At-Home Treatments that Work

Female facial hair, while surprisingly common, is often an embarrassing problem for women.  After hitting middle age, most women have to battle unwanted facial hair, but it’s a subject that they rarely talk about, because it’s embarrassing, unsightly, and unsexy.  Whether you have begun to notice signs of a “lady-stache” or you have hair showing up on your chin that reminds you of a budding goatee, there are many available methods for removing facial hair for women. 

Shaving:  Most women have been shaving their legs since the teen years, when it was viewed as a rite of passage and a very grown-up thing to do.  It is probably the familiarity with the razor that leads most women to reach for it at the first signs of facial hair growth.  While it is the quickest, easiest, and least expensive method of removing facial hair for women, it does have some drawbacks.  Just as with shaving your legs, it has to be done frequently, which means that you need to stay on top of the regrowth and shave your facial hair several times a week.  Because shaving only removes hair at the surface, rather than at the root, regrowth will be very obvious, very quickly.  While the old wives’ tale of shaving causing your hair to grow back thicker and blacker is simply a myth, shaving your facial hair will leave you with stubble, which is very coarse and rough feeling.  Shaving may work in a pinch, if you are ready to walk out the door on a date, but is not the best long-term solution for removing facial hair for women.

Tweezing/Plucking:  As with shaving, most women have been wielding a pair of tweezers for years and are familiar with them, which is why this is also a very common method women use to rid themselves of unwanted facial hair.  Unlike shaving, when you pluck unwanted hair, you are removing hair at the root.  However, plucking doesn’t damage the follicle enough to avoid thicker regrowth of hair, exacerbating the original problem -- now you’ve got thick, more noticeable facial hair!  Plucking is also time-consuming, requiring that you pluck each hair individually.  Again, if you notice an unsightly facial hair as you are heading out for a date or an important business meeting, plucking can be an excellent way to remedy the problem.  Be aware, however, that plucking can sometimes cause you to notice small red bumps in the area that appear due to the hair follicle becoming swollen and irritated.  This is often temporary.   

Warning:  Both shaving and plucking can cause hair to break off below the skin, resulting in ingrown hairs, which are small, red, painful bumps that appear at or near the site where you have attempted to shave/pluck unwanted hair.  Ingrown hairs can become infected, causing them to resemble pus-filled pimples.  Again, while shaving and plucking can be great hair removal options in a pinch, they are often best avoided as a long-term solution for this reason. 

Epilation:  Using an epilator is a great alternative to plucking as it can clear large areas of unwanted hair quickly.  Because it removes hair at the root, the results are longer lasting, leaving you with smooth skin for up to six weeks.  Hair regrowth often tends to be finer with epilation than with plucking.  Because epilation does not affect the surface of the skin, it is often a great option for those who have sensitive skin that tends to redden after waxing.  As epilation can be painful in the beginning, it is often advisable to take an over-the-counter pain reliever approximately 30 minutes prior to treating the areas of unwanted hair.  Epilators are a very economical solution for at-home removal of unwanted facial hair, with many models costing under $50.    

Waxing:  Waxing of the upper lip/chin areas is a very common method of removing facial hair for women.  It is often inexpensive, whether done at home or in a salon, and provides longer-lasting results than shaving or tweezing do.  Do-it-yourself home waxing kits are readily available in both grocery and drug stores, and are easy to apply at home.  Rather than needing to be repeated several times a week, waxing only requires repeated treatment approximately every three to four weeks.  Waxing pulls hair out from the root and, over time, actually damages the hair follicle -- much like electrolysis -- resulting in less hair at regrowth that is also thinner, softer and sparser, making it a good option for long-term management of unwanted female facial hair.  At first, waxing can be very uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, but as you repeat the treatment over time, this often resolves.  If you are new to waxing, and plan to use it for long-term removal of unwanted hair, investing in a complete facial waxing kit can be much more economical than repeated salon treatments.   

Depilatories:  Depilatories are creams or liquids that are applied to areas of unwanted facial hair which dissolve hair from the skin’s surface, allowing it to easily be washed or wiped away.  Depilatory products are readily available in both grocery and drug stores, and are an easy do-it-yourself method of removing facial hair.  After applying the product, you simply wait the time specified on the product directions and wipe away unwanted hair.  Depending on the product used, this method can last from several days up to two or three weeks.  The drawbacks to using depilatory creams for removing unwanted facial hair are that they are often messy and have an unpleasant odor.  Depending on the product’s ingredients, depilatories can also be irritating to sensitive skin.  

With multiple home treatment options available, women no longer have to suffer with the embarrassing problem of unwanted facial hair.  Today’s hair removal products are easier to use, less expensive, and more effective than ever before.