Getting rid of facial hair naturally is easy to accomplish, whether it is performed at home or at a salon or spa. The benefits of facial hair removal techniques such as waxing, sugaring, threading and tweezing are that they are inexpensive and can be performed quickly. However, none of these methods removes hair permanently -- and even getting rid of hair the "natural" way is often irritating to skin.
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Waxing and Sugaring
Two natural ways to remove facial hair are waxing and sugaring, techniques that have been used for thousands of years. Waxing involves applying a thin layer of warm wax to the skin, capturing the hair follicles. A strip of cloth is then applied firmly to the area and quickly removed. Sugaring is a similar method. However, instead of wax, a tacky sugar gel is spread onto the skin. The gel is either removed with a cloth strip or peeled off with the fingers. The sugar gel does not adhere to the skin, so it is purportedly less painful and causes less skin irritation than waxing. Although you can purchase home waxing and sugaring kits at most pharmacies, you will get the best results from a salon professional.
Tweezing and Threading
You can pluck out facial hair one follicle at a time using tweezers. Tweezing is typically associated with shaping and cleaning up a small area of skin, specifically the brow line. In threading, a piece of cotton yarn is wrapped around clusters of hair follicles, removing them at the same time. Threading is also a common method to remove hair around the eyebrows, but this does require skill. When shaping the brows, inadvertent removal of one or two hairs can result in an unbalanced look. Those who have never tweezed before should first seek services from a professional cosmetologist until they're adept at shaping their brow lines. Day spas and salons usually offer threading.
Pros and Cons
Although natural methods of hair removal may not involve the use of chemicals, lasers or intrusive probes such as those used during electrolysis, they are not painless. Forcefully removing facial hair by the root not only causes discomfort but leaves the skin temporarily red and inflamed. Certain home methods may not be appropriate for the novice. For example, if wax that is too hot is applied to the skin, it's very easy to burn the sensitive skin on the face. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes that waxing and sugaring should not be used on skin with varicose veins or on moles and warts, nor should they be used to remove hair on the eyelashes, inside the nose or ears, or on skin that's irritated or sunburned. However, when used appropriately, these methods can remove facial hair entirely. Results last between three to eight weeks. Because hair regrowth is staggered, cleaning up errant follicles is easier.
Be Wary of Snake Oil
Some home remedies purport to get rid of facial hair naturally. One old wives' tale still in circulation is that eating certain foods, including meat tenderizer, or taking herbal supplements will eliminate hair. Writer Andrea James, creator of HairFacts.com, points out that none of these natural hair removal treatments is backed by scientific studies. James lists herbal hair growth inhibitors as one of the "worst offenders" when it comes to "snake oil" treatments.
Long-Term and Permanent Facial Hair Removal
Two methods of facial hair removal, although not natural, can give semi-permanent or even permanent results. Laser hair removal, when performed by a licensed practitioner such as a dermatologist, can yield long-term results. However, laser hair removal, often described as "permanent hair reduction," doesn't mean that hair growth is eliminated -- merely that the density of follicles is reduced after several treatment sessions. Needle electrolysis involves using a slim needle that's slipped through the skin, after which a small current of electricity is delivered to the hair follicle. The FDA indicates that electrolysis is the most permanent form of hair removal.