Tag Archives: facial hair

Let’s Talk About The Tache…

Posted by Kay, inspired by Thandie’s Instagram last Tuesday…

Jolen, Jolen, Jolene Jo-le e ene...'My name is Thandie and I have a bit of a tache and I use Jolene Cream Bleach'

Jolen, Jolen, Jolene Jo-le e ene…’My name is Thandie and I have a bit of a tache. I use Jolene Cream Bleach’



















While While in my Uber en route to The Second Marigold Hotel premiere (Thandie’s hubby Ol Parker was the screenwriter) last Tuesday, I checked our instagram and saw that Thandie had posted the above self-portrait with strategically placed Jolene Creme Bleach while getting ready at Claridges Hotel in London.

Our Facial Hair Arsenal of choice

Our Facial Hair Arsenal of choice

I giggled to myself because I too had ‘dealt with my tache’ that day with my method of choice-Nair Facial Hair Removing Cream and having not seen Thandie since January, I loved that we were on the same wavelength, or rather, tache length.

I’m always nagging Thandie to do more selfies while at work for our instagram, and she came up trumps yesterday as there’s nothing like a little FACIAL HAIR REMOVAL to get the worldwide web going!


Neither of us are at Tom Selleck tom-selleck-magnum-pimouth-hedge levels but we do, like most women have a little non-blonde down (okay- alright- hair) above the upper lip.

More surprising is that it’s clearly still a little taboo, otherwise it would not have gone as viral so quickly, with women high-fiving Thandie for her candour with the facial fuzz.


Talking total tache

We talk a lot about hair at thandiekay, the type on our heads, wearing it curly, straight, or in fabulous fro, but we never talked tache before.




I prefer the bald feel of depilatory cream whereas Thandie is, post that post, an unofficial ambassador for Jolene Cream Bleach.

They found out I USE NAIR!

They found out I USE NAIR!

I’ve tried electrolysis and it was a right pain in the lip-the ratio of agony- to being ‘not that bothered’  meant actually, I’d rather not bother. Waxing makes me spotty (some kind of follicle meets unhappy pore situation) and the resulting brown marks on my olive skin more of a thing than the hair!

So there it is: ‘My name is Kay, I have a bit of a tache and I use hair removal cream’.




Me at peacce with NAIR _edited-2

Pout ‘n Fess










Dija Ayodele on Facial Hair-stigma, shame & solutions

Posted by Kay

Facialist & Skincare Consultant Dijas Ayodele

Facialist & Skincare Consultant Dija Ayodele

Dija Ayodele has been a facialist and skincare consutant for almost a decade, she enjoys helping people learn about their skin and how to get the best out of it. Thank you for yet another informative piece Dija!

Each morning when Karen* wakes up, she runs her fingers out of habit across her chin and around the sides of her jaw to check for stubble. A quick mental assessment is then taken as to whether she needs the hair removal cream- could she simply get away with tweezing? Paranoid that someone will notice her condition at work, Karen often disappears to the bathroom with a hand mirror and tweezers and pluck away at her skin until she is confident that there are no hairs showing.

Karen is amongst the 40% of women in the UK that suffer from excessive facial hair and she battles with it daily.

According to London-based Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr. Sam Bunting, excessive hair (hirsutism) in females presents itself in the male pattern of hair growth – on the face, chest, abdomen and upper back. On the face it is usually found on the chin, upper lip and sides ranging from a few strands of hair sparsely scattered to a full on beard depending on the severity.

Frida Kahlo embraced and accentuated her facial hair in her paintings

Frida Kahlo embraced and accentuated her facial hair in her paintings

There are generally two types of patients who present clinically with excessive facial hair. The commonest scenarios are “a healthy woman who has a genetic tendency to have a bit more hair than is the average. But then there’s the context of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).”

Within these two pictures the differentiating point is how quickly the facial hair has developed as with many women it is simply hereditary, a physical trait like curly hair or freckles. However, a sudden appearance of excessive facial hair could be cause for concern and the underlying factors need to be addressed.

Where it is symptom of a PCOS, medical diagnosis is important as it can lead to further medical problems. The risk of raised blood pressure, elevated blood lips and diabetes is higher, as are problems trying to conceive. Typically, women may also experience excessive oiliness of the skin, acne and scalp hair loss.

Harnaam Kaur

Harnaam Kaur

The scars of the condition can run deep and in turn affect all areas of life – from school, to employment and relationships as self esteem takes the hard knocks. Harnaam Kaur from Slough started growing a beard at age eleven (due to Polycystic Ovaries), making her an easy target for bullies and whilst Harnaam’s case might be at the extreme end of excessive facial hair, she found the peace and confidence to accept it (whether or not her underlying physical issues have been fully addressed). Harnaam is Sikh and according to this faith, human hair is sacred and must not be cut.

89% of the women in the British 2010 We Can Face It survey and campaign said that their self-confidence would be higher if they didn’t have facial hair. The campaign, which was fronted, by Channel 4’s Dr Dawn Harper, Mica Paris and Jason Gardiner was launched to raise awareness of excessive facial hair and the results showed that a lot of women felt unsupported and consequently did not seek their doctor’s help.

Over half of the 1000 women surveyed said it was an uncomfortable topic to discuss with family and friends. In addition a large majority also felt embarrassed to approach their GP, expressed concerns that they wouldn’t be taken seriously and didn’t want to waste the GP’s time. “ I don’t think it warrants it.” says  Jane* when asked if she had been to the doctor.

The anxiety, stress and depression associated with the condition can be quite debilitating and its extremely sad that women don’t feel able to come forward especially when GP’s are trained to deal with the situation sensitively and provide further help.

In my work as a facialist I see many women who suffer from the condition getting by silently, almost seeing it as a superficial affliction that doesn’t deserve further investigation. Maybe in Britain it’s the stoic attitude of not making a bother of oneself, but I cannot stress how important it is to investigate further because it’s indicative of an underlying problem.

Dr. Bunting confirms that there are different treatment options available and it is possible to treat all skin tones.  Whilst shaving, plucking, bleaching and epilation are all methods of hair removal, they are only temporary.

Virna Lisi

George Lois’ iconic cover “The ad guys hated it, it was too edgy. They were worried about losing clients.” The idea came as soon as Lois heard the concept of an article editor Harold Hayes had commissioned: ‘The Masculinization of the American Woman. “I wanted to capture a woman being manly and still beautiful,” . Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield declined. Kim Novak’s publicist hung up on him but Italian actress Virna Lisi thought the idea was terrific.

Longer term and more permanent solutions involve killing hair at its root to stop it further growth. Electrolysis has mainly been replaced by more modern method but it can still be successfully used on the chin area. Laser hair removal is now more widely accepted as the primary method of hair removal and black women need no longer be worried as there are gentler lasers like ND: YAG that can treat dark skin without causing scarring of hyper pigmentation, another problem with excessive hair if your skin has more melanin. The tight curls of Afro hair make the hairs more likely to become ingrown once they’ve been removed. This can result in a pimple-like breakout termed PFB (Pseudo folliculitis barbae). As these lesions heal, they often leave dark patches do not fade completely, adding yet another stigma.

For women who are apprehensive of laser treatment, there is Vaniqa, a cream containing Eflornithine, which slows down hair regrowth and has proved helpful in many cases.


FDA approved Vaniqua

The medical profession is in agreement that it is possible to combine different methods to tackle the excessive facial hair successfully but shockingly, only 2% of the women involved in the survey were seeing a medical specialist for treatment.

I share the medical opinion that excessive facial hair can be tackled, as can any cultural discomfort about ‘sharing’ to someone who can actually help you-like a doctor.

The media makes (vain?) attempts to face physical anomalies that we as a modern culture find socially embarrassing on mainstream TV shows. By featuring women bold enough to talk about problems such as these they may appear to be ‘helping’,  but far too often it is merely a trite mask or update on the Victorian freak show (roll up, roll up-see the bearded lady), rather than a genuine and sympathetic platform that could potentially be beneficial, informative and progressive, breaking down the silence, shame and stigma.

We may not admit it but us women tend to be more aware of other women. We do check each other out and are aware of the physical pressure to ‘look acceptable’.

If this is indeed causing unhappiness,  as a sisterhood, let’s aim to encourage each other to have the confidence to seek professional help and live our lives more fully.

See Dija’s blog, follow her on twitter and instagram


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