Around ten years ago or so, having facial hair was something more of an embarrassment than something I embraced. I was pre-transitioning, living as “female” and all the bleaching and waxing became more and more a pain in the butt.
I was embarrassed because my natural state of being “hairy” was looked down upon by my female cohorts. Women are supposed to be hairless (society would like to make you think) and I certainly bore my Italian ethnicity…with not much pride.
In attempts to help boost my self esteem, my mother offered to pay for treatments of electrolysis and then, eventually, laser light hair removal. Even with over $1,000 down the drain, I still had facial hair.
A few years later when I came to terms with my gender identity, I was VERY thankful I didn’t kill off all of the hair follicles and there were feisty survivors that remained.
I’m telling my story, because there might be others out there with similar experiences. Some things that were a social taboo living as “female” are now praised as we live as “male”.
I have been blessed in my ability to grow facial hair naturally, yet it is not as thick as I would like and it is not all over my face. I realized some hair follicles were killed in my previous attempts at “hair death” and I shrugged it off for a long time as an, “Oh, well! Atleast they aren’t all dead!.”
In late fall of 2010, I had a friend mention that he was using minoxidil. He had great success applying it to his face twice daily with a Q-tip. I decided to finally give it a try.
At first, I noticed that it seemed to discolor my hair, lightening it. It also made the hair fall out and be thinner at the first few weeks to a month. Then, I noticed a gradual shift forward as the hair seemed to re-thicken back up. Yet, I never experienced any major changes over a period of 4 months or more. I also only applied it once daily.
This morning I was thinking about my past hair removal and decided to do some research on it.
I found out some VERY interesting information!
I read that per square inch of the body you have a minimum of 1,000 hair follicles. The problem is that most of them lay dormant, meaning they stay “asleep” and do not produce hair. When you get electrolysis, they remove an average of 5 – 100 hairs per square inch of active follicles, so even when they are killed, you still have all of those dormant follicles remaining. (read all about it).
I then researched laser light treatment and it stated it only works 80% of the time and usually the hair remains gone for a long period of time, but usually not forever. (read all about it).
I decided to see if there was a way to “awaken” these dormant hair follicles and I found out…there is! (read all about it).
Tamoxifen (generic version known as Nolvadex) is an anti-estrogen steroid.
Now, that is one word that makes my eyebrow raise…steroid? Hmm. It appears that you can buy it as a pill (more pills? ewww!) OR a topical cream (BINGO!). It is primarily used to reduce breast cancer in female patients. (read all about it).
Am I going to try this? I’m not sure. I am not one to “try” things that affect my body until I do plenty of research. My health is #1.
I’m putting this out there for guys just so they know, all we have to do is somehow “awaken” these dormant follicles and PRESTO CHANGO, we can have a full 5 o’clock shadow over time!
Here are some mobile phone photos of me I took this morning showing my chin hair and sideburns.
My sideburns do grow past my earlobes, but I keep them trimmed for a more professional look. I also have hair just below my lower lip.
Leave comments if you find more research!!!
Happy hair growing, fellas!
Written by TRISTAN “SHIMMER” SKYE