Monday, 23 July 2012

Will electrolysis stop me being a scummy mummy?

Avoiding being a scummy mummy would, for me, be a full time job.  My scummy confessions include;
  1. Leaving hairs on my toes to grow too long before noticing I am turning into a hobbit and dealing with them with the nail scissors.
  2. Not bothering to brush my hair, but throwing it into a scrunchie for the school run.
  3. Only bothering with actual make-up on an official 'work' day or if I'm going out on a rare night out.
  4. Leaving my roots far far too long before recolouring and thus generally looking a little like Cruella D'Evil.
  5. Leaving the washing up in the hope that a washing up fairy will come and do it.  This is despite having a dishwasher as it appears that most of the children's crockery and cutlery we own is annoyingly NOT dishwasher safe.  (Are you listening, designers?  What were you thinking?!)
But my biggest confession and the one I get most embarrassed by; so I'm not sure how telling you will help, but hey, I've started so I'll finish; is that I have more and more hairs growing out of my chin and upper lip and instead of actually getting them properly waxed off I've just happily been snipping them with scissors for years.

To start with it was, obviously, one rogue hair.  I don't like plucking, so the scissors came out and I thought no more about it.  Over the years they appear to have been slowly breeding and now there is a veritable forest threatening.

Regular readers will know that it's only within the last year that I've started getting my eyebrows shaped having never touched them in any way previously, so you can imagine that I'm fairly clueless about this kind of thing.

Three weeks ago I lay on the beautician's table whilst she was shaping those bushy eyebrows and casually asked the question;

"So, do you think I need to do anything about my upper lip then?"

There wasn't even a pause.  No consideration took place.  There was only a gap tiny enough for her to breathe in in.


So there you go.  It's official.  I have a moustache and beard that is obviously obvious to all who see me.  My first thought was; why have none of my so-called friends mentioned this atrocity that I've been cultivating.  My second was: how do I get rid of it?

"So should I arrange a wax then?" I ask

There was a pause this time.  "I'm not sure that's the best option to be honest" she said "Have you considered electrolysis?"

E-what-ysis I thought to myself.  "Er no.  I don't know too much about it.  Could you remind me please?" I said.  I'm paraphrasing.  I probably really said "Huh? No? What?"

Only 2 weeks later and I've had 2 treatments. It's slightly painful, but no more than waxing and I find it pretty manageable.  I've not had a bad reaction (which is a risk apparently) and the hairs are slowly disappearing.

So what's electrolysis?

First port of call for research is probably the British Institute and Association of Electrolysis (BIAE) who confirm that it's the only medically approved form of permanent hair removal.

In layman's terms the beautician pops a small needle into the hair follicle (you hardly feel that), then heats the hair root (you feel it getting hot - very weird sensation), then teases out the hair. (It comes out really easily).

You need regular treatments to start with to ensure that, when the hair tries to regrow, the electrolysis catches it at the correct stage to permanently halt hair growth.
So everywhere then?

Apparently the hardest part for many woman is resisting the temptation to pluck stray hairs in the meantime.  Luckily my scissor happy approach is fine and won't detrimentally impact on the course of treatment.

I'm having it done weekly to start with; it only takes 10 minutes; which will then go to fortnightly, and eventually stop once all the hairs are killed off.  It's costing £12 per treatment at the moment.

I've worked out that regular indefinite waxing would end up being far more expensive, so I'm happy with the price.

I haven't yet plucked up the courage to actually look at any of the equipment she uses though.  I think if I saw the needle it would put me off.  So I go in there, lie down quick and close my eyes!  I am such a wimp!

Potential electrolysis side effects?

Temporary side effects can include redness, soreness and dryness.  There can also be an increased risk of ingrowing hairs.  But as long as these side effects are treated correctly, so long term damage should occur.

Natural Aloe products can be applied to moisturise the area.

Advice to patients include staying out of direct sun for a few days after treatment, and avoiding make-up or other products on the treated area for a couple of days.  So if you can't live without the foundation for a couple of days you may need to seriously consider how to manage that aspect.

Because the hair is treated one at a time, it's not the best solution for large areas; like the back or arms for example.

Always discuss your needs with an appropriately qualified professional.

You can find your nearest BIAE approved beautician here.

This post is inspired by the Yummy Scummy Mummy Meme started by Sonja at The Ramblings of a former Rock N Roll Mum.  I have Sarah, at Mum of Three World to thank for tagging me.  Sorry it took so long ladies and I hope you don't mind the multi-tasking nature of the post!  After all, multi-tasking is a standard state of being for all mums...

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