While all women have some facial hair, some of us have a lot more than others. It's usually a 'peach fuzz texture', and it tends to increase during and after menopause. This increase is quite common due to hormonal level fluctuations. Genetics also play a big part, so yours will most likely be like your female relatives.
Excessive coarse darker hair on your face, arms, back, or chest may be hirsutism or hypertrichosis. These are hormonal imbalances that you should consult your medical professional about.
A common belief is that removing facial hair will cause it to grow back faster, darker or thicker. This isn't true.
Hair growth and texture stay the same.
Hair removal makes your skin feel and look soft and smooth. Regrowth texture may seem darker, thicker and coarser, but the hair grows back the same. Long term hair removal can end up reducing regrowth due to repeated trauma.
Facial skin is delicate, so take some time to decide on the best removal method for your hair type and needs.
1. Plucking is the most common method.
Tweezers are the easiest, especially for small areas like your brows and chin.
Invest in a good set and keep them clean to prevent cross-infection. Wipe the tips of tweezers before and after every use with an alcohol wipe. Let them dry and keep them inside a protective pouch.
If you're not sure how to shape your brows, always get professional advice.
Another popular method is waxing. A professional therapist uses a specialised wax with low heating temperature. This can remove hair from your upper lip, cheeks, brows, sideburns and chin with ease.
Although it's my favourite way to remove facial hair, waxing isn't for everyone.
Waxing can irritate sensitive skin and is not recommended for anyone taking skin medication. The quality and style of waxes can vary, so do your research before you commit.
You can also buy home waxing kits but practice on your leg first. The technique is essential to remove the hair follicle altogether. Broken hair can cause inflammation and ingrown hairs.
Shaving is more common than you think! A famous Beauty Therapist I follow says she shaves the peach fuzz from her face regularly.
Make-up artists often recommend shaving before a photoshoot for a smooth, matte foundation.
Invest in a quality razor designed for women's facial hair if you choose this form of hair removal.
Shave in the shower or directly after when your skin is soft. Wash first with a cream cleanser and apply pre-shave oil to prevent razor burn. Don't go over the same surface more than once to avoid irritation. Apply a toning mist and hydrating moisturiser or mask directly after. I recommend Intensive Hydration Mask.
Threading is an ancient practice from Middle Eastern and Asian countries. It uses a thin, doubled cotton thread to twist and roll over the skin to remove hairs. Threading isn't quite as intense as plucking and gives a similar result to waxing. It's recommended for anyone taking skin medications or with very sensitive skin. It works best on smaller areas such as the eyebrows, upper lip and cheeks.
5. Facial Hair Removal Creams (over the counter)
Applied to the area with unwanted hair these creams are then wiped away along with the strands themselves.
Hair removal creams use chemicals such as calcium thioglycolate or potassium thioglycolate. They can be a bit smelly and often cause skin breakouts, so always patch test first.
6. Topical Prescription Creams
There are prescription creams which are a topical once-a-day treatment. They work by inhibiting hair growth. They are useful while you are using them, but the effect wears off when you stop, and your hair will grow back.
7. Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is an option to get rid of facial hair permanently. Laser is also known as IPL - intense pulse light therapy.
Lasers shoot a wavelength of light that's absorbed by the hair follicle. It's converted into heat which kills the hair follicle. Recommended for darker, coarser hair, it doesn't work for light or fine hairs. As the technology is improving, it would be worth consulting a laser professional.
Electrolysis is another permanent option but hasn’t been used much since laser technology has taken over. Electrolysis uses concentrated heat to destroy each follicle, one at a time. It works on fair and fuzzy hair, but it's time-consuming and a bit painful.
9. Epilation Device
Epilation devices pluck out multiple hairs at the same time. It's like having lots of tweezers all going at once. With regular use, you'll become accustomed to the feeling, and your skill will improve, making it less painful. This is an option if you’d like to remove facial hair at home instantly. Make sure you choose a device designed for facial hair removal.
As the amount of hair varies with hormone fluctuations, I wax to remove my facial hair every 4-6 weeks.
If you are uncomfortable with your facial hair and you want to do something about it, look into which would be the best method for you.
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