Whether you have a few stray hairs or a lot of facial hair, it can be a pain to remove. But please trust us. Using a razor on your face is a huge no-no (unless you want an afternoon shadow and stubble). Fortunately, there are several safe and effective ways to remove facial hair. If you want to know if laser hair removal is safe or the best way to remove facial hair at home, here is the lowdown on the seven best methods for safely getting rid of that pesky fuzz!
Tweezing is one of the easiest and cheapest methods of removing facial hair. It’s most commonly the go-to way to keep eyebrows in shape and upper lip hair tamed. But it also can be used for those occasional chin hairs that pop up out of nowhere. And because you remove the hair from the root, you should get at least a couple of weeks of breathing space before you need to tweeze again.
Here are our top tips for tweezing facial hair:
- Use an antibacterial face wash with warm water before you start.
- Let your face dry for five minutes.
- Sterilise your tweezers
- To make sure you remove the hair, including the root, pull the skin taut with one hand and grip the hair as close to the skin as possible.
- Pull hair out in the same direction as the hair grows.
2. Depilatory hair removal creams
Hair removal creams work by containing chemicals such as sodium, titanium dioxide, and barium sulphide, which dissolve keratin proteins in hair. This makes it easy to wipe hair away with a damp cloth after leaving the cream on for several minutes.
While this method is quick and painless, it may cause some skin irritation if left on too long or if you have sensitive skin. So make sure you read the instructions carefully before applying! Additionally, depilatory creams contain chemicals which can cause allergic reactions, so patch testing a small area first is essential. Although easy and convenient, the results typically last just two to three days.
Here are our top tips for using hair removal creams:
- Choose a well-known brand designed for removing facial hair — to be extra safe opt for a product that is suitable for sensitive skin.
- Do a patch test and wait at least 24 hours to ensure you don’t have a reaction.
- If your skin is fine after the patch test, wash your face with an antibacterial face wash.
- Allow your face to dry for at least five minutes
- Apply a thin layer of cream
- Set the alarm for the time you need to leave it on
- Gently remove the cream with a warm damp flannel.
- Rinse your face and make sure you remove any residue
- Wait at least two hours before applying any other products.
3. Laser hair removal treatment
Research has shown that laser hair removal is safe and an effective long-term way to get rid of unwanted hair. It works by destroying hair follicles which stop hair from growing back. Generally, you will need six to eight sessions a month apart for long-lasting results.
Although you can buy laser hair removal machines for home use, professional laser machines used by clinics have superior technology and are safer for darker skin tones. The best thing about laser hair removal treatment is you will typically only need a top-up treatment every 12 months and may find hair never grows back. If hair does grow back, it will also be finer and harder to see.
Common side effects of laser hair removal include redness, minor swelling and tender skin. Serious risks include skin burns and scarring, so always check your practitioner is adequately qualified and working in a registered clinic.
This method has largely been replaced with laser hair removal. However, for stray chin hairs or small areas of the face, electrolysis guarantees permanent hair removal. Yes, think about it, no top-up treatments – ever! Before you book for laser hair removal speak to a practitioner who also offers electrolysis to discuss which option is best for you.
Our lovely practitioner Marima at Shumaila’s Aesthetic and Laser clinics in London and Essex, who performs both laser hair removal and electrolysis treatments, says:
“Laser hair removal is a fantastic, almost painless treatment for long-term removal of facial hair. You will not suffer from ingrown hairs, unlike virtually all other methods of hair removal, and it can be performed even if you have acne. It may even reduce acne breakouts.
Electrolysis is perfect for stray hairs and guarantees permanent results, although it can be a little more painful and takes longer than laser. At Shumaila’s we provide a free consultation to discuss all options and help you decide the best treatment for your requirements.”
Waxing removes hair from the root. If you want to remove a small amount of facial hair, it is easy to do it yourself at home (for larger areas, it’s definitely worth going to a professional). You might find the first time you wax is a little painful, but the more often you do it, the less it will hurt.
Waxing can irritate skin and will probably leave skin a little red and tender, so it is best to do it before bed. There are various facial waxing products, but waxing strips are probably the easiest to use. However, you might get better results with liquid wax if you have coarse hair. Although it can be tempting to dive in, always take time to read the instructions and do a patch test to make sure you don’t get an allergic reaction.
The great thing is that waxing is relatively inexpensive and can keep your face fuzz-free for four to six weeks. Additionally, hair is likely to be softer and finer when it grows back.
Here are our top tips for waxing facial hair:
- Choose a waxing product specifically made to remove facial hair. If you have sensitive skin, look for natural ingredients, such as honey-based waxes
- To check if you are not going to have an allergic reaction, wait 24 hours after a patch test
- If all is well after the patch test, use an antibacterial face wash and allow the face to dry before waxing
- Follow the instructions
- Pull the skin taut and then pull the wax strip or cloth in the opposite direction to the hair growth in a swift motion
- Do not reapply wax to the same area, or use waxing strips twice – use tweezers to remove any stray hairs
- It’s best to do this before bed at the weekend, as you must wait 24 hours before applying any facial products or makeup.
- Wait at least three days before using any exfoliating products or products containing salicylic acid, otherwise known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA).
Safe for most skin types, sugaring is considered a gentler version of waxing. If you have sensitive skin, sugaring might be your best option for removing facial hair. Another advantage over waxing is that you can remove sugaring paste with water.
Results tend to last four to six weeks and most people find it less painful than waxing. And just like with waxing, hair should be finer and softer when it grows back.
Here are our top tips for sugaring facial hair:
- Choose a sugaring product created for facial hair removal
- Perform a patch test and wait 24 hours to check you don’t have an allergic reaction
- If the skin is happy following the patch test, wash your face with an antibacterial face wash
- Allow face to dry properly before applying the sugaring paste
- Pull the skin taut and pull the fabric strip in the same direction as the hair growth
- Unlike wax, if there are stray hairs, sugaring is gentle enough to reapply to the same area of skin
- Make sure you wait at least 24 hours before applying any makeup or face care products.
- It’s best to wait 48 hours before using exfoliating products and at least 72 hours to use face care products with salicylic acid, also called beta hydroxy acid (BHA).
This is an ancient hair removal method used in India and the Middle East, and is definitely best left to the professionals. It involves using two strands of cotton thread that have been twisted together to pluck out hairs from the follicle.
It can be painful the first few times, but it is one of the safest hair removal methods for sensitive skin. However, it is not suitable if you have acne. Generally, results can last up to six weeks.
There are many ways you can safely remove facial hair without using a razor! Ultimately it’s up to you to decide which method works best for your specific needs! Remember though, always do your research and a patch test before using new products, just in case you have an allergic reaction (which should always be taken into consideration).
Shumaila’s aesthetic clinics in London and Essex provide hair removal treatments which are safe and effective for almost all skin and hair types. Book your FREE consultation today to find out which type of hair removal is best for you.