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Facial hair removal: 5 at-home methods

facial hair removal 

Few women will escape the inevitable appearance of chin hairs, fluff or whiskers in their lifetimes, but there's no need to put up with them. Whatever euphemism you give the wiry little stragglers, they're unanimously unwanted and they can really knock our confidence. If you normally go to the salon for hair removal, and are worried about turning into a bearded lady, then check out our guide to all the best at-home hair removal methods, as well as product recommendations from gransnetters.


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What causes facial hair on women?

As women age, our bodies produce less estrogen and, as a result, the remaining testosterone starts to make itself known, springing gaily up on chins and upper lips in the form of facial fuzz. Many older women find that they are particularly prone to facial hair after the onset of menopause due to a hormone imbalance and women with dark hair often report it being more of a problem. As if hair on the the bikini line wasn't enough...


Preparation is key

Before you begin whichever method you're going for, ensure that your skin is super clean and free of bacteria as well as completely dry so that excess sebum doesn't halt the process. If you're waxing, plucking or using hair removal cream, DO NOT apply any moisturiser or oils as things will get slippy and your efforts rendered ineffective!


What is the best way to get rid of it?

While inconvenient, there are some simple removal solutions for annoying, unwanted hairs. These vary widely in both pain and expense so you'll need to evaluate your limits in each department first. Whether it's an excess of peach fuzz getting clogged with makeup, or a wiry chin hair sprouting overnight, there's an effective way of dealing with facial hair in all its forms. Here are the most common methods used to remove facial hair, ranked from best to worst.


1. Epilating

"I have an Epilady for removing hair on my face and it really does work very well. It does hurt on the upper lip, but no more than the wax strips that I used to use." 


Epilating is a system that rips hair out at the root using a spinning wheel of tweezers. If that sounds scary, don't worry. Even though it might nip sharply at those hairs, this method is very effective and is particularly popular among older women. Like waxing, epilating ensures the hair is taken out at the root, which means it'll take some time to grow back, but the additional advantage here is that you can do it yourself and bypass both the salon and the mess of waxing. Hooray! 


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2. IPL and Electrolysis

"If I didn't have regular electrolysis, I would have a beard to rival my husband's!"

IPL facial hair removal treatment 

Electrolysis: This involves destroying the hair follicle using heat applied via an electrical current. It may not be the most comfortable of experiences, but it is permanent. This means that pesky chin hair could be gone for good. Length of courses and results vary from person to person but, unlike IPL, electrolysis works on white and grey hair

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light): While this isn't strictly proven to be permanent yet, many people get very good results from IPL treatments. The catch is that the hair in question must be pigmented, so if you've got white hair you want to get rid of, this probably isn't the method for you. It's also not suitable for people with darker skin tones.

This hair removal method is normally implemented by professionals at salons, but if you want to get cracking during lockdown, you can do it yourself using IPL technology for home use. Be warned though... this option doesn't come cheap.

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3. Waxing

"I always stick to waxing - it discourages hair growth and leaves a nice smooth finish."

waxing hair removal

Waxing involves ripping the hair out at the root, so there's no chance of coarse stubble being left behind. Waxing your own face is tricky, but it can be done! If you're unsure of how to get started, there are thousands of YouTube videos offering guidance for beginners. There may be a few blotches to put up with straight afterward, but the two to three weeks after you wax should be worth it. Plus, the more you do it, the finer your hair should become each time it grows back.

As a middle of the road option, cost-wise, this is your best bet. You can pick up waxing strips online cheaply. If you really don't want to spend a penny, you also can make your own wax using simple kitchen ingredients!


4. Plucking

"I only pluck for summer as there are some good part-time jobs as Father Christmas around in winter <wink>."

plucking facial hair

Arm yourself with a decent pair of tweezers and a good magnifying mirror (illuminated is best), and you're all set with the best way to remove the odd chin straggler. Be warned though - covering larger areas and fine hair with a pair of tweezers will be time consuming, so you may want to look to other methods if your facial hair is more 'full beard' than 'pre-pubescent smattering'. Great for a couple of plucks, but no good if you're in need of a more permanent solution.


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5. Shaving and depilatory creams

"These methods will, of course, remove the hairs, but in my experience they grow back stubbly, which is not a good look!"

 hair removal razors

Pain-free and an easy way to remove facial hair...but far from ideal. If you shave, you run the risk of dark stubble showing through, not to mention a shaving rash. As for hair removal cream, it might be quick, convenient and affordable, but it can also be messy, smelly (if fragrance-free) and irritable to sensitive skin - plus, it won't leave you completely hair free as it only reduces hair to just below the surface.

So, as methods go, these come bottom of the list. It's much better to take hair out at the root or eliminate it altogether via electrolysis, but if you're in need of a quick fix, these might just be your way to go. And remember to do a patch test before using depilatory cream if your skin is sensitive.


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