Dear Greek Oracle,
I am a 19 year old half Greek girl. My dad is from Greece and my mum is from Ireland. Although my mum has dark hair on her head, she has only fine hair on her arms and legs. My dad is very hairy and has passed the hairy gene onto me.
My skin is quite pale although I tan easily and I have very thick hair on my head. Unfortunately I have also quite thick hair everywhere else! My friends tell me it’s not that bad and I’ll admit I’ve seen some women with very dark thick hair on their arms and dark shadows in their armpits, which thankfully mine isn’t like.
However, it still bothers me, particularly in the winter when my skin is paler and my hair looks darker.
I have been waxing for years and while it offers the best ongoing hair prevention, I have got some very nasty ingrowing hairs which have caused some scarring. The other annoying thing is that I have to wait for the hair to grow long enough to be waxed! In the summer this causes major problems as I end up walking around in a pretty summer dress with my arms stuck to my sides while I wait to get my underarms waxed!
I’ve heard of laser treatment but I’m not sure where to start. I don’t want to spend too much money either but I’m willing to save up as I’ve spent so much money on creams, waxing and razors over the years that I’m quite sure I could have paid for laser treatment to my whole body by now!
What do you recommend?
(*Names have been changed to protect identities)
* * *
In today’s society it seems that the less body hair we have the better. Let’s face it, even men are waxing their bits. This doesn’t mean that it looks better though and sometimes tampering with your body can lead to long-term problems.
Women have been trying to remove or minimise their body hair for centuries. While shaving and the odd wax might be enough for our light-haired friends, us Greeks need more than a ten-blade super razor to keep our locks at bay.
Waxing offers a more long term solution than shaving, but it can often lead to ingrowing hairs which can be very painful and can leave horrible marks. As you said, there is also the annoying problem of having to wait for the hair to reach a certain length.
Laser hair removal is currently one of the best ways to remove unwanted hair and is much shorter and less painful than other methods such as electrolysis. It works by exposing the hair to pulses of strong laser light which destroy the hair follicle. There are different types of lasers, some stronger than others. Some lasers only work on people with pale skin and dark hair – this is because the laser needs to pick up the dark pigmentation in the hair follicle, rather than the skin – so you would be a perfect candidate. If you have darker skin, or lighter hair there may be other options available. Some laser treatments state that you must avoid sunbeds or exposure to tanning methods two months prior and sometimes after treatment.
The best thing to do would be to research your nearest laser treatment clinic – some beauty salons may offer laser treatment, but make sure that the staff are fully qualified and hold all the relevant certificates – you can ask to see these. They should offer you a full consultation and a patch test before commencing any treatment. A course of laser hair treatment (5-6 sessions or more) is usually required in order to really see a difference to the amount of hair you have. I would suggest undergoing treatment for a small area first, such as the underarms and then seeing how you go.
Treatment prices vary and courses will often include an extra free session if you pay in one go. The bigger the area the more expensive it will be. Some upper lip treatments start from £25 a treatment and a course of treatments will definitely go up into the hundreds for other areas.
The Harley Medical Group have clinics all over the UK and are specialists in lots of different types of hair removal treatment. Local beauty clinics will no doubt offer more competitive rates and you may want to have a consultation at a few different places before you decide which one you feel most comfortable with.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are comfortable and happy with your body. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
May the Gods be with you.
The Greek Oracle
If YOU have a Big Fat Greek problem (no matter how not-so-fat) then contact firstname.lastname@example.org