Unwanted hair especially on the face can be a major concern for women. Called hirsutism, it usually affects women from the age of 18-45 years. Though there are several options available these days, it still is a burning problem for several ladies. It makes them conscious of their appearance and can even lead to low self-esteem as they are often mocked for their facial hair. But experts believe that this condition can be controlled by adopting simple measures. Here are a few of them.
Chances are, plucking is the route with which you’re most familiar. After all, tweezers are commonplace in most households so they’re the easiest to reach for when you see some strays.
Another very common method is waxing. Using either soft wax, which is pulled off with cloth strips, or hard wax that simply hardens and is pulled off on its own, a practitioner can remove hairs from your upper lip, cheeks, brows and chin with ease. But this popular practice isn’t for everyone.
Waxing can cause irritation because the skin can be sensitive to the products being applied to the surface. And inexact technique may result in incomplete extraction of the hair follicle and breakage of the hair shaft, so the skin surrounding the hair shaft can then become inflamed. If the retained hair follicle becomes entrapped, it can lead to ingrown hairs. Always read reviews online prior to visiting a new waxing boutique. Your skin will thank you.
While shaving may be less commonly used on the face than the aforementioned options, it’s the way many women choose to remove their facial hair. But wait — what about that old wives’ tale about hair coming back thicker if you shave?
It’s just a myth that your hair will grow coarser and more densely after shaving. The follicle gets cut in half so it feels pricklier, but it’s not any thicker.
If you feel most comfortable with a razor, just be sure to take precautions so you can get the smoothest, least irritated finish.
Don’t make passes over the same area several times with your razor. Otherwise, you could irritate your skin — not a great look to have front and center on your face. Once you’re done shaving, apply a hydrating moisturizer to sooth your skin.
Threading is a very common practice in Middle Eastern and Asian countries that involves using a thin, doubled cotton thread pulled super-taut to roll over spots where you wish to remove hairs, thus pulling them out. While it isn’t quite as labor intensive as plucking hairs one at a time, it works best on smaller areas such as the eyebrows, upper lip and cheeks. And unlike using tweezers, threading is much trickier to try if you’ve never been trained in it, so head to a salon with a professional who specializes in it for the best results.
Gone are the days when depilatory creams were pungently scented — there are lots of new ones that are gentle and fragrance-free. These creams are applied to the area with unwanted hair, then wiped away along with the hairs themselves.
Depilatory creams use chemicals such as calcium thioglycolate or potassium thioglycolate, which break disulfide bonds in keratin, thereby weakening the hair. If you go this route, always do a patch test first to check for any allergies.
In addition to the aforementioned over-the-counter or in-salon methods, you can also talk to your dermatologist about trying a topical prescription.
There are prescription meds which is a topical once-a-day treatment used to reduce hair growth, Here’s the catch: while it’s “very effective,” once you stop, the effect wears off and your hair will grow back.
Laser Hair Removal
If you want something much more permanent, you can try laser hair removal, also known as intense pulse light therapy.
Lasers shoot a certain wavelength of light that’s specifically absorbed by the hair follicle itself, When that light is absorbed, it’s converted into heat which kills the hair follicle. The advantage this route has over electrolysis is treating a larger portion at a time, while electrolysis (elaborated on below) is individually ablating one follicle at a time — think waxing versus plucking. The downsides: This isn’t an ideal route for those with light or fine hairs, and the cost is high, with sessions ranging from $50 to $300. Plus, you may need several sessions to fully destroy the follicles.
Another permanent option: electrolysis, which uses concentrated heat to destroy each follicle one at a time to prohibit hairs from growing. This is an ideal method for folks who want permanent hair removal, but can’t do laser removal because their hairs are light or fuzzy.