October 13, 2012


Shaving has been my preferred method of facial hair removal for, oh... quickly and sloppily doing the math in my head... seven years, at least.  That’s a long time to do something you don’t like, and almost every morning to boot.  Even taking days off shaving when I can, it gets tiring.  And lately, as I’ve been thinking more and more seriously about laser hair re-removal, I’ve been fantasizing about waking up and having no hair to remove way more than usual.

So last weekend, I needed a longer break from shaving.  I got prickly, then stubbly, and by the third day, downright beardy.  And as I thought about going back to work the next day and dreading the shaving, I just felt extraordinarily weary.  And as I had little else to do that day, I sat on the counter in my bathroom after a shower and took out the tweezers.

Two and a half hours later, I was very sore and my chin and jaw were beet red.  I couldn’t even remember the last time I had stared down every dark hair I could find on my face and then ripped it out.  It hurt more than I remembered, and it gave me such a feeling of futility.  For the whole two-and-a-half hours I was thinking, “Damn, that’s so much hair!  And it’s only half of what I used to have!”  It was a real downer.

But as the stinging and redness receded, I glanced in the mirror a few more times in passing, and it felt nice to see that I was beardless without the shaving, and would likely be in the same state the next day.  And I was, except for a few missed hairs that I caught by the morning light, and a handful that broke off rather than came out by the root.  And so I didn't shave before going to work.  Or the day after that.  Or the day after that. 

What I find pretty funny is that I am now having to get used to having blond hair on my face again!  It’s mostly normal vellus hair that everyone has, with a scattering of coarse blond ones that I am trying not to pluck, but it’s weird to me!  I’ve shaved it all for so long that I’m more used to lumpy-nicked-ingrown-hair skin than smooth-healing-blond-furred skin.  It’s been really interesting.

It certainly would not be practical to keep this up, time-wise, which I already knew.  I used to pluck in the eleventh grade when I had much much less facial hair.  And I cannot see how ripping and tugging on so many hair follicles so often could be good for your skin.  But I haven’t shaved in five days now, and it’s been great.  The longer break has been good.  But gosh, I can still think of so many things I could have been doing for those two-and-a-half hours!

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