The scruffy look works for Brad Pitt, but that doesn’t mean we want to emulate it. No matter how you slice it, female facial hair is actually super common but annoying nonetheless. Here, we compare the pros and cons of facial hair removal including: shaving (yes, with an actual razor), waxing, tweezing, lasering, bleaching, dermaplaning and depilating.
However, before giving any of these methods to try, proper preparation is a must. "One of the biggest mistakes is not starting with a clean face, no matter the technique," Dr. Deanne Robinson, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Connecticut, tells TZR. But to keep skin healthy and without irritation, consistency is key. "If you have a laser hair removal package, stick with it. Do not wax, tweeze, or pluck in between sessions," Josie Holmes, esthetician at SKINNEY Medspa in New York City says. "It is also important to stay on your recommended schedule. The hair growth cycle usually takes about four weeks. Most hair removal service appointments, whether it is lasers or waxing should be continued on a four to six week basis."
So if you are all too familiar with annoying peach fuzz and embarrassing stray hairs (or a full-on pregnancy beard like Adele), these tips will help smooth things out for good.
Facial Hair Removal Method: Dermaplaning
"Many people are experimenting with at-home dermaplaning," Dr. Robinson says. "While it doesn't replace the effectiveness of having this done by a trained professional in a medical setting, there are some obvious benefits, namely exfoliation and hair removal. Some of the biggest mistakes are not starting with a clean face. You want to really clean your face well before taking a razor to it, this avoids transporting bacteria and oils into open pores as you slough off dead skin cells with each swipe. Furthermore, be sure to always use a fresh razor, I wouldn't recommend reusing a razor, especially if you are acne prone. After your shave, wash again. Never shave over active acne lesions, that can cause infection and lifelong scarring."
Facial Hair Removal Method: Razor
Best for the upper lip, forehead, and general peach fuzz, this completely pain-free method is easy to use and fast. This single-blade razor removes all traces of hair (even fine, invisible ones) and doesn't make hair grow back thicker or darker. To execute, pull skin taut, then hold the razor at a 45-degree angle and shave downward in short strokes. One of the cons of razors, however, is since it's just cutting hair at the surface, you will have to do this at least twice per week.
Facial Hair Removal Method: Laser
"This is similar to laser hair removal elsewhere on the body. You'll likely need a series of six to eight treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart," Dr. Robinson says. "With each treatment the laser passes over the skin and finds the pigment deep within the hair follicle called melanin. The laser heats up the melanin and in turn this damages the hair follicle. After several treatments the follicle is completely destroyed - on average patients see a reduction of 80% in hair in the treated area(s)."
Facial Hair Removal Method: Depilator
Best for chin, upper lip, hairline and sideburns, depilator removal looks more natural because it doesn't leave harsh lines, working best on coarse strays. To use, rest the coil on your face and twist handles to rotate the spring and pull hair. This lasts longer because you are removing at the root. However, if you have a low pain tolerance this may not be for you, as the method is known to hurt tremendously. This device pulls only a handful of hairs at a time so you will have to go over the same area multiple times, which can feel torturous. It also has a difficult time picking up thin, short hair so, again, peach fuzz need not apply.
Facial Hair Removal Method: Bleach
While not for all-over use, this is great for the chin, upper lip, and eyebrows by lightening hair to make it less visible, rather than removing the hair as a whole. To use, you apply the two-step paste to the area you are treating, wait eight minutes and then wipe off. It's possible that you will feel an uncomfortable, burning sensation while it works. You can apply it to eyebrows to lighten them a shade or two if needed. However, with summer approaching and the beaming sun more prevalent, peach fuzz will still be visible in direct sunlight.
Facial Hair Removal Method:
Facial Hair Removal Method: Tweezers
We've all been there, giving the tweezers a go to remove those few unwanted hairs. The method gives you precise control and easily removes unwanted strays (like the ones that pop up on the chin), and unlike some other forms of hair removal, doesn't irritate skin and lasts about two weeks.
Facial Hair Removal Method: Wax
While it can be difficult to wax yourself, if you master it, the method is one of the most effective, removing all traces of hair, even peach fuzz. However, for sensitive skin, waxing can have adverse effects. "Traditional waxing can be harsh on facial skin and cause damage, therefore I recommend sugaring for the face over waxing," Holmes says. "It does not use heat or wax with chemicals, but rather a natural solution comprised of sugar and lemon juice."
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