How to Remove Facial Hair

remove facial hair ( photo: )

There are various methods for eliminating facial hair that you may find bothersome, such as shaving, plucking, or waxing. Additionally, there are other techniques that can provide longer-lasting results, helping you keep your facial hair-free for several weeks or months.

Facial hair growth can result from hormonal changes and can also be influenced by genetics. If you are unhappy with the growth of hair on your face, here are some helpful tips:

1. Shaving

photo: The Guardian

Shaving is a quick and convenient method for hair removal that enables you to get back to your daily routine without delay. Whether you choose a disposable or electric shaver, both types have a blade that elevates and cuts hair at the surface of your skin.

Shavers are versatile and can be used on various areas of the body such as your legs, arms, armpits, bikini area, and face. They can also be used safely on delicate areas such as your upper lip, chin, eyebrows, and sideburns.

However, the effects of shaving are not permanent or long-lasting. You can expect your face to remain hair-free for one to three days before needing to shave again.

For optimal results, it is recommended to clean your face and apply a thin layer of soap or shaving cream, which helps to create a smooth surface and reduces the risk of cuts. Glide the shaver in the direction of hair growth to avoid irritation.

It's important to note that while shaving is relatively safe, it can sometimes cause the development of ingrown hairs. These are small bumps that occur when hair grows back into the skin. Fortunately, ingrown hairs usually resolve on their own within a few days.

2. Tweezing


Tweezing is an effective and affordable way to remove facial hair. Unlike shaving, which cuts hair at the surface of the skin, tweezing involves plucking hair from the roots with a pair of tweezers.

Tweezing can be used on any facial hair, but it is especially helpful for shaping eyebrows. The results of tweezing usually last longer than shaving, ranging from three to eight weeks.

To tweeze facial hair, follow these steps:

  1. Soften the skin by wiping your face with a warm washcloth.
  2. Identify the hairs you want to pluck.
  3. While holding the skin taut, pluck one hair at a time.
  4. Always pluck in the direction of hair growth.

Tweezing may cause some discomfort, but it is generally not painful. If you experience pain, you can reduce redness and inflammation by rubbing an ice cube over the area.

Remember to sanitize your tweezers with alcohol before and after use. Like shaving, tweezing can also result in ingrown hairs.

3. Epilation


Epilation is another option for removing facial hair, which can provide longer-lasting results compared to shaving or tweezing. If you are busy and do not want to regularly shave or tweeze, epilation may be a better choice, as it can eliminate hair for up to four weeks.

Epilators work similarly to tweezers and shavers. They remove facial hair by grabbing multiple hairs at once and removing them from the root, resulting in slower hair regrowth. In some cases, the regrown hair may be finer and softer, making it less noticeable.

Epilators come in various sizes, making them suitable for use on all parts of the body, not just larger areas such as legs. Before using an epilator, it is recommended to exfoliate a couple of days in advance to soften the skin and reduce the risk of ingrown hairs.

To use an epilator, follow these steps:

  1. Hold the epilator at a 90-degree angle and keep your skin taut.
  2. Move the epilator in the direction of hair growth.
  3. Slowly glide the epilator over your face, being careful not to press it too hard against the skin.
  4. The process can be painful, but going slow can minimize discomfort. If you experience tenderness afterward, apply an ice cube to reduce swelling and inflammation.


Waxing is a popular method of removing hair in a specific area. There are two main types of waxing kits available, including wax strips that can be warmed between your hands or wax that needs to be melted in a warmer.

When shopping for wax, it's important to consider the type of wax you need for your skin type. Soft wax is usually recommended for facial hair, while hard wax is better suited for legs and the bikini area.

If you opt for wax that needs to be melted at home, make sure to invest in a wax warmer for even heating and better temperature control. Additionally, purchase enough waxing sticks to avoid reusing them, as this can introduce bacteria into the wax and increase the risk of skin infections.

Before waxing, it's important to do a patch test on the skin to check for any allergic reactions and to ensure that the wax is the proper temperature. The wax should not be too hot and should glide easily on the skin.

If there are no adverse reactions, these are the steps to wax facial hair:

- Wash your hands and clean and exfoliate your face. 

- Hold the skin taut while applying the wax. Remove the strip firmly in the direction of hair growth. 

- After waxing, clean off any leftover wax with baby oil and moisturize. Waxing can be uncomfortable, but it should not be overly painful. 

- Keep in mind that waxing may cause acne and ingrown hairs, and it is best to avoid it if you are using retinoids.

5. At-home laser hair removal

Long-lasting hair removal can be achieved through laser hair removal. This procedure utilizes a laser and targeted beams to damage hair follicles, leading to hair loss. It is a semi-permanent solution, with hair potentially growing back in about six months or not at all. Any regrowth may be finer and less noticeable.

Although laser hair removal is generally an expensive option, it can be made more accessible and convenient with at-home laser hair removal kits. These kits are cost-effective and allow for treatments to be completed at your own convenience in the comfort of your home.

Laser hair removal can be used on various areas of the face, such as the upper lip and chin, but should be avoided in areas around the eyelids and their surrounding regions.

To use an at-home laser hair removal device, these are the steps to follow:

  1. Clean your face and shave it. As this treatment removes hair from below the skin, it is best to have short hair.
  2. Choose a treatment level and place the laser over the area you want to target.
  3. Repeat the treatment every two weeks until you achieve your desired results. The instructions may vary based on the type of laser you have. Use the kit as per the instructions provided.
  4. Redness and tenderness are common side effects of laser hair removal. To alleviate discomfort, you can use ice.


Another option for removing facial hair is depilatory creams. These creams can provide longer-lasting results compared to shaving and may also be more cost-effective than waxing.

Depilatory creams contain chemicals such as sodium, titanium dioxide, and barium sulfide, which break down the proteins in hair, allowing it to dissolve and wash away easily. While these ingredients are usually safe, there is a chance of having an adverse reaction.

If you're trying depilatory cream for the first time, it's important to perform a patch test first. Simply apply a small amount of the cream to a small area of your skin and wait for 24 hours to check for any signs of redness, bumps, or itching. If no reaction occurs, you can safely apply the cream over larger sections of your face.

If the patch test was successful, follow these steps to use the depilatory cream:

- Spread a layer of the cream over the areas of your face where you want to remove hair. 

- Allow the cream to sit on your skin for about 5 to 10 minutes. 

- Gently clean your face with a damp cloth to remove the cream and the unwanted hair. 

- Rinse your face thoroughly with water and gently pat it dry. 

- These depilatory creams come in different forms such as gel, cream, and lotion. 

Although they can be used on any part of the body, there are some creams that are specially designed for facial hair removal. They not only remove hair but also help to smooth, exfoliate, and hydrate the skin on the face.

7. Threading

Threading is a technique used for shaping eyebrows and removing unwanted facial hair such as hair on the upper lip, side of the face, and chin. This method involves using a thread that is pulled and twisted over the unwanted hair, resulting in it being lifted from the hair follicle. The effects of threading last longer compared to shaving or tweezing, and it also doesn't result in the development of ingrown hairs.

Since no chemicals are involved in threading, the risk of skin reactions is low. Although, you may feel minor pain or discomfort as the hair is removed from the follicles. To reduce discomfort, you can ask your technician to apply a numbing cream or use a warm compress after the procedure. Keep in mind that this method of hair removal requires specialized skills, so it's essential to find a trained cosmetologist or esthetician.

If you have acne, threading may not be the best option for you, as it can cause bumps to rupture.

8. Topical prescriptions

All hair removal methods are temporary, and unwanted facial hair will eventually grow back. If you're looking for a way to reduce the growth of facial hair, you may consider using Vaniqa, the only FDA-approved medication for this purpose. However, it's important to talk to your doctor to determine if this medication is suitable for you.

Vaniqa takes time to take effect, so you'll need to use other hair removal methods in the meantime. If applied twice daily, with at least eight hours between applications, you may notice a reduction in facial hair growth in four to eight weeks.

It's important to note that Vaniqa is not a permanent solution, and facial hair will grow back if you stop using the medication. Additionally, Vaniqa is not intended to be used as a standalone treatment, and it won't completely remove hair.

If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction to Vaniqa, such as skin redness, a rash, itching, or tingling, stop using the medication and seek medical attention.

Read More: How to Get Rid of Back Acne

Everything to Know About Laser Hair Removal on the Face

Fast facts

- Overview Laser hair removal on the face involves using laser technology to target hair follicles and hinder hair growth. This is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure performed in a medical or spa setting. 

- Safety 

Laser hair removal is generally considered safe, with some potential side effects including redness or swelling. In rare cases, burning, blistering, or infection may occur. The laser equipment used for this procedure has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

- Convenience

With laser hair removal, there is no need for any recovery time, and the procedure itself is fast and usually takes no longer than 30 minutes when performed on the face. It should only be performed by a trained medical professional or experienced aesthetician.

- Cost

A single session of laser hair removal for the face can cost anywhere between $200 to $400. It typically requires 4 to 6 sessions, along with an annual maintenance appointment.

- Effectiveness

If performed correctly, laser hair removal can permanently get rid of unwanted hair on the face. A 2003 study found that the majority of patients (71%) reported being satisfied with the results of their treatment.

What is laser hair removal on the face?

Laser hair removal on the face is a cosmetic procedure that involves the use of laser light to eliminate hair growth. It's a relatively painless and non-invasive method that can be performed in a medical office. The procedure can also be performed on other body parts like the legs, armpits, or bikini area, however, it is mostly used on the face to remove hair around the mouth, chin, or cheeks.

Laser hair removal has come a long way, and with advancements in technology, it can now be performed on a wider range of skin and hair types. In the past, the best results were seen in individuals with dark hair and light skin, but today, laser hair removal is a suitable option for anyone looking to remove unwanted hair. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, laser hair removal was one of the top 5 non-surgical procedures in the United States in 2016, indicating just how popular and widely used this procedure has become.

How much does laser hair removal on the face cost?

The cost of a single session of laser hair removal for the face can range from $200 to $400. On average, you may need 4 to 6 sessions to achieve the desired results, with appointments typically spaced out by about a month. Note that laser hair removal is considered an elective cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. However, it is a minimally invasive procedure and you can usually return to your daily activities right after the appointment.

How does laser hair removal on the face work?

Laser hair removal works by targeting the hair follicle with a laser light. The laser light is absorbed by the pigment, or melanin, in the hair, which is why it was initially more effective on people with dark hair. This absorbed light is converted into heat, which damages the follicle, causing the hair to vaporize. With multiple treatment sessions, the hair will eventually stop growing back. Laser hair removal is also beneficial in preventing ingrown hairs and reducing the time spent on traditional hair removal methods such as waxing or shaving.

Procedure for laser hair removal on the face

Before undergoing laser hair removal, the treatment area on your face will be cleaned and may be numbed using a gel. You will be required to wear protective goggles, and your hair will be covered.

The practitioner will then direct the laser at the targeted area. The sensation is commonly described by patients as a rubber band snapping on the skin or a mild sunburn. You may also smell a faint odor of burnt hair.

Since the facial area is smaller than other body parts, like the chest or legs, laser hair removal on the face is generally a fast procedure and can be completed in as little as 15-20 minutes.

Targeted areas for treatment

Laser hair removal can be performed on any part of the body and is considered safe for most individuals. However, it is not recommended for pregnant individuals to receive any type of laser treatment, including laser hair removal.

Popular areas for laser hair removal on the face include the chin, upper lip, forehead, temples, and cheeks.

Are there any risks or side effects?

Laser hair removal on the face rarely causes severe side effects or complications. These side effects usually resolve on their own and can include redness, swelling, and skin irritation. In very rare instances, more serious side effects such as infection, permanent changes in skin tone or color, blisters, burns, or scarring may occur.

What to expect after laser hair removal on the face?

After undergoing laser hair removal, you can usually return to your usual activities within a few days, but it is recommended to avoid exercising and direct sun exposure. Be patient as it may take 2 to 3 weeks to see a noticeable reduction in hair growth, and it may require multiple sessions to achieve complete results. The results are expected to be permanent, although a yearly maintenance appointment is recommended.

Preparing for laser hair removal on the face

Your physician should provide you with specific instructions on how to prepare for your laser hair removal treatment, but here are some general guidelines:

  • Avoid sun exposure in the days prior to the treatment as the laser may not be effective on tanned skin.
  • Do not receive chemical peels or other treatments in the week before your procedure, as they may cause skin irritation.
  • You may be asked to shave or wax the area before the treatment.
  • If possible, arrive at your appointment with clean skin that is free of makeup.
  • Try to keep your body temperature low prior to the appointment, as being warm may make the laser feel more uncomfortable.
  • Avoid taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal remedies that may increase bleeding.
  • If you have a cold sore or any open cuts on your face, reschedule your appointment.

Finding a Provider 

In some states, laser hair removal can only be performed by medical professionals such as dermatologists, nurses, or physician assistants. In other states, a highly trained aesthetician may also perform the procedure, however, the American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests seeking a medical professional.


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