Dealing with Facial Hair
Facial hair is a nuisance for all women, and the market reflects that. There are many ways to remove facial hair. Shaving, tweezing, waxing and laser treatments—just what works best, and why?
In this article, we’ll discuss the different methods of hair removal, so you can figure out what will work best for you.
What Causes Facial Hair to Grow?
The growth of facial hair can be influenced by several different factors. One factor is hormones. If you go on a new medication, undergo any medical treatment or suffer through a severe period of stress in your life, your hormones might end up imbalanced. This might result in increased testosterone, which is a male hormone.
Increased levels of testosterone can cause hair to grow thicker. Some women are genetically predisposed to higher levels of testosterone, and may have thick facial hair, even from a young age.
Plucking each individual hair with a tweezer can take a long time, and it can hurt, too! It’s simply not practical for larger areas, like your upper lip and the sides of your face. Plucking involves pulling the hair out from the root, which is painful. It can also result in ingrown hairs if done incorrectly. Although tweezers are inexpensive and easily accessible, this tedious, painful method isn’t for everyone.
The next best thing is waxing, but it involves heat—heat that can leave you with burns if the wax is applied improperly. If you have it done professionally at a spa, it can be expensive. You can’t forget that your skin is sensitive, and that wax can contain chemicals. You might end up stripping your skin, and that’s no fun.
There are alternatives to waxing, like sugaring or using homemade wax with natural components like honey, but these methods involve uprooting the hair. This is painful—think about putting tape on your skin and ripping it off like a band-aid. Ouch! Just remembering the sensation can make your eyes water. For women with sensitive skin, waxing isn’t the best option.
Out of the methods discussed thus far, threading is one of the cleanest ways to get rid of unwanted facial hair—it’s designed for small areas, like your cheeks, upper lip and eyebrows. You don’t have to deal with the mess of wax, and don’t have to worry about sensitivity, as no product is applied topically. A thin cotton thread captures the fine hairs and tears them from the root. Typically, you'll experience minor skin irritation and light redness for approximately a half an hour after.
For those who tear up plucking their eyebrows, threading is an intensified version of that, but condensed to a few painful minutes. Threading won’t leave you with any missed hairs if it’s done by a trained professional, but it is can be quite painful.
You know the pros and cons of tearing hair out by the root. So what is painless?
Depilatory creams come in different varieties, but these creams all do the same thing. The chemicals weaken the hair follicle until it’s brittle enough that it can be wiped away. Many products also include agents that will slow future growth.
If you have allergies or have sensitive, dry, or otherwise imbalanced skin, these creams might result in stinging and irritation, or worse—chemical burns. If your skin is suited to the creams, however, it’s an entirely painless procedure that can be done at home. It’s important to keep in mind that it does need to be done frequently as hair regrows.
If none of the above sounds appealing to you, then laser treatment might be worth considering. Laser treatment can be intimidating because of the associated costs, or the invasive nature of the procedures, but technology intended for use at home exists.
Hair removal devices like Silkn’s Flash&Go allow you to skip the salon visits with a one-time payment. It’s completely painless, quick and easy. Sounds too good to be true, right? But it’s true!
Devices like the Flash&Go are FDA approved and clinically proven to work. Like professional laser treatments, HPL (Home Pulsed Light) technology involves the use of high energy light therapy that burns hair down to its follicle, destroying the root and preventing regrowth. It’s surprisingly simple to use, too.
Following the instructions that come with the device, you apply it to the places where hair grows—say, your upper lip—destroying the hair while leaving the surrounding skin unaffected. Since it uses optical light energy, it’s safe for long term use.
The only downside is that for the device to work, there needs to be a contrast between the skin and hair—meaning, those with very light, blonde hair won’t be able to use the device, as it’s intended for light skin and dark hair.
Ultimately, the method you choose is decided by how much pain you can handle, your skin type, what you’re prepared to spend and how quickly you want the hair to be removed. Impermanent methods like threading provide a clean look for low costs, while permanent treatments like laser technology may not be an option because results aren’t instant, and treatments are expensive.
Whatever hair removal method you ultimately decide to use, we hope this article has provided some insight into facial hair removal options, so you can make an informed decision.