The Hair Removal No One Wants to Talk About: 5 Strategies for Getting Rid of Facial Hair
Fact: Facial hair is one of the most taboo beauty topics out there. Nobody wants to talk about it, but plenty of women—yes, women—deal with it on a daily basis. Because of the stigma, women with facial hair—be it a little peach fuzz on an upper lip or a full-blown beard—can become self-conscious of their appearance. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s completely understandable why some women want these stray hairs gone…fast. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of fuzz-busting options out there to try. More good news: Not all of them will dig a hole into your wallet. Ready to put this hairy issue behind you? Keep reading!
Forget what your mother told you. Shaving is not going to leave you with thicker, coarser facial hair. “Shaving works great and the myth that hair grows back thicker is just that—a myth,” says board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Michael Kaminer. “One of the female dermatologists at our practice has been shaving the fine hairs on her face for years and her skin looks fantastic. I would put shaving back on the table!” It’s also incredibly cost-effective compared to other hair removal options. The only downside to shaving is that it will have to be done repeatedly—even daily, in some cases—since it only removes hair from the surface of the skin. In addition, if you have sensitive skin in particular, there is the downside that shaving can lead to ingrown hairs and/or sensitivity, so talk to your dermatologist first.
To see short-term results (and perhaps experience a little bit of pain), waxing is an option to consider. Hot wax is applied to the skin and then ripped off with a fabric strip. Since hairs are targeted directly from the root, results typically last between 1-3 weeks. If you experience any irritation post-wax, follow these tips to help your skin.
Dermaplaning is the process of “shaving” and exfoliating the surface of facial skin with a 10-gauge scalpel. It sounds scary, but—in the right professional’s hands—the act can be quite relaxing. Dead skin cells and facial hair are removed in the process, giving way to radiant-looking skin as a result. Dr. Kaminer’s patients are particularly big fans of it. A word of advice: Don’t think to try it at home! Always visit a qualified practitioner, dermatologist, or esthetician for the service, as it requires precision. Otherwise, things can get pretty messy.
According to Dr. Kaminer, lasers work by targeting pigment cells that form the hair, engulfing the hair bulb or the root of the hair, and killing it with heat. It’s an extremely effective method for hair reduction, but it’s not without its pitfalls. A minimum of five sessions is typically required, though upwards of 10 is usually what patients commit to for permanent or semi-permanent results. Another drawback? The cost. It’s certainly not cheap. It’s also slightly painful—think: a rubber band snapping on your skin. The results can be worth it though if you can afford it.
Not sure if laser hair removal is right for you? Check out our FAQs answered by top dermatologist!
Ah, good ol’ plucking. It’s the way to go when you’re in a pinch and have some time to kill. It’s not convenient for larger patches of hair (unless you really have some time on your hands), but for a few stray whiskers or eyebrow hairs, it’s the fastest option.