It’s nice to have so many options for facial hair removal, but the truth is that each of the top methods has its advantages and drawbacks.
1. Shaving and Dermaplaning
Years ago, when one of the original New Jersey Real Housewives confessed to shaving her face with a razor, it caused some viewers to react with shock and surprise. But these days, the practice is more widespread. While some still may attempt this at home with a conventional razor, others are making appointments for professional dermaplaning with a tool that resembles a surgical scalpel.
Dermaplaning (also called microplaning or blading) is not something you’d want to attempt on your own since the tool is very sharp. Women who swear by this method say it not only removes hair but helps to exfoliate their skin as well. It’s not an inexpensive treatment, however, and the results do not last very long. Aside from the skin treatment, dermaplaning only acts to shave off the outer growth of hair– similar to how guys shave every morning.
Shaving with a conventional razor is a much less costly way to remove facial hair and exfoliate, but even with a multi-blade razor, you can still experience irritation and dryness, especially if you have to shave frequently.
Tweezing pulls the hair out from the root, is not too painful, and is a very inexpensive method. However, it’s not a permanent solution, since results only last from three to either weeks, at best. Plus, tweezing is most often used to remove stray eyebrow or chin hairs, but it’s not practical for areas of the face with more hair growth.
Depilation using creams or gels is an inexpensive way to remove facial hair. These products are widely available at any drugstore, and the results last longer than shaving.
But depilatories carry a risk for skin irritation, which is why manufacturers recommend you first do a patch test to see how your skin reacts. Depilatories work by using chemicals like calcium thioglycolate or potassium thioglycolate, which weaken the hairs by breaking down disulfide bonds in keratin. Stubble will likely reappear after only a week, and frequent use can cause redness and irritation.
4. Waxing or Sugaring
Waxing – in which soft or hard wax is applied to the skin and hair is pulled off in patches – is a popular hair removal option for many women, but it’s considered one of the more painful methods. Sugaring is similar to waxing in that it also rips hair from the root, but the technique is slightly different and some say it hurts less than waxing.
If you’re sensitive to the ingredients in the wax, it could cause skin irritation. Since only sugar, water, and lemon juice is used to make sugar for hair removal, there’s less chance of a reaction.
Ingredients aside, a poor application and removal of the wax or sugar could mean the hair follicles aren’t removed entirely, which would lead to ingrown hairs. To avoid bumps from ingrown hairs, it’s best not to use an in-home kit for waxing or sugaring, especially if you’re inexperienced.
Threading originated centuries ago in far eastern cultures. The process involves moving a thread in a circular motion over an area of hair growth until the thread is very taut and the hairs can then be lifted from their follicles.
The benefits of this technique are that it lasts longer than shaving or tweezing, it won’t cause ingrown hairs, and it doesn’t use any ingredients that might cause a skin reaction. It is considered to be mildly to moderately painful, however, and is typically only used for brows. Since it’s a complicated technique, you won’t want to attempt this on your own.
Epilation is like tweezing, but relies on an epilation device that can remove many hairs at one time. It’s considered to be more painful than tweezing, but less than waxing.
This method is best used for removing the stray hairs that appear between hair removal appointments, and it’s suggested that you don’t use this method for areas that require precision, like your eyebrows. Epilation is typically a DIY method, but the epilation device is far more expensive than a tweezer. Like many of these hair removal methods, epilation can also cause skin irritation and redness, especially when done by someone inexperienced.
7. Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal uses a beam of concentrated light to target hair follicles. When the follicles absorb the light, it’s converted to heat, which then alters the follicles so that hair either cannot grow back or will reappear much finer. Laser treatment is one of the only methods that can lead to a permanent reduction in hair growth.
Laser hair removal is safe and FDA-approved (when it’s done by a trained professional). It can take about six sessions to achieve permanent hair growth reduction, and the sessions are not inexpensive. But given that this method can achieve permanent hair reduction, it’s an upfront investment that will pay off in the future, as you will not need to spend money on other hair removal approaches that require you to keep coming back.
Most people say laser hair removal feels like a rubber band is snapping at your skin, and although there may be some redness or irritation immediately after the procedure, it typically goes away quickly.
Electrolysis is similar to laser hair removal in that it also uses heat to destroy hair follicles, and can likely lead to permanent hair removal. Rather than a beam of light, electrolysis uses a needle to penetrate the follicle.
Electrolysis is time-consuming since the needle can target only one follicle at a time (laser beams cover a broader area), and you’ll require more sessions to remove hair compared to the laser technique. Unfortunately, electrolysis cannot guarantee permanent hair removal, no matter how many sessions you go through.
9. Topical Prescriptions
Topical prescriptions block an enzyme that’s required for hair growth, but it’s prescribed to slow growth rather than remove hair or make it fall out. These prescriptions can possibly cause skin irritation, and they’re typically prescribed for medical skin or hair conditions over errant chin or lip hair. These prescriptions also work only as long as you continue to use them, which can become very costly as time goes on.
The Winner: Facial Laser Hair Removal in NYC
If you’ve decided you’re tired of waging the war against unwanted facial hair and are looking for a permanent reduction in hair growth, consider the many benefits of facial laser hair removal. It’s the best option to get rid of unwanted hair, and the upfront cost is well worth it in the long run.