keep up with your blogs!
    1877 days ago
    LOL! The other day, my little one was laying on me and looked up and said, "Mommy, you have hair like daddy on your chin. I want hair like daddy too!" Ahh.. hope she never does. I have been dealing with this for so long, it's like second nature. When I'm plucking my eyebrows in the family room, I whip out my Magic Touch personal shaver and go to town on my neck and chin. After 15 years with the old man, he doesn't even look twice. LOL! How romantic, I know. :)
    Keep us posted on the treatments i.e. how many before you noticed a difference, how long before it grew back, if it does, etc. etc.
    1877 days ago
    I was kind of hoping that the hair would just go away when I started losing weight. * le sigh * I have to shave my sideburns and my chin/neck like every freaking day. I'm so pale that I glow in the dark and the hair on my head is quite blonde, but I have been "blessed" with my father's black facial hair.WTFingF. And it's super bristly. Ugh. I don't think I would mind it so much if it were downy soft and blonde. PCOS can suck rocks.
    1877 days ago
    I began laser treatments in October, after buying a Groupon for 50% off the treatment. I could sleep through the treatment if it was long enough. The upper lip makes me jump a little, but I am not sure if it is the treatment or seeing the light under the glasses. A little warm sensation, but they give me cream afterwards that takes the fire feeling right out of it, for the day. I can even go to the grocery store after treatments.

    Great that you are doing something for YOU, it took me so many years to make this decision, I know how you feel.

    I love your blogs, thanks for sharing.
    1877 days ago
    Hii Nikki!
    That was my reward to myself for the first 10 pounds. I shave behind locked bathroom doors at 6 am, so I don't scar my children for life! I actually got a Groupon for it, and I get a whole years worth of lazer treatments on my chin. My price was much better($250), but it's ONLY for my CHIN. I will say I've had 3 sessions, and I don't know if I see a difference yet.
    I was told one years worth will be enough for me, and they "guarantee" hair free for 5 years. Just got to get hair free first!
    Here's to 2013 & having baby smooth chins!
    1877 days ago
  • LISAN0415
    sorry it hurt-
    next week I go for a laser treatment on my face for scarring. They will put a numbing cream on first and then use the Laser (imagine me as Dr. evil from Austin powers using bunny ears and saying "Laser"
    I am a little worried about the pain too.

    Now afterwards, were you red or anything?

    1877 days ago
    Ah! I'm so glad you are getting this done! I got the lucky end of the PCOS stick, because other than dark skin patches, the annovulation and painful cysts, I've never had to struggle with extra hair growth. You deserve to feel womanly- and PCOS likes to suck that right out from us (skipping periods, not able to get or stay pregnant, hair growth, dark skin patches- ohmy!) I'm so glad you are being honest with yourself and doing this FOR YOU! Way to go!
    1877 days ago
    I am glad you are doing something for yourself! You deserve it with how hard you are working. :)

    Also, how do you know you have PCOS? (I don't mean you in general, but rather how are women "tested" for this?)

    1877 days ago
    So happy that you are doing something nice for yourself! you totally deserve it!!! :) emoticon
    1877 days ago
    You deserve it! You can call this your reward for doing so well on your weight loss journey! You are beautiful inside and out and if this helps you see your outside beauty more, than bravo for you!!! (I wish they had a laser to tighten skin and put certain 40 year old parts back were they belong!) emoticon
    1878 days ago
    Good for you for doing something for yourself!
    1878 days ago
  • BRENNA84
    I also have pcos. i'm fuzzy on the face.

    I pluck once a week. if i went out of the house more often I'd probably cover it up with makeup. I'm fuzzy, I know it. it doesn't bother me like it used to.

    would i like to NOT have to pluck. yes. but its not gonna break me either as I have had to do hair removal since I'm 14. so half my life I've been doing this.

    but so happy you're havin it done. I had it done when I was 14, it hurt like hell, and it make my soft hair come in harder and blacker than before.
    1878 days ago
    I know what you mean. I have PCOS as well and so I totally get the whole shaving/Vaniqua/burn session with the laser thing. I enjoy reading you and will be adding you on as a friend. Best wishes on the laser treatments and by the way, the doctor that was doing mine said that because I'm black it should work better on me due to the hair being darker and thicker. Hmmm? Who knows? Great job on the blog though! Keep up the great work!
    1878 days ago
    I love your writing style and blogs. How terrific that you've found a solution that will make you feel wonderful. Wishing you the best in
    1878 days ago
    Hey there!!
    I am extremely hair as well without the PCOS. I have contemplated getting lasik but would rather pay for liposuction if I was to have to spend that much LOL. I bought a wax warmer, wax, and some waxing cloth (from a fabric store) and I wax my face everytime it gets tooo long. I love waxing. It doesnt really hurt, unless your getting a brazillian and even then the results are so awesome that I take the pain... smh. You will have to keep us updated on the results of the lasik!!
    1878 days ago
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