Mustaches look great on guys—but they’re not such a hot look for girls. Few beauty problems are more embarrassing than female facial hair. But why do some women get facial hair in the first place?
One word: genetics. Many women have a genetic tendency toward excess hair growth, meaning they’re constantly battling with either dark, coarse hairs or a blanket of pale peach fuzz. Facial hair could also signal a hormonal imbalance, as with polycystic ovary syndrome. Or it could be due to the hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy and menopause.
Banish Facial Hair for Good
Whatever the reason for your mustache, you don’t have to live with it. There’s a number of fantastic facial hair removal methods on the market. We’ll take you through the most common ones, listing their benefits—and their drawbacks.
Waxing removes hair at the root, which prevents new hair from developing. The downside? There are a few, including that waxing is a fairly painful treatment, only produces temporary results, and can cause ingrown hairs. And you have to let the hair grow between treatments, which can be embarrassing. Waxing also carries the risk of burns and skin irritation.
Waxing is most ideal for less sensitive parts of your body, such as the legs, underarms and bikini area. It’s also most effective on coarser, darker hair, so if you’ve got some peach fuzz on your face, it might not work. Because waxing is fairly painful, it’s also not ideal for your face – if done incorrectly, waxing can cause bleeding and can even rip off the skin. Ouch! You should never attempt to wax at home unless you’ve experienced with the treatment.
Vaniqa is a prescription cream that decreases hair growth by blocking an enzyme responsible for hair production. Without the enzyme, hair growth is retarded in that area and eventually may stop growing altogether. Because Vaniqa is not a hair remover per se, it is best used in conjunction with other hair removal methods, such as lasers. The longer the cream is used, the better the results. Vaniqa is most effective on facial hair growth, particularly on the upper lip, chin and cheek hair.
The major downside of Vaniqa is that it’s only effective while it’s being used, so if you stop, the hair grows back. And because it’s designed to slow down hair growth, you’ll still have to wax or pluck, but not as frequently. Some people also experience temporary stinging, redness, and/or acne flare-ups where they apply Vaniqa.
Depilatories use an active ingredient to dissolve the hair shaft. The mechanical action of removing the cream using a spatula or sponge helps pull away the dissolved hair from the surface of the skin. Unlike shaving, which leaves sharp, hard hair stubble just below the skin, depilatories leave a rounded, smoother edge. The treatment effectively minimizes stubble, making hair regrowth appear to take longer.
Still, treatments need to be repeated at least weekly, if not more often. You should look for creams specially formulated for the face, which are gentler than those formulated to use on coarser leg hair.
The drawback? Some people—especially those with sensitive skin—find that the chemicals in depilatories can cause irritation. In order to minimize redness and irritation, don’t leave the product on longer than necessary. Most require about five minutes on the skin in order to work, but if you’re sensitive, err on the side caution, and useless time.
Threading hair is an ancient method commonly practiced in countries such as Egypt and India. Recently it has gained popularity in the United States. Threading removes the entire hair follicle, making it similar to waxing or plucking.
How does it work? A cotton thread is pulled along unwanted hair in a twisting motion to trap hair in a mini lasso. This process lifts hair right out of the follicle. Like other hair removal methods, threading produces effects that are only temporary, lasting anywhere from three to six weeks.
It can also be hard finding someone experienced with hair threading. Unless you live in a large city, you probably won’t find a salon or spa that does threading. And if you do find someone, you need to make sure they’re experienced enough. If done incorrectly, the hairs can break. If the hair is broken from an inexperienced threading professional, hair regrowth will show up much quicker.
Laser Hair Removal
This high-tech method of hair removal targets hair follicles with heat from the laser, damaging them to prevent future hair growth. It’s the most expensive hair removal option, but also the one that provides the best result and lasts the longest. Laser hair removal with Alexandrite, Diode, and Nd: Yag lasers, all of which are available at many dermatology offices, is typically less painful than waxing, doesn’t require the growing out of hair between treatments, and can result in permanent hair reduction after several sessions.
Lasers have long been most effective for dark hair on fair skin, but recent advancements mean that now darker skin types and lighter hair can be successfully treated. Usually, patients with darker skin require gentler treatments and so could need more sessions.
What’s the catch? Lasers still aren’t great for very light blond, gray, and white hair because the laser targets the melanin pigment in the root of the hair, and these hair colors don’t have much pigment.
There’s a whole host of facial hair trimming products on the market specifically designed for women. These function much like shaving – instead of targeting hairs by the root, facial trimmers remove hair at the skin’s surface.
Because facial trimmers don’t remove hair at the root, nor do they disturb the hair follicle, this means the effects are only temporary, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
A major downside to facial trimmers is that they give hair a blunt tip. The tip might feel coarse or stubbly as it grows out, and it might be more noticeable or appear darker during this time.
Bleaching facial hair doesn’t take the hair away, but can make it appear less noticeable because it lightens the color of hair to a light shade of blonde. How does it work? The bleach is applied over hair and left on about ten minutes, and takes out the pigment of the hair. It’s then removed with cool water. While similar ingredients are used for bleaching hair on the head, bleach formulated specifically for facial hair is a lot gentler.
Bleaching facial hair doesn’t give you a smooth and hairless surface. Even though the hair is lighter, it still may be noticeable, especially if you’re standing in the sun or a bright room. The results don’t last very long as well – as the hair grows, you’ll start seeing the natural, darker color of your facial hair. Facial bleaching is not recommended for darker skin tones; bleached hair will stand out because of the contrast.
Got Facial Hair? Laser Hair Removal Gets Results
If you really want to permanently – and visibly – reduce your mustache, then laser hair removal really is the only way to go. After a series of three to four short sessions, your mustache hair will be reduced by up to 90%. And because the upper lip area is so small, each session should only take under 15 minutes. Laser hair removal costs for facial hair are also extremely low. Why put up with constantly having to wax, trim or thread your mustache hair? Once you’re done with a series of laser hair removal sessions, you’ll never have to think about – or see – your embarrassing mustache ever again!
LaserAway Offers the Most Innovative Facial Hair Treatments
Since opening our West Hollywood location in 2006, we’ve used our data and technology to set the LaserAway standard for lasers and aesthetics. At LaserAway you can be sure you’ll receive the best treatment available. We believe in using only the most cutting-edge laser technology and techniques to make your medical spa experience enjoyable. So don’t hesitate to contact us. You’ve got nothing to lose but unwanted hair. If you would like to learn more about LaserAway’s laser upper lip hair removal services or schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, please email us at LaserAway.com or call us at (888) 965-2737.