Facial hair removal can be a challenging process for many women, as it often leads to skin irritation, redness, and the dreaded ingrown hairs. There’s a multitude of products and techniques available on the market, such as laser hair removal, electrolysis, dermaplaning, and at-home devices, all with varying degrees of effectiveness and safety. While it is crucial to have a dermatologist’s guidance in selecting the best method for your skin type and hair type, we are confident in sharing both traditional and natural methods that can serve as viable options for many women.
We understand the importance of having the right tools and techniques to achieve a clean and clear complexion. From salon-based treatments to FDA-approved at-home laser hair removal devices, a wide array of facial hair removal methods caters to various needs. Women with sensitive skin may benefit from seeking medical advice, as there are prescription creams and gentle techniques like cotton threading designed to reduce hair growth and prevent skin irritation. In addition, we’ll discuss natural remedies that have been tried and tested for those seeking a more holistic approach to removing facial hair.
Traditional hair removal techniques
Shaving is a common traditional hair removal technique for women. Contrary to the popular myth, hair does not grow back thicker and denser after shaving. The hair follicle may feel pricklier since it has been cut in half, but it is not thicker. We recommend shaving while in the shower or immediately afterward to allow the skin to soften. Apply a pre-shave oil, choose a razor with two blades for sensitive areas, and avoid making multiple passes over the same area as it can irritate the skin.
Tweezing works by plucking or pulling hair from the roots using tweezers. It is most commonly used for shaping eyebrows and can be used on any facial hair. Results last longer than shaving – up to three weeks. Before tweezing, we suggest wiping your face with a warm washcloth to soften the skin. Isolate the hair you want to pluck, pluck one hair at a time while holding the skin taut, and always pluck in the direction of hair growth. Disinfect your tweezers before and after plucking.
Epilation is another common option for removing facial hair, lasting up to four weeks. Epilators work similarly to tweezers, but they grab multiple hairs at once and remove them from the root. Epilation often results in hair growing back softer, finer, and less noticeable. Epilators come in different sizes and are suitable for all body parts. We recommend exfoliating a few days before epilating to soften the skin and reduce the risk of ingrown hairs and irritation. Use the epilator at a 90-degree angle, hold your skin taut, and move the device in the direction of hair growth.
At-home waxing is an effective method for removing facial hair. You can choose between wax strips that are warmed between your hands or wax that is melted in a warmer before applying. Before waxing, it is essential to wash your hands, clean and exfoliate your face, and apply the wax while holding your skin taut. Remove the strip firmly in the direction of hair growth, clean leftover wax with baby oil, and moisturize the skin afterward.
Home Remedies for Hair Removal
Papaya and Turmeric
Papaya contains enzymes which break down hair follicles and prevent regrowth. Turmeric enhances the effectiveness of this remedy.
How to do it?
- Mash a few chunks of raw papaya flesh with ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- Apply the paste to areas with hair, massaging gently
- Leave for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water
- Repeat every two weeks for noticeable results
Making homemade wax is simple and is often safer and gentler on your skin.
How to do it?
- Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 tablespoon of water in a microwave-safe container
- Microwave for 30 seconds
- Stir and apply the wax to desired areas
- Apply a cloth strip to the wax, let it cool briefly, then pull
Sugaring is an ancient method of hair removal, similar to waxing but less painful and less irritating.
How to do it?
- Heat ¼ cup of water in a saucepan, then add ¼ cup of lemon juice and 2 cups of sugar
- Mix until bubbling, reduce heat, and simmer
- When the mixture turns amber, remove from heat and let it cool slightly
- Apply baby powder or cornstarch to skin to reduce irritation
- Apply paste to the face, add a cotton strip, let it harden, then rip off in the direction of hair growth
Molasses or dark corn syrup can be used to make homemade wax if honey is not available.
How to do it?
- Combine 1 cup of sugar and enough molasses or dark corn syrup to cover in a microwave-safe container and let it sit for a few minutes
- Microwave for 3 minutes until sugar dissolved
- Let the mixture cool slightly, then add juice from ½ a lemon and stir well
- Apply to the face when lukewarm, then press a waxing strip and pull to remove hair
Egg White Mask
Egg whites become sticky when dry, nourishing your skin and plucking out hairs like wax.
How to do it?
- Whisk the white of 1 egg, add 1 tablespoon of sugar and ½ tablespoon of cornstarch, and beat until smooth
- Apply to the face and let it dry into a thick mask
- Carefully rip off the mask without hurting your skin