Problem hair

Tamara Patterson, a physician assistant for the Callendar Skin and Laser Center in Mitchellville, Md., said that women usually feel they should not have facial hair.

“It causes them to feel socially isolated,” Patterson said. “It is also a frequent cause of frustration and low self-esteem.’

Shirley Inoni, 20, a senior economics student from Cameroon, Africa disagreed.

“Hair on women is considered a sign of beauty where I’m from.”

Yet, there are still countless women who attempt to hide the problem by shaving, plucking, tweezing or waxing. Experts disapprove of these methods of hair removal.

Patterson said these methods are not the best solutions. “They can create discoloration and shaving bumps from ingrown hairs.”

On Geoffrey Redmond, director of The Hormone Help Center of New York stated that, “There can be a number of factors contributing to unwanted hair growth.”

Among these causes are heredity, stress and hormonal imbalances. Stress can cause hormonal interruptions. Physical and emotional stress can trigger additional hair growth and menstrual irregularities. Birth control pills can also affect a woman’s hormonal balance.

Excess hair creates further problems for black women because their hair is dark and curly. This causes complications with certain laser removal treatments, according to Patterson.

“Particular lasers are attracted to the pigmentation in skin,” Patterson said. “This may result in burning or discoloration of darker skinned individuals.”

Proper treatment to reduce ingrown hair is important to maintain smooth skin coloring, stated Redmond on

Meghan Moore, 21, a junior psychology student from Tallahassee, said she would attempt to rid the problem of undesired hair through any means.

“If I could afford laser surgery I would take advantage of it,” said the junior psychology student from Tallahassee. “But otherwise, I would rather wax opposed to shaving because it lasts longer.”

Patterson, who has administered laser procedures for more than five years, said there are safe and effective hair removal methods available for African-Americans. The CoolGlide Laser System is the latest and safest technology in laser hair removal.

According to the article “New Hope for Removing Unwanted Hair,” in the Jan. issue of Sister 2 Sister, the treatment is simple and easy.

Unfortunately, there are only 150 licensed CoolGlide laser facilitators – all of them outside of the Tallahassee area. For more information on the CoolGlide Laser System and a directory of physicians, visit

Sherry Culmer can be reached at