It is common to notice an increased amount of white hair on your face as you get older. The aging process reduces the body's level of melanin, which is the pigment that generates skin and hair color. White or gray hair continues to grow, but is more translucent, which gives it the lighter appearance. After menopause, many women see more stray white hairs on their chins, while men tend to grow excessive white hair in their eyebrows and ears. Removing white facial hairs requires the same techniques you used when taking off darker hairs on your face.
Soften the skin with warm water and then apply a moisturizing shaving cream to the area. Use a razor to shave off the facial hairs. Pull the blade in the same direction that the hair is growing to avoid razor bumps. Hair growth also slows with aging so that shaving can last longer, up to three or four days before you see new growth.
Use tweezers to pluck out white hairs one at a time. According to United Health Care Student Resources, because you pull the hair out from the root, it takes about three to eight weeks before the hair reappears. Make sure tweezers are sanitized with alcohol to prevent infection.
Dissolve the hair with a depilatory. The cream dissolves the hair shaft and part of the root so it can take up to two weeks before hair regrows. Apply the liquid to the hair and let it sit for the recommended amount of time depending on the product's instructions. Wipe cream and hair away with a warm cloth. Test depilatory on a small patch of skin first if your skin is sensitive.
Visit a dermatologist or trained cosmetologist to receive electrolysis treatments to permanently remove the unwanted hairs. A thin needle is inserted into each hair shaft and currents of electricity shoot through the needle to kill the root. While the process is intended to be permanent, stubborn hairs may need additional treatment. The procedure is time-consuming; an upper lip can take as long as 10 hours to get all the hairs. Side effects include changes in skin color around the insertion point and on rare occasions, scarring results.
While laser hair removal is one of the most effective means of eliminating unwanted hair and the process is widely available, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, laser and other light-based forms of hair removal are not as effective on white or light hair. Lasers work best on dark hair although there are topical creams that can darken the hair shaft prior to laser surgery and increase its effectiveness.
Excessive white hair, especially on the upper lip in women, can be caused by a medical condition called hirtsutism. Taking steroids can create the excess hair or it may be the result of a hormonal imbalance. See your doctor if the hair growth seems excessive or unusual.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."