Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Attack of the Unwanted, Mid-life Facial Hair

Somewhere between ages 45 and 53 I have come under the attack of unwanted, mid-life, facial hair.  It happens to most men (and some women) during middle age and now it has happened to me.  Those of you around my age know what I’m talking about.  Eyebrows that grow out of control; hair sprouting out of my ears; (I count the ears as part of my face) and even some sprouting on my back.  (Fortunately for me, it’s only a few on my back and not a forest.  I’m not knocking the guys with back hair but my wife said if I had a hairy back she’d shave me - by force if necessary.)
I don’t remember the exact year, or the barber who first asked if I wanted my eyebrows trimmed, but that was the beginning of the facial hair attack.  I was told by a barber, in 1998, that as I get older the hair on my head would turn gray and the texture would change from fairly fine to course.  So now, 12 years later, my hair is still slowly turning gray but the consistency is about the same.  Instead, my eyebrows have developed a mind of their own and are growing out of control.  Instead of being fairly fine and lying against my forehead, they are now course and growing like weeds.  They have to be trimmed at least once a week.  And if I didn’t take the razor to my ears every other day I’d have a bush growing from each side of my head. 
I don’t know why this attack of facial hair occurs.  It’s just something that happens to men around age 50.  It also happens to some women around the same time, which must be worse.  It must be terrible to be a woman with chin whiskers sprouting, particularly if you’re a very good looking woman.  (Geez, I guess that sounds a bit sexist, huh?  Sorry.)
My point is, this unwanted facial hair strikes many people in their early 50s and no one knows why.  As we age our minds go from infancy to childhood, to adulthood, to childhood and sometimes infancy again.  Our bodies do that as well, it seems, but not quite so quickly.  Many people in their 90s lose body hair or it becomes very fine and sparse but by then many are already in the childhood or infancy stage. 
Since you can’t really use depilatories on your ears and eyebrows, the only solution is trimming, plucking or shaving.  My ex used to pluck the hairs on my back occasionally.  When she was in a good mood it was quick and painless.  When she was in a bad mood or angry at me it was a slow and painful process.  Each hair came out individually in a long, agonizing process.
There is no known defense against the attack of the unwanted, mid-life, facial hair.  There is only a strong offense against it.  But it’s a never ending battle that must be fought at least weekly, if not daily.  If you haven’t reached this stage in life yet, be warned – it’s coming.  Gear up now with all the ammunition you need to fight the battle. 
Enjoy the time you have with your facial hair under control.  It won’t last…

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