We all have our preferred methods for removing body hair, and they are likely the same methods we’ve been using for years. But when it comes to facial hair removal, most of us are still trying to figure it out.
It’s a problem we don’t often talk about, because it can be embarrassing. But the fact is nearly 1 in 10 women suffer from the problem.
The skin on our face is thinner and more sensitive than other parts of our body. The hair removal methods that might work on our legs, could cause redness and irritation on our face. We have to be mindful of our skin type and what might cause a negative reaction.
Best Ways to Remove Facial Hair:
Here is some detailed information on the most popular forms of hair removal to help you navigate your options.
Perhaps the easiest, and most pain-free method of facial hair removal, shaving can be done in seconds and in the privacy of your own home.
Make sure to use warm water and a good shaving cream to keep the blade lubricated and gliding smoothly on your skin, minimizing the risk of razor burn. A razor with one to two blades is perfect.
You can even pick up a special electric shaver designed just for removing facial hair. It’s perfectly sized and shaped for the job.
Apply a moisturizer afterward to soothe skin (I love Tend Skin). Be sure it contains no alcohol or other ingredients that could cause your skin to sting. Unfortunately, with shaving, the results are short term, and the hair may feel more stubbly while growing in. Shaving is perfect for sideburns, peach fuzz, upper lip and chin.
This method of hair removal has become very popular stateside, and you can often find this option offered in salons, spas, and even malls. It’s even become popular with men in recent years.
As the name implies, a thread is doubled over and rolled across the areas where hair is to be removed. The hairs are plucked from the root, allowing more time between visits. Threading is also faster than using tweezers.
This method is best done by a professional and is ideal for eyebrows, upper lip, cheeks, and chin. Threading is slightly painful- comparable to that of tweezing.
Great for smaller areas like eyebrows, rogue single hairs and long nose hairs. Tweezing can be done at home, using high quality tweezers that have been freshly cleaned.
This method is effective and budget-friendly. Results typically last longer than shaving, and there are few negatives. Since the hair is being plucked, you are less likely to experience ingrown hairs.
It can be uncomfortable, but plucking right out of the shower can help to minimize the pain. Be careful not to over pluck, as it is possible to kill hair follicles by waxing and tweezing, causing permanent thinning.
One of the oldest forms of hair removal, waxing, is great for those who don’t want to pluck or shave weekly.
With waxing the hair is pulled out using a sugar or resin-based wax. Results last about a month. Waxing can be performed at home or in the salon.
Waxing can be painful, and sometimes the hair can break, causing ingrown hairs. Some dermatologists advise not using wax on the upper lip for this reason. Waxing is perfect for the eyebrows and chin hairs.
If you’re going for an at-home wax, we especially love the Yeleen Wax Warmer.
Epilation is a method of plucking the hair from the root using a special device called an epilator. An epilator glides across the skin, allowing multiple sets of built-in tweezers to pull the hairs out as it goes.
The results are long lasting and smooth. And it doesn’t take long at all to epilate the face – there are even epilators designed specifically Braun Silk Epil 9
The pain is similar to that of waxing and threading, but there are some simple remedies that can help make it less painful.
Painless and easy to use, depilatory creams are perfect for those who can’t bear the thought of plucking and are averse to shaving.
Depilatory creams use chemicals to dissolve the hair just beneath the skin’s surface. Results can last longer than shaving, usually up to four days. The creams are usually affordable and can be used at home. (Click here to find some great options.)
Patch tests should always be done when using a new depilatory cream due to the chemicals used. These can be used anywhere on the face, but don’t get them too close to the eyes.
Perfect for bushy eyebrows and long nose hairs. Small scissors or a trimming tool can be used to thin unruly eyebrows and trim nose hairs.
Trimming is pain-free but temporary. When trimming the eyebrows, it is best to do a little at a time to avoid creating thin patches.
More than just a method for facial hair removal, dermaplaning is also a skincare treatment. Many say the procedure helps to brighten the skin’s appearance and allows cosmetics to apply more evenly.
Dermaplaning is performed by either a dermatologist or an aesthetician, who will use a surgical scalpel to remove peach fuzz and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.
Dermaplaning is recommended for all skin types, and there is no downtime. Results are temporary, and the procedure will have to be repeated regularly (typically, every four weeks).
This method should only be done by a professional to avoid the risk of trauma. Despite the popular myth, shaving and dermaplaning will not make your hair grow back thicker or darker.
One of the most effective ways to remove hair permanently is with a laser. With this high tech hair removal method, a laser will send a highly concentrated light into the follicle helping to destroy the pigment in the follicles and stop hair growth.
Optimally, the hair should be darker than your skin. If your hair is very light or your skin is very dark, this treatment might not be for you, so make sure you’re a good candidate for laser hair removal before you get started.
It can take several sessions for the follicle to be completely destroyed. The process can be painful, but some claim it’s not as painful as waxing. It is not recommended for areas too close to the eyes, such as the lower brow. Laser removal is great for sideburns, upper lip, chin hair and peach fuzz. Talk to a dermatologist for more info.
IPL – Home Laser Hair Removal
IPL stands for intense pulsed light and is another permanent hair removal option. It’s a specific type of laser hair removal that can be performed at home with devices available to the public. We’ve written up an in-depth review on IPL devices here.
It is ideal for lighter skin and darker hair. It also takes several sessions to completely kill the hair, but there are machines you can purchase for home use to save yourself an in-office appointment.
There are even devices that are designed specifically for the face, with smaller tips for more precision, and they can even be used to treat stubborn stray hairs.
While most people don’t experience pain during the treatment, afterward a stinging or burning sensation similar to that of a sunburn, along with some swelling may occur, but will quickly subside.
Certain medications, skin care products and skin conditions can make the procedure more painful due to a photosensitivity reaction. Be cautious if you use products containing retinol or glycolic acid.
A great permanent option for those with darker skin or lighter hair. Electrolysis uses heat or chemicals to destroy hair follicles one by one.
It’s not nearly as efficient as laser hair removal, which is why it’s lost popularity in recent years. But it’s a universal treatment that can be used on all skin and hair types. So if you have darker skin or lighter hair that makes you a poor candidate for IPL, this may be worth investigating.
It can take several treatments to complete. The treatment can be uncomfortable, but how significant will vary from person to person. Ask before your procedure, a topical anesthetic might be available to you.
If you suffer from excessive facial hair, your doctor may be able to prescribe a topical medication that can reduce hair growth.
While definitely an effective treatment, the results will only last as long as you are using the prescription. So ask your doctor if you feel your hair issues warrant this route!
There are several over-the-counter shave minimizing lotions that you can implement into your daily routine to help delay hair growth, so you stay stubble-free longer. These come at various price points, and the results will depend on each individual.
Many people struggle with unwanted facial hair, but luckily there are many options to choose from when it comes to removing it. And as the medical and beauty industry grows, so will the number of choices.
Sage advice to remember when implementing any permanent hair removal technique is that trends will change. Pencil thin eyebrows were all the rage in the ’90s, but now fuller brows are in vogue. You should decide what is best for you personally and aesthetically to be happy with your results long term.