How to Remove Facial Hair (Only if You Want to)
Everyone has facial hair -- yes, even women. While you certainly don't need to remove it (it's your hair, after all), if you'd like to get rid of that peach fuzz or those pesky random hairs that crop up from time to time, here are all your facial hair removal options.
Shaving and Dermaplaning
What it is: Traditional shaving is a perfectly acceptable way to remove facial hair. And don't worry, despite what you've heard, it will not cause hair to grow back thicker or darker.
Just make sure you use a high-quality, hydrating shaving cream like Rainbow's Smooth Shave Butter before gliding a razor over your face, and finish with a soothing moisturizer like Rainbow's Hydrate Serum.
Another version of facial shaving is dermaplaning. Dermaplaning is a form of exfoliation that removes the superficial layer of dead skin using a tool that resembles a small straight razor. This hair removal treatment can be done by a certified dermatologist or licensed esthetician.
Pros: Shaving is an effective method for removing unwanted facial hair. It's easy, quick, and if you're shaving from home -- one of the cheapest methods of hair removal. Remember to shave in the direction of hair growth for irritation-free results!
Cons: Some people dislike the blunt edges and upkeep of shaving. Plus, you can get cuts, razor burn, inflamed hair follicles, and ingrown hairs if you're not careful.
What it is: Tweezing can be used for those occasional chin hairs that pop up out of nowhere. You know the ones! With tweezing, you can simply pluck away stray hairs anywhere on the face or body.
Pros: Tweezing is cheap, easy to do, and comes with minimal risk of irritation. It also lasts longer than methods such as shaving, because you're removing the entire hair by its root. Plus, the tool itself -- the tweezers -- are extremely affordable. And they can last years!
Cons: It can be time consuming if you're trying to attack larger areas of hair such as your eyebrows, chin hairs, upper lip, and sideburns. While tweezing isn’t super risky, you may experience inflamed hair follicles, hyperpigmentation, scarring, and ingrown hairs. Too much tweezing can also damage and eventually kill hair follicles, resulting in thinner hair.
What it is: Waxing is a popular hair removal method that removes hair from the root. Known to last around four to five weeks, all it requires is some hot wax or waxing strips and a little grit. Just make sure you get a good wax kit, and finish with a soothing aloe-based lotion to calm any inflammation. If you don't fancy doing a home waxing session, you can go to a professional waxing salon instead.
Pros: The best thing about waxing is the long-lasting results. You can enjoy being hair-free for at least four weeks. Additionally, repeated waxing can traumatize the hair follicle, which can cause permanent hair thinning. For some people, this can be a major benefit.
Cons: Waxing isn’t for everyone -- particularly those with a low pain threshold or sensitive skin. What's more, waxing can cause skin irritation, infections, and scarring, as well as burning if the wax is too hot. According to the derms, you also shouldn't wax after applying a topical retinoid or while taking oral retinoids as the ingredient speeds up skin cell turnover.
What it is: Threading is an ancient hair removal technique that involves twisting and rolling a cotton thread over your skin to remove unwanted hair and achieve precise eyebrow shaping.
Pros: It's quick, doesn't use any chemicals, and is very affordable. Plus, results can last up to six weeks, which is perfect if you're trying to maintain the shape of your beautiful brows. According to the experts, threading is gentler than waxing since it doesn't rip off that top layer of skin.
Cons: Threading isn't easy to do at home (unless you watch A LOT of DIY tutorials) and is best left to a professional esthetician. As a hair removal technique that involves pulling hair from the root, threading does come with side effects such as temporary skin redness, inflamed hair follicles, and ingrown hairs.
What it is: Epilation involves the use of an electric epilator device that captures hair from the root. They typically focus on larger areas of the body like the legs, but some devices can be useful for small areas like the jawline, chin, upper lip forehead, and between the eyebrows.
Pros: Results last approximately two weeks, and possibly longer. There are plenty of home devices available that you can use from the comfort of your own bathroom. Plus, you can use it on facial hair, body hair, or wherever you want things extra smooth.
Cons: It's definitely one of the more painful hair removal options. Additionally, this method comes with potential sides effects such as irritation, hyperpigmentation, and ingrown hairs.
Laser Hair Removal
What it is: Laser hair removal is a permanent hair removal method that uses pulsed light to disable the hair follicle. Lasering is an FDA-approved method of permanent hair reduction that is safe to use on the face and body. It usually takes at least four to six sessions, and you may need periodic maintenance every 6 to 12 months.
Pros: over time, with consistent sessions, you will notice your hair growing back thinner and sparser. It's an excellent method for controlling excessive body hair, or simply making your life so much easier.
Cons: First, laser treatments can be expensive. Unless you purchase a home laser device, you can expect the full treatment to cost a few thousand bucks. It can also be a little uncomfortable at first if you're not used to that zapping sensation.
Finally, laser generally works best for those with dark hair and light skin due to the treatment targeting pigment in the hair. That said, more and more devices are being customized to work for all skin tones, skin types, and hair colors -- including darker skin and darker hair, lighter skin and lighter hair, and medium skin and medium hair.
If you're trying to take control of unwanted hair growth, consider one of the hair removal methods above. You may also want to consider other methods, including electrolysis, sugaring, and depilatory creams. Speak to your dermatologist for professional guidance.
In the meantime, focus on adopting a soothing and hydrating skincare routine to keep your skin happy between shaves.