Keisha Wagner-Gaymon was 16 when she started noticing small hairs growing on her chin. For a teenage girl coming of age and just starting to date, it was a small nuisance that got her into a constant picking routine. First on his chin. Then they started pushing on his neck and chest. And in no time, the little annoyance had become a big problem.
So, at her next doctor’s appointment, Keisha shyly pointed out that she had a lot of hair on her neck and chin. The female doctor she confided in burst out laughing.
“And I’ll never forget that,” said Bed-Stuy resident Keisha. “If I was a professional, I would never do that. I think she probably thought it was no big deal. But for a young girl or a woman, facial hair is a big deal. It may not be a medical condition like cancer. But it can affect you emotionally, when you always wonder if someone is looking at your facial hair…”
Keisha finally learned that she had a condition called Hirsutism, male pattern hair growth in women. Hirsutism affects 8% of all women and is often caused by – and also in Keisha’s case – polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
So a doctor prescribed him a drug that would help regulate his hormones. “But I didn’t like how I felt with the drugs at all,” Keisha said. “I was like, ‘Okay, I can’t live like this.’ At the same time, I was shaving, waxing, and doing everything I could to get rid of the hair, while basically destroying my skin, so not only did I have hair, but I started having bad It just wasn’t a good time for me at that time with my self-esteem, as a young woman in her twenties. I wanted to look good.”
Keisha discovered laser hair removal, a booming business at the time. She found it to be quite effective in conjunction with shaving. But at that time, the laser hair removal business was a 100% white male-dominated business, which wouldn’t have been a big deal for Keisha, except…well, her frizzy hair and type reactive skin had post-maintenance needs.
And to be honest, hyperpigmentation and razor bumps weren’t something she felt comfortable discussing with someone who had no understanding, experience, or sensitivity to what it was.
“I really wanted someone who could really talk to me about how to take care of my skin,” Keisha said. She learned that shaving was a better alternative to waxing which caused scarring and hyperpigmentation. But shaving her curly textured hair still left her with the problem of ingrown hairs. And even worse, over-the-counter shaving creams weren’t designed to solve this problem.
Keisha went on to get her nursing degree and even approached a few laser clinics for jobs. She wanted to learn the trade on her own. But she was refused where she had applied.
Years passed and Keisha, with her medical background, began to approach her hirsutism from a physiological perspective. She tried a few products, combinations of her own blends and even internal herbs, combined with laser and shaving, until she developed a regimen that worked. Her skin began to clear.
Knowing that there were countless other black women suffering from the same problem, Keisha was forced to open her own business. But, like most budding entrepreneurs, she didn’t know where to start.
It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that she started to think seriously about pursuing her passion. Eventually, she decided to go for it. She bought a laser hair removal machine and installed it in her basement.
I said to my husband, “I’m going to do this thing. And one of two things is going to happen: either people will come…or I’ll just get this expensive machinery, and I’ll just laser all my friends,” Keisha said with a laugh. “But I knew I’d rather try and fail than not try at all and regret.”
Nurse Keisha, along with her sister, Kristin Wagner, launched Peach Fuzz Skin Studioa laser hair removal clinic for men and women of color.
“Once I started publicizing it, it was like a bat signal went out! I had women coming in droves,” she said. “It was … it was crazy !”
Keisha also started selling the formula blends she used to help with maintenance after laser hair removal: “I knew not everyone could afford lasers and some lived in places that didn’t just couldn’t reach me. So I came up with some products that might help them along the way.
The Fuzz Clinic the product line includes a silky botanical shaving oil for prep; a post-laser serum to treat ingrown hairs; a relief gel with aloe and arnica to soothe and reduce inflammation; and its newest addition, sunscreen to protect against darkening dark spots.
She even worked with a tea master to develop a special blend of spearmint, vitex berries and other organic tea leaves that have been shown to reduce androgens (sex hormones) that cause excessive growth. hair.
“Tea has a natural flavor; you don’t need sugar; it’s delicious,” Keisha said. “It’s a special product because there’s nothing currently dedicated to women with excessive hair growth to help them inside and out.”
“I’m so grateful to Keisha because no one knew what I was going through,” said Far Rockaway resident and Peach Fuzz client Elizabeth Campbell, 33.
“I’m from the Caribbean and all my relatives were like, ‘Drink more water. Drink this. Drink this. Or use this lightening cream. And I said to myself: ‘Mom, this is something else! There is something else wrong,” she said.
“But after six treatments with Keisha and using the products, I’m clear. Now my black is beautiful. My tone is beautiful.
“I work in Soho and my company always wanted to take a picture of me. I never did. But after the Fuzz Clinic…”
Campbell pulls out her phone, enthusiastically scrolls through her photos.
And proudly shows off her new headshot.