Me vs my facial hair

It’s been a lifelong battle with facial hair for Dwayna Covey and it still isn’t clear who the winner is


I have never been much of a girly girl [or my definition of such anyway]. I mean don’t get me wrong—I like to look presentable—it is just that I find spending tons of time on hairstyles, make-up and primping to be a waste of time. Actually, I do not own any make-up [unless you count my tube of blemish cover up]. Honestly, I am not all that skilled at running all those gadgets that are needed to beautify one’s self; and seriously, those hair straighteners are like some dangerous weapon meant to annihilate anything that crosses its path.

Speaking of hair—I boycotted the whole facial waxing and plucking thing until I turned 40; I should have held out until I was 100. I gave in when a cosmetologist told me my eyebrows would look so lovely if they had been shaped. I should have known better when she just slipped in, “Let’s get rid of these little hairs by your lip as well.” Those words may seem so very innocent, yet I tell you they are NOT!! If you have never had the honour of having your face waxed, or any other part of your body, let me tell you about it.

Melted wax [a special kind that is quite sticky and stringy—not the soft kind like candle wax] is brushed onto the areas on your face that have the unwanted invaders [ugly dark hair]. The wax sits for a few minutes as it dries and is ready to be pulled. Yes, you read that correctly. Have you ever pulled an adhesive bandage off your bare skin? Well, if so, I tell you this wax thing is 10 times worse than that! In one big RIPPPPPP—off comes the wax; and with it all the invaders. Well, almost all. For the stubborn ones that do not want to leave the warmth of your face—the tweezers make an appearance.

After the first pull of the wax on eyebrow number one, I wanted to yell, but didn’t. I told myself to quit being a baby. And, honestly—I knew I had to endure it a second time because who wants mismatched eyebrows? Then came the second eyebrow—breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out… OUCH!  Whew! Made it through that one. I could feel the heat coming from above my eyes, and reassured myself that the pain would all be worth it. I was on the downhill slide, now to just have my upper lip touched up. What a silly thing to even think about.

As the wax came screaming off the skin above my top lip, [oh, maybe that was me screaming] I thought perhaps my face was going with it! There, I was done. It was time to look in the mirror and see a better looking version of my previously ‘hairy’ self. In reality, what I saw were two big red swollen eyes and a fat lip! What had I agreed to? Note to self: talking oneself out of the fact that pain is being inflicted on you does NOT make the issue go away. The evil wax puller was attempting to reassure me that this was part of the process to beauty and the redness would go away in no time.

Needless to say, the redness took hours to go away [and I think to this day, eight or so years later a trace of it still exists]. The result of my waxing expedition was the necessity to purchase tweezers, because what the cosmetologist forgot to tell me is—once you wax the little invaders they become stronger and come back again, and again… and again. I think all of this uninvited hair business on my face stems from the time when I was 16 and was being yelled at by my boss for some ridiculous little thing I had done [yes, that is the truth]. I remember how close she got to my face with all her anger—and all I could see was a big mole on her right cheek. Ok, so what is the big deal?  Well, this mole had two hairs sticking straight out of it—and they were BIG! I wanted to reach out and grab those hairs and show her who was boss, yet all I could do was stare [while I silently hoped that never happened to my face].

Somehow, I knew in that moment that my rotten thoughts would eventually come back to haunt me. Years later, I became so obsessed with the worry of being ‘that woman’ who has facial hairs where they do not belong that I bought a magnifying mirror. I am like a crazed human checking out every inch of my face up close and personal, pretty much daily. A tad scary, yet someone has to do it.

Well, I was in for quite a shock this past week. While attending my regular obsessive hair invader check-ups, for some reason I lifted my chin.  OH, MY WORD!  All those bad thoughts I ever had about facial hair, or hair in moles [which yes, I now have one of those too] has caught up with me. There, right in plain sight was a black hair [of more than an inch—like a lot more] protruding from under my chin. I screamed to my husband, “How could you let me run around like this?” Ha, ha, the poor guy didn’t know what to say, and chose to really not say anything at all. Good choice!

I was in shock, and within seconds the tweezers had done their job. Whew! Oh, not so quick—maybe I better check a bit more… this is not good! There, in full view of the magnified mirror and the naked eye was the black wispy partner-in-crime to invader number one standing at attention. It was just as if to say, “Ha, ha, I have been hiding here for months and you had no clue.” That is just wrong.

I better start praying a little harder for forgiveness; and hope the heck that someone cares enough about me in my old age to pluck those nasty little invaders for me. Then again, maybe it would be fun to win one of those moustaches or beard contests that seem so popular. I think NOT. Perhaps this is a message from the Universe for me to pay a little more attention to myself, and girly girl it up a little bit. Yes, I do believe that is the case! Tomorrow, I will order one of those big fancy hotel cosmetic mirrors with a light that are so up close and personal, they are scary. And it just cannot come soon enough.

This was first published in the February 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing

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Dwayna Covey
Dwayna M Covey MEd., is a performance consultant, speaker, certified laughter leader, laughter yoga teacher and reiki master. She is currently member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Applied Therapeutic Humour. Her enthusiasm, authenticity and humour empower the courage in others to create the life they want. Read her column, “A Dose of Dwayna” at