Some of the most common DIY as well as salon cosmetic procedures are facial hair removal for women. We look at the different options for hair removal, both permanent and temporary as well as the pros and cons of each of the methods.
Understanding types of hair for the correct facial hair removal for women
Before looking at ways of hair removal, it is important to understand the difference between the type of hair on the face and elsewhere.
Facial hair is usually vellus hair, which is lighter, thinner, finer and much less visible than terminal or androgenic hair which is found on the head that is courser, darker and longer.
Terminal hair also grows in armpits and pubic area after puberty; among males it also grows on the chest, face, legs and back. The type of facial hair removal for women that is used ideally should depend upon the type of hair that is to be removed.
Sometimes women grow hair other than vellus hair on the face. Conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and others that cause unusually high levels of androgens in the body such as Cushing’s Disease, certain tumors, insulin resistance, obesity as well as certain medications can cause hirsutism.
Hirsutism causes coarse dark hair to grow on the face, arms, legs, chest and abdomen among women.
Temporary facial hair removal for women
Plucking or tweezing
You can use tweezers to pluck out individual hairs from wherever required on the face: a stray hair on the chin, the upper lip or plucking to shape the eyebrows. You can do this easily by yourself at home. However this cannot be used for removing hair from larger areas since you’re pulling out just one hair at a time.
This type of hair removal is usually performed only by a trained person at the salon who will use a long tread wrapped around the fingers of both hands to pull out hair from different places on the face. The areas that this hair removal technique is usually used for is the upper lip, the hair growing alongside the ears, and most often for shaping the eyebrows. This method of hair removal can be very painful.
This is another method for facial hair removal for women, which is more often used on the legs and arms. It can be a quick and less painful (than threading) way of getting rid of hair from the upper lip, cheeks and so on.
Using an epilator
Machines that pull out hair from the root can also do the job of facial hair removal, though you would have to be careful about the more delicate facial skin.
Many women prefer this method of facial hair removal because it is painless. However it removes hair only from the surface of the skin and re-growth is faster with this type of facial hair removal. Also women with sensitive skin may not tolerate the chemicals present in the hair removal cream too well.
Permanent or long term methods of facial hair removal for women
Laser hair removal
In recent times, this method of hair removal has become hugely popular, being less painful than electrolysis and at the same time giving long-term hairlessness. Lasers go to the root of the hair and destroy the hair follicle so that the hair growth is diminished or prevented. Though home laser removal is an option, getting the procedure done from salons are quite expensive.
Also they are not suitable or effective for everyone and may not be suitable as a method of facial hair removal for women. For best results, you have to have dark hair and light skin so that the laser can target the pigmented areas. Some women prefer not to take any chances with procedures for the face, because of the possibility of going wrong – scarring, burns, pigmentation and other problems are known to occur at times with lasers.
This requires the technician to insert fine needles into the hair follicle and deliver a slight electric charge to burn and destroy the hair root. This can be both painful and expensive though the hair removal will be permanent.
The efficacy of electrolysis as a method of facial hair removal for women would have to be carefully evaluated to see whether the procedure is suitable for facial hair.