Woman who shaved twice a day after growing beard at 13 now embracing facial hair
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    A woman who started growing a beard when she was a teenager has decided to put down the razor.

    Dakota Cooke, 30, who uses both she and they pronouns, first noticed abnormal hair growth on her face at the age of 13.

    The sideshow performer, fromLas Vegas, US, felt judged and uncomfortable about her hair growth and found herself sinking into a 10-year spiral of anxiety and discomfort.

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    Initially disgusted by what she saw, Dakota spent years having weekly waxing appointments to shaving her face twice a day.

    What started with peach fuzz eventually evolved into a longer and darker beard until it became the glorious hair that we see today.

    “I grew up in a period where women with facial hair were so stigmatised that the women at the salon were telling me how girls aren’t supposed to grow facial hair," she said.

    “I guess that stuck with me because for the next 10 years, I kind of just sunk into this shame spiral where I’d try and hide my face in photos and be attending waxing sessions every week.”

    Despite going for several tests, doctors were unsure what it was exactly that caused her facial hair, but they believe it could be due to her adrenal glands producing elevated levels of testosterone.

    Dakota was shaving so often that she’d get shaving scars and rashes which she would cover up with makeup.

    Her face was constantly irritated and red because of this and she says she still has some of those shaving scars today.

    While she started out hating the hair that grows on her face, Dakota now decided to spread positivity about being a woman with facial hair.

    In 2015, she was talking to a friend who was saying how much she loved working at the circus and suggested that Dakota give it a shot.

    Dakota fell in love with the idea of being a bearded lady in the show, and so decided to ditch the razors and waxing and let her facial hair grow in.

    It wasn’t an easy transition though, as at first growing out the beard was quite uncomfortable and she had a lot of anxiety surrounding it.

    After a while though, Dakota simply didn't care what others thought anymore.

    Despite the difficulties she faced, Dakota has come out the other side bursting with positivity and wanting to inspire others.

    She's even worked her facial hair into her act as a sideshow performer in Las Vegas where she performs feats such as hammering nails into her nose and walking on glass.

    She said: “My family and friends have been super supportive throughout my journey of self-acceptance and have even bought me a ‘Don’t f*** with the bearded lady’ sign, which I love.”


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