If you look great in a mustache or beard, facial hair is a good thing. But for most of us, especially women, facial hair is not wanted. And getting rid of it is a constant chore. Isn’t there a better way? Here’s what you need to know about facial hair removal. (Hint: there is no “miracle cure,” but laser hair removal far exceeds the effectiveness of other methods.) Unwanted facial hair can be an aesthetic problem anywhere on the face, typically the eyebrows, cheeks, sideburns, chin, upper lip, and earlobes. There are numerous methods of removing hair, some you can do yourself at home and others that require visiting a salon or medical aesthetic clinic.
No doubt you’ve tried several if not all of these:
- Shaving cuts off the hairs at the skin’s surface, so they can reappear in just a few hours to a couple of days. You have to repeat the process frequently. Shaving is safe, but it can cause nicks, razor burn, and “rashy” looking ingrown hairs.
- Tweezing pulls hairs out by the roots, so results last longer than shaving. Most women tweeze to shape their eyebrows or remove errant hairs that appear on their face. Tweezing can also cause ingrown hairs.
- An epilator also pulls hairs out by the root, but this device removes several hairs at a time.
- Waxing can be done at home or by a professional aesthetician. It is often used to remove hair from larger areas on the face, but some people can be allergic to the wax, and the process can be painful. Waxing can sometimes cause ingrown hairs, too.
- Threading is a technique that must be performed by a trained aesthetician. It uses a thread to entangle and remove hairs at the root, so results are similar to tweezing or epilation. The discomfort level is about the same, too.
- Depilatory creams use chemicals to dissolve hairs so you can just wash them away. This is cheaper than waxing and results last longer than shaving, but allergic reactions can happen.
- There is a prescription cream called Vaniqua that does not remove hair but does slow its growth.
- Electrolysis uses shortwave radio frequency delivered via a thin probe to destroy hair follicles. It can sometimes cause scarring.
- You may have seen TV ads for a new tool that removes facial hair. It is essentially a shaver, but with a gentler touch.
- You may even have seen do-it-yourself laser hair removal kits at the store. This is bad idea, because lasers can be dangerous. Used incorrectly, they can cause permanent skin damage. You wouldn’t consider performing surgery or some other medical procedure on yourself at home.
Professional laser facial hair removal is the most effective method
Gentle medical-grade lasers use pinpoint light to target the pigment within hair follicles. When the light is absorbed the follicle is killed, so it will not continue to produce new hairs. The hair will then fall out. Because lasers are so precise, we can use them to remove unwanted facial hair even in tiny areas such as the upper lip or earlobes.
Laser hair removal is safe, effective, FDA-approved, and fast. We can treat an area about the size of a quarter in just one second. The treatment is not painful, though you may experience some mild discomfort, and there is no downtime. Because hair grows in cycles, it takes anywhere from 3 to 7 treatment sessions to achieve the best possible results. Eventually, a few hairs may grow back, but they can easily be removed with a refresher laser treatment.
You can continue to use one of the many repetitive methods, but if you’re sick and tired of all that, why not schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Jeff Raval to learn if you’re a good candidate for laser hair removal? What have you got to lose, except that unwanted facial hair?