Do you suddenly notice facial hair where you never had it before? Are you searching for ways to safely and effectively remove it? Wondering what’s causing it? What are some facial hair removal options for women?
Facial hair is a naturally occurring problem for most perimenopausal and menopausal women. Industries have made a fortune offering facial hair removal options for women, but which one is best for you, your skin, your budget, and your lifestyle?
Here are some answers to the questions that many of us have about developing mid-life facial hair.
I am neither a nutritionist, a dietitian nor medical professional. The information in this article has been researched and sourced at the end of the post if required. All medical issues or questions regarding your health or symptoms should always be brought to the attention of a medical professional for clarification, assessment, advice and treatment.
Why do we grow facial hair as we age?
Women have both estrogen and testosterone in their bodies. Through the main part of your life, the estrogen outpowers the testosterone and rules how your body reacts, appears, and functions in many ways. This process can affect your weight, skin elasticity, eyesight, contribute to hair loss and increase facial hair.
When we are young we have only short, soft hair on our faces that does not show. As we age and we enter perimenopause, the estrogen levels drop, leaving the testosterone levels to overtake how our bodies function. A new longer, stronger type of hair begins to grow on our chins and upper lips.
This hair can become bothersome and embarrassing. These “whiskers” seem to appear out of nowhere! You look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, do your hair and make-up, tweeze your eyebrows and you are off to work. Somewhere around 2 pm, you run your finger across your chin and feel this wiry, quarter-inch long hair! You rush to the washroom and there it is. The darkest, thickest, most brazen hair you have ever seen sticking straight out from your chin! Where the —- did that come from?????? It wasn’t there this morning!
This is where you need to have those trusty tweezers to catch the little bugger and show him who is boss! Even if you choose not to pluck, as a rule, you will always want to have tweezers on hand in case of one of these sneak attacks. In the war on facial hair, you should always be prepared.
After my first battle with one of these rogue infiltrators, I was determined to find ways to maintain or possibly even prevent facial hair from becoming a problem. I did some digging and found that these were the best methods available. Some are more efficient, some are more convenient and some are more affordable.
Popular Methods of Facial Hair Removal
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The first and most common method is plucking. Tweezers are both affordable and effective in the battle against unwanted facial hair. Women have been using them to remove unruly eyebrows for decades, so it seems natural to repurpose them for the bottom half of your face as well. The downside is that it is time-consuming and you have to be on top of it all of the time. It is not a prevention, but it is non-chemical, virtually painless, and very inexpensive.
Waxing Your Whiskers
The second method I looked into was waxing. This may be among the most uncomfortable ways to remove hair, but it also has one of the longest-lasting results. Depending on the thickness of your hair, it can remove the offending follicles for up to six weeks.
The downsides to waxing are:
- The level of discomfort (AKA extreme pain) that ripping your hair out by the roots entails
- The fact that the hair has to grow back to a certain length before you can repeat the process. This means that we have to walk around for a few days with a five o’clock shadow.
- The process is messy and requires some preparation.
- Immediately after the hair is removed, you may develop a very temporary rash or redness.
Hair Removal Creams
A similar result is found using depilatory creams. Nair and Veet are the brands that come to mind when I think of facial hair removal creams, but there are many others that offer similar results. There are specific formulas that are gentle enough for our faces.
While these creams are fast, pain-free, quick, and easy to use, they also require that you have a minimal amount of hair growth to be able to effectively remove the hair.
Some Women Shave their Faces
Ok, don’t panic. We all know that men shave their faces, women don’t. We have been told that shaving will cause facial hair to regrow thicker and more coarse. This is what I thought as well, until recently. I was working at my dining room table while a daytime women’s show was playing in the other room. They were discussing women’s razors and I just had to get up and check it out.
It turns out that many people who have struggled with excessive facial hair even at a young age, have discovered these special facial hair razors for women. They all swear that the hair grows back the same as it was originally. I have not tried these yet but I do think they are something I would consider, at least for my upper lip. They are convenient, easy, and relatively inexpensive.
My daughter purchased a device for her eyebrows that is like a tiny electric razor. It makes shaping eyebrows easy, but it also works wonders on the upper lip!
An epilator is a device that has a rotating wheel that pulls the hairs out like tweezers; only it does it en masse. This is a quick process but can be a painful one. You do get used to it, but the first few times can be an eye-watering experience. The effects are longer lasting than many methods and if you do it daily you will be able to stay on top of the situation.
Epilators are a little more expensive, but the lifespan of one device will replace many purchases of wax, creams, or razors. The expense upfront, but over time it is actually reasonable.
You Can Use Electrolysis for Facial Hair Removal
Electrolysis is a process that is done in a clinic by a professional. It is a process that uses electrical currents to halt the growth of the hairs at the root. It takes several sessions, but it is considered a method of permanent hair removal.
The cons are:
- It is very expensive and inconvenient as you have to make appointments to have it done by a specialist.
- The treatments only work on dark hair, so it is not an option for everyone.
- There are also some people who experience temporary skin irritation.
- Others have complained that their skin changes colour after treatments.
There are some natural remedies to prevent hair growth. You can find many recipes on the internet. I have not tried any of these yet, but I am all for a natural remedy, so it is on my agenda!
Medically Assisted Prevention
Some believe that there are medical ways to prevent hair growth. This may include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), taking birth control pills, or topical prescription creams. I choose to avoid chemical remedies where possible, so I have not tried any of these. You will need to contact your physician to find out if you are in a position to use any of these remedies. I have always heard that taking birth control pills after the age of 35 can be a health risk and that hormone replacement pills come with other side effects, so I would highly recommend dealing with this facial hair fiasco in a less dangerous way.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to combat facial hair growth. We have tools for all budgets, pain tolerance levels, and life schedules. If you know of, or use, any other facial hair removal options for women suffering from this issue, please leave a comment so that we can try it as well!