Don’t fear your facial fuzz
People typically have hair almost everywhere on the body, but for women, their facial hair is usually fine. Visible, unwanted facial hair can be embarrassing but even celebrities have it! Apparently the latest trend in Hollywood is shaving. Jennifer Lopez shaves everywhere except her eyebrows! Whilst Kim Kardashian is obsessed with laser hair removal, even lasering the hairs on her neck.
For us mere mortals facial hair removal has to be one of the least talked about and most unpleasant beauty treatments. But don’t fear your facial fuzz, we’ve got the lowdown on effective treatments from our team of expert tutors at Lifetime Beauty.
Around the age of thirty-five, when oestrogen levels start to change, rogue hairs may sprout from the chin or upper lip. Issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or adrenal gland disorders may also cause unwanted facial hair. The good news is there are lots of options to remove it.
Plucking is the route many of us are most familiar with. Tweezing is good for small, localised areas like your chin and brows but can be labour intensive for larger areas. Make sure you purchase a good pair of tweezers (Your Salon Store has a great selection) and clean them with boiling water and sterilising fluid everyday.
Warm wax is really effective on fine hair and can be very cost effective. The pros: the hair grows back thinner and less dense and this is a great treatment during pregnancy (remember Larry, Adele’s beard revelation!) The cons: it can cause skin discolouration on darker skins, regrowth occurs relatively fast and hairs needs to be 0.5cm long before you can rewax. A temporary rash may also appear and ingrown hairs could be a problem.
Threading uses twisted thread that traps the hair and pulls it out. This natural method is quick, cheap and effective on very short hair on upper lips and cheeks. Over time, it damages the follicle and limits regrowth. Pros: No chemicals are involved. Cons: Threading is tricky so always head to a salon to find a fully trained therapist.
Lightening creams and serums are good for women who want to lessen the colour of their facial hair but don't necessarily want or need to remove it. Thandie Newton is a fan!
Depilatory creams use chemicals, such as calcium thioglycolate or potassium thioglycolate, to break disulfide bonds in keratin. This weakens the hair’s structure. This technique is great for those who want a treatment they can do at home privately and quickly, but be aware that regrowth is rapid and sometimes stubbly as the hair is dissolved just below the skin’s surface, not at the root. The chemicals may also irritate and redden sensitive skin. Always make sure you do a patch test first to check for any allergies!
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) uses a variety of light wavelengths which are absorbed by the hair follicle itself. The light is converted to heat, which kills the follicle. After a course of six to ten treatments, the hair should either not regrow or may be reduced and finer. Be aware you need a gap of one to three months between each treatment. Whilst on the pricey side (you are looking at hundreds rather than tens of pounds for the course) it is permanent and is considered to be less painful than laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal uses a beam of light with a single wavelength. This destroys the follicles beneath the skin surface and stops the hair from growing. A course of six to eight treatments is usually recommended to ensure the follicles are completely disabled. It is really important to protect your skin from sun damage afterwards as otherwise hyperpigmentation (darker patches of skin) can occur. This versatile treatment can be used on any area of the face but there needs to be a four-week gap between treatments and the up front cost of a course of treatments can be high. It is most suitable for dark hair on pale skin (laser energy is absorbed by pigment, so works best when there is a strong contrast between skin and hair colours), though new diode lasers mean dark-skinned women and those with sensitive skin can be treated in some clinics. It is not effective on blonde, white or grey facial hair. A fully trained therapist is essential to ensure there will be no burning, blistering, scarring or hyperpigmentation.
Electrolysis works by giving each hair follicle an ‘electric shock’ through a fine, sterile needle. There are different methods including Galvanic, Blend and more recently Thermolysis. Electrolysis cuts the supply of blood and oxygen to the hair, killing it. This method is permanent, as every treated follicle will die so the hair can’t grow back Great for areas where there isn’t much hair, it is time-consuming and you might need multiple sessions making it costly. For example, an upper lip could take ten hours to completely remove the hair. It is also more effective than laser or IPL on fair hair. Again only go to a fully qualified therapist for this treatment.
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