Shaving alternatives

A good and highly opinionated sample for information on facial hair removal that Cecil might have contacted would have been transsexual women.

A number of options, of whose precise details I am ignorant, are available for women who want to get rid of their beards, which as Cecil pointed out are not wholly stopped by use of estrogen or even by the removal of the testes.

They probably would have given him detailed answers as to why they individually preferred this or that method.

Surprisingly complete article, and I can speak about it from personal experience. I had suffered 20+ years from serious razor burn and razor bumps - combined with the thick, dense black beard hair of Italian heritage. Not a pretty sight, and the worst part was that by 5 o’clock the shadow made it look like you’d run a grease pencil over your neck and cheeks.

Laser was the answer - like Cecil mentioned, it’s a painful, long, expensive process but at the very least it works! And yes, the ‘feedback mechanism’ is essentially the patient crying uncle. Not for the pain-averse, even with topical anesthetic to take the edge off.

However, after many, many treatments (think 2 dozen and up), the hair regrowth is down to about 1-2% of what it was, plus a little peach fuzz that you can shave off with a Bic disposable once a month. Absolute heaven - the time spent under the laser is easily ‘paid back’ with the time saved not shaving. As an added bonus, you end up looking at least 10 years younger.

Finally, according to the F-to-M Transsexuals I’ve chatted with (used to live in SF), the method of removing manly stubble was similar to what Cecil described. Apparently the hormone treatments allowed a lot of the finer body hair to regress, while a combination of laser treatments followed by electrolysis was used for the face, especially the upper lip.

  • mbaesq

A link to the column is appreciated. It is I hate shaving my face every day. What else can I use?

Option 42: A face transplant from a woman (possibly followed by the first method Cecil mentioned).

You don’t want to think about Option 43.

Hey, I’m from Merrick too! And nobody’s from Merrick. Well, except Amy Fisher.

Black men who suffer from ingrown hairs (razor bumps) when they shave have been using depilatories for years. These depilatories are designed for facial use, and can be found at any retailer that has a good selection of “ethnic” health and beauty products.

curious Why black men, particularly? Is there a difference in facial/beard structure of which I’m unaware?

Not entirely on topic here, but I had terrible razor burn until I started shaving in the shower. Now I don’t even need shaving cream, although I do usually use soap. Anyone with sensitive skin should invest in a fog free mirror for the shower. You’ll never go back.

I believe I’ve read it’s the structure of the hair itself (curly/kinky vs. relatively straight). No cite though…

Found one:

From the American Academy of Dermatology. (The page includes photos of common skin conditions faced by people of African descent)

Unlike Staff Reports, Cecil’s columns are limited in length. There’s only so much detail he can provide; he’s not trying to write the definitive academic thesis, he’s just trying to provide the information as concisely (and with as much humor) as possible.

For some of the other comments on shaving, may I suggest Straight Dope Staff Report: Shaving seminar: (a) With the grain or against it? (b) Hot water or cold?

Due to the flatness (IIRC) of hair of Africans and descendants, hair is curly, or kinky. (Asian hair is said to be round, and European, oval.)
As for shaving alternatives, my dad used a product called Magic Shaving Powder, which he mixed with water into a paste, applied with a table knife, allowed to soak the whiskers for a few minutes, and removed (paste and whiskers) with the same table knife. Smooth as a hairless chin, and no razor, or bumps. Although I’ve never used it (look at my beard, ain’t it weird?), it’s something shavers should consider.

I just found it amusing that Cecil’s article about how to stop (or greatly slow) the need for shaving came within a few days of the staff report which contained (in part) information on how to stop (or greatly slow) menstruating.

Maybe next week there’ll be an article on breatharianism, advising us on how to stop (or greatly slow) the need for eating.

I’m sorry, I forgot I posted here. Anyway, the question has been answered by Garfield226. I’d just like to point out that the tendency toward razor bumps and the use of depilatories is not universal among men of African descent, kinky hair or not. Most of the men in my family shave with few or no problems, as have many of the men I’ve dated.

I worked with a couple of black men who had become Muslims. They’d let facial hair grow for a few days, just long enough to get a grip on it. Then they’d pull out the hairs by hand. They said it not only eliminated razor bumps, but it sidestepped the Islamic shaving ban.

I took their word for it, and I have no idea if they were correct about the Islamic part. Are Muslims allowed to pluck hairs to dodge the rule?

Nope. The sunnah is to have the beard, not just to not cut it.

Option 43 is “provided” at the Ministry Of Love, & in addition to ridding you of your beard, teaches you to love Big Brother.

ThinK: rat.