The beauty industry thrives on confusing the crap out of us, and salons love making money off the confusion. Let us clean up the confusion for you and give you the facts.
Facial hair removal has been the biggest confusion we have seen in our 11 years of being in business. I have to admit, until I started digging deeper into facial hair removal I was also under the impression that you should not remove your facial hair, it will grow back thicker and darker. It is now scientifically proven that this is not true.
Truth: You can remove your facial hair. How it will grow back has many factors that are individual to just you. What will affect how your hair grows back are: the method of hair removal you do, hormones, diet, hair type, skin type, medical conditions and medication.
For those that really believe that shaving will make their hair grow thicker and darker, let’s just think about it. When you shave a hair, the razor touches the top of the skin. When a hair grows it is the root that decides how the hair grows. There is no razor that is smart enough to change the biology of how your hair grows from the root. However, when you do shave a hair it will “feel” thicker and this is due to how it is cut. If you cut off all your hair on your head right now, it too would “feel” thicker and harder than what it was. As all hair grows longer it feels softer, even on your face.
Due to this feel, most people choose waxing as the better facial hair removal option. There is no correct method, there are just different methods.
Lets look at a few facts with facial hair removal and help you figure out what might be best just for you.
Why do I have facial hair?
We all have peach fuzz facial hair. It is called vellus follicles, a very fine and light coloured hair. It helps us regulate our body temperature.
We start to notice that our “peach fuzz” facial hair changes at some point, this change is where our follicles become larger and start to make terminal hair. That coarser and darker type of hair. How much terminal hair we get is due to shifting hormones, aging, genetics, pregnancy, menopause, medical conditions and medication side effects.
The hormone responsible for the growth in our hair is called androgen (think testosterone), men have more of this hormone hence why they often have more hair and coarser hair. A slight imbalance of the androgen hormone in females can result with more terminal hairs in places you would not expect or want to have hairs. This hormone imbalance often starts for women when puberty starts, or durning pregnancy or most common as we get closer to menopause.
What should I do when I get facial hair?
You cannot prevent getting facial hair. It is your biology and or medical conditions that will decide. First step is to know if your facial hair is normal hormonal changes or if it is medical. If you do notice a sudden change in your facial hair growth it could be a signal for a medical condition. We recommend talking to your doctor first to get any medical issues confirmed or denied. If it is a small amount of hair that is increasing over time then it is most likely biological and you can consider testing the options below.
The types of hair removal for facial hair:
Depiliation: Shaving or Cream
This removes the hair from top layer of skin. Most people that choose this option feel that they have a lot of facial hair and try to get that smooth feel as quick and easy as possible. It can work for a while and some people are happy with the result. The downside to doing shaving and cream is that it can be harsh on the skin causing skin irritation and sometimes acne conditions. If you are wanting to shave off peach fuzz, the best success usually comes from shaving with an eyebrow razor. It is kinder to your skin.
Epilation: Waxing, tweezing, sugaring, epilator etc.
This method is where you remove the hair from the root. It is the most favorable when it comes to facial hair removal. Your hair takes longer to grow back, due to it having to do the whole growth cycle from the beginning. For some people removing a hair by the root can stop some hairs from continuing to grow. This is not the case for all people and all hairs. Hairs are individual and can start and stop growing as they please. Removing hairs by the root can also help them to feel softer since they need rebuild themselves, which can make living with facial hair growth more comfortable. The down side to this removal is that you will need to repeat it each month. Hairs do not grow out at exactly the same time so this makes it tricky to be completely hair free. You most likely will end up doing a combo of waxing regularly and tweezing stray hairs in-between. Nothing wrong with plucking the odd stray hair.
Light: Laser and IPL
Laser and IPL work by sending a strong heat source down the shaft of your hair to the root and killing the root. An extremely effective hair removal method which is becoming more popular as laser machines continue to develop. The plus with this method is that once a hair root is dead it can never come back again. When you do laser or IPL you need to shave off the hair first. Which can make the whole treatment particularly unappealing to women when it is about the face. We always recommend that you consider using an eyebrow razor to “trim” down the hair. With laser or IPL it does not need to be a close shave, just enough that the heat doesn’t burn long hair. We want the heat/energy focus to be underneath your skin, not with the hair growth on the outter of your skin.
Other considerations when doing laser or IPL on the face is that it is possible to stimulate more hair growth. When we send heat under your skin it can wake up sleeping hair sacks. It is always important to weigh up how much hair you have and if you are comfortable with getting more hair before you get less hair. The positive is that you can laser away any new hair growth and that the more you can get rid of now the better it is for the future. Extra hair growth does not always happen, it is just something you need to have in the back of you mind when making the decision to start. It is also highly likely that you will get more hair on your face regardless in the future even without doing laser or IPL. Hormones remember.
Newer laser machines can now target light (non pigment) hairs. So redheads, blondes and grey haired people can now join in on laser and IPL treatments. The results come down to machine technology, so you will need to do your research about what machine a salon uses and also look up success reviews.
How many treatments you need to do with laser and IPL is impossible to say and we at BARE SOLUTIONS do not agree with giving out a set number of treatments. There are too many variables with how your hair grows to decided a number. What we recommend is that you start and as you progress with your treatments you will start to figure it out for yourself. We all have a different relationship to hair growth and hair freedom, what you might consider a great result your friend might consider a terrible result. With laser and IPL do not focus on the number of treatments, focus on how the results feel after a couple of treatments and then re-evaluate together with us. We will always point you in the right direction and help you figure it out.
When it comes to facial hair removal we recommend testing your way forward and asking yourself the following questions below to help pick the right hair removal method for yourself. Also remember, if your skin is not happy, then you are doing the wrong hair removal. Your skin cannot be convinced to like a hair removal method that you want, just because it is convenient or cheap. Listen to your skin.
1 – Is your hair growth medical or hormonal?
2 – Is your hair growth a lot or one hair here and there?
3 – What type of result is realistic to have you comfortable?
4 – Which pro’s and con’s are you comfortable with?
When all else fails, book a free consultation with us at BARE SOLUTIONS we will help you figure it out.
For more info about hair removal methods, watch our film Olika metoder för hårborttagning.