Facial Hair, Who Needs It?
Beards, moustaches and hairy nostrils can be excruciatingly embarrassing if you happen to be female. Our guide gives the lowdown of eliminating unwanted facial hair.
Women of colour certainly appear to have more than their fair share of facial hair and for many it presents the biggest beauty heartache. The amount of hair on the female body varies not only genetically but it is also race related.
Black women tend to have prominent superfluous facial hair, which often returns ingrown, giving the unsightly appearance of blackheads.
The eyebrows and the moustache are usually one of the most concern but many women have to deal with sideburns, beards and even hair nostrils and ears.
There are many effective methods of treating facial hair but the key is to know which treatment is most appropriate for which problem. Never shave any part of your face since regrowth is uncomfortable and looks masculine.
Use creams designed specifically to remove facial hair since body products are too strong for the face and may cause irritation. Always do a discreet test patch before using any of these products and follow the instructions carefully.
Suitability: Any facial hair except for the eyebrows.
This method offers only temporary relief as it does not remove the hair but simply lightens the colour and is therefore most effective on lighter skin tones.
It is important to do a test patch. Never leave the bleaching cream on the skin for longer than the recommended time since this can cause irritation. The effect lasts up to four weeks.
Suitability: Any facial hair that is not around the eye area.
Recommended Products: Jolen Original Bleaching Cream., £4.99, Amazon.
Remove excess oils using cotton wool soaked in toner or antiseptic lotion. Apply warm cotton wool or face flannel to open up the pores and using an eyebrow brush or a clean old toothbrush, brush hairs upwards and outwards.
With clean slant-edged tweezers, work along the underside of the brow, in the direction of growth.
Hairs should be plucked singly from the root. Wipe the brow with toner, moisturise and brush into shape. Allow skin to settle down before applying makeup. Regrowth takes up to five weeks.
Suitability: This can stimulate hair growth and should be used only on the eyebrows. Never pluck hair from the lip line, nostrils or chin. Not only is it very painful but the hair will grow back stronger that before.
There are two methods of waxing and both should be performed by a professional. Hot waxing involves opening the pores and ripping out the hair from the root. Regrowth is slower than for any other method. Cold waxing grabs the hair at the skin’s surface, sometimes causing breakage. The result is not as smooth and regrowth is faster.
Suitability: Waxing is not recommended for the removal of facial hair, yet some beauticians use this method to shape the brows.
This is the permanent removal of facial hair by passing an electric current through a fine needle inserted into the root.
The shock sent through the follicle cauterises the blood vessels supplying it, thus killing the hair, which is then removed. This leaves the skin temporarily sore and can cause scarring.
Another method is electrolysed tweezers that kill the hair and remove it simultaneously. This has a lower success rate but is less painful.
Electrolysis should be performed by a trained beautician to avoid infection and scarring. Strong hairs will need up to three treatments. Your beauty salon will advise you.
Suitability: Moustache, beard and sideburns. It should not be used on hairy moles, warts or around the eyes. Keep the skin clean with a mild antiseptic lotion and do not wear makeup for two days.
This method claims to permanently remove hair by sending radio frequency down the strand thus restricting pain, redness or scarring. However, be warned that The Federal Trade Commission brought a case against Removatron that became a landmark case in laws governing deceptive marketing practices.