Shaving is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get rid of facial hair, but it's not the best choice for everyone. Taking a razor to your face can irritate delicate skin, and when you shave, you're only free of hair for a few days. Other hair-removal methods, such as waxing or plucking, may work better for you. These solutions keep fuzz at bay for up to a few weeks. Medical options, including electrolysis and laser treatments, ward off hair for weeks or months.
Creams, Plucking and Other Solutions
Spread a depilatory cream over unwanted hair, wait several minutes, and then wipe hair away with a damp washcloth. These creams use chemicals to dissolve unwanted hair, which typically won't grow back for up to two weeks. The chemicals can cause irritation, though. Opt for a cream that's designed for facial hair for best results.
Hold your skin taut with one hand, then use a pair of angled-tip tweezers to grasp a hair as close to the root as possible. Pull the hair out with one quick motion. This is an inexpensive method, but it can be time-consuming. Epilation devices cost more but remove multiple hairs at once. Results can last from three to eight weeks.
Have hair removed with laser treatment. In this procedure, a doctor directs a laser into hair follicles, stopping growth. This option works best on fair-skinned people. Results can be permanent, although you may need to have a follow-up treatment every six months to a year.
Zap hair with electrolysis. With this treatment, a doctor uses a probe to send an electric current into hair follicles. The current kills the root and permanently stops hair growth. This treatment is pricey, and the process can take several hours to complete.
Wax Away Your Worries
Wash your face with a mild cleanser and warm water to get rid of oil, dirt and other residue.
Rub skin gently with a damp washcloth using small, circular motions. Doing this exfoliates your face and makes waxing easier.
Make a sugaring wax paste, if desired, by combining 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup honey and the juice of half a lemon in a heat-safe bowl. Melt the ingredients in the microwave for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before using. This homemade sugaring paste is gentler than other types of wax. If you are using store-bought wax, follow the manufacturer's instructions to prepare the wax.
Pick up a small amount of the sugaring paste -- or store-bought wax, if you prefer -- with a craft stick, and spread a thin layer over your unwanted hair. Press a cloth strip down firmly over the wax.
Press down on the skin next to the strip, and use your other hand to pull the cloth strip away from your skin with a single quick motion to extract the unwanted hair. Do not pull upward, as this will increase the likelihood of skin removal; instead, pull the strip away in the direction opposite the direction of hair growth.
Press down on the freshly waxed area immediately to help ease the pain. Wash your face to remove any extra sugaring paste. Remove any extra store-bought wax with a cotton ball soaked in baby oil.
Bleaching creams don't get rid of hair, but they do make it less visible. This type of cream is an option for people with sensitive skin.
Doctors and dermatologists can prescribe you a hair-blocking cream containing eflornithine or a similar medication. These creams block the enzyme that controls hair production. The cream keeps working until you stop using it; after that, hair starts growing back. This solution works well for people with white, gray or blonde facial hair.
People with skin conditions, such as eczema, rosacea or facial dermatitis, should not wax or use depilatory cream.
Do not wax if you take Retin-A, Accutane or any other topical or oral vitamin A products. These medications thin skin and increase the likelihood of skin removal.
Avoid exfoliating freshly waxed areas or exposing them to the sun for at least 24 hours.
Skip shaving between waxing sessions -- shaving will make the next encounter with wax more painful.
If you're female and have excess facial hair, you may have a condition such as familial hirsutism, congential adrenal hyperplasia or polycystic ovary syndrome. Liver disease and hormonal imbalances can also boost hair growth.
- Columbia Health: How Can I Get Rid of My Facial Hair?
- TeensHealth: Hair Removal
- Hair Care; Zoe Diana Draelos; 2004
- The Times of India: How to Wax Your Face at Home
- Elle: Beauty Chat: Dr. Anna Bar on Getting Rid of Facial Hair for Good
- Columbia Health: Do-It-Yourself Potion for Inexpensive Hair Removal
- Absolute Body Waxing & Spa: Do’s & Dont’s of Waxing
- MedicineNet.com: Eflornithine, Vaniqa
Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.