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Proven techniques to remove women facial hair

How to get rid of facial hair

It is a sad irony for women is that as we age, we naturally tend to get hairier in the places we do not want, such as on our cheeks and around our lips. On the other hand, our hair thins out in the areas we want it to be voluminous and thick such as on our scalp and eyebrows. Many women are bothered by what they consider to be a disproportionate amount of facial hair. In general, women have become attuned to the concept that having negligible facial hair is more attractive.


There is an astonishing statistic that claims the anxiety and depression associated with excessive facial hair in women can affect the quality of life in much the same way as a diagnosis of breast cancer. Women tell me they are so shy about the problem that they put off bringing it up although it continues to trouble them. Many believe they have tried every solution and that there is nothing more they can do.


What leads to excessive facial hair?

The term hirsutism is used to describe the growth of excessive, thick, dark hair in women in a pattern not considered standard for women. This condition is thought to affect between 5-10% of women, and prevalence increases with age, especially after the menopause.


Before birth, the number of hair follicles each woman has is genetically programmed. Hair follicles exist in every part of the face except on the lips. Hair growth is controlled by our sex hormones, with androgens, mainly responsible for stimulating hair growth and increasing the thickness and darkness of facial hair. Hair follicles in certain parts of the face such as the upper lip and chin are more sensitive to the effects of androgens.


Our genetics, excess sex hormone levels (androgens), androgen-secreting tumours and medications are the primary causes of too much facial hair growth. For some women, excessive facial hair is purely genetic, but this can vary substantially between racial groups. Other women may have elevated androgens such as testosterone circulating in their blood causing their increased facial hair growth.


Research suggests that about half of all cases are due to high levels of androgen hormones. The most common medical condition due to excess androgen is polycystic ovarian syndrome which can cause excessive hair growth in women. A much less common medical condition causing excessive body hair growth is congenital adrenal hyperplasia. This condition is inherited and usually diagnosed in childhood but may develop later in life. Fortunately, androgen-secreting tumours are rare. A sudden and rapid progression in hair growth is often associated with these tumours. 


What medical tests should be done?

Before starting any treatment, it is important first to rule out underlying medical conditions. If you have mild to moderate increased hair growth that has developed slowly and had regular menstrual cycles, you do not need any medical tests. Women with a rapid increase in facial hair and regular menstrual cycles should have their blood androgen profile checked. However, if you have irregular menstrual cycles, or who have stopped menstruating, you need more extensive medical testing.


What are the ways to remove my facial hair?

Several methods of hair removal are available, each with varying degrees of cost, efficacy and side effects. 


Alkaline Hair Removal

This treatment uses a thick alkaline paste to dissolve the hair shaft and weaken the papilla, from which the hair grows. The pH of the skin is restored at the end of each treatment. Repeated treatments will reduce hair regrowth. Alkaline Hair Removal is a remarkable treatment for all areas of the face and body, designed to reduce especially fine, downy hair or peach fuzz hair. This type of hair is challenging to remove with other methods as the growth is usually dense and would take a long time to treat with electrolysis. It is also not suitable to be treated with IPL or Laser because it has no colour for the laser to target. Alkaline Hair Removal can remove large areas of hair in one treatment without discomfort, in comparison to other hair-removal systems. The procedure is completely pain-free, however, in some cases, the area can appear red and warm which is normal and will subside after a short period. After your first Alkaline Hair Removal treatment, the hair will grow back at its normal rate. However, as the treatments progress, the regrowth rate will become slower. As the hair growth weakens, your treatments will become further and further apart.



Shaving does not change the thickness or growth rate of human hair. Rather, the rough-textured, bevelled edge that shaving produces may give the appearance of thickening. Side effects of shaving are minimal. Irritation, often caused by the shaving lubricant and minor cuts can occur. Folliculitis, caused by the ingrowth of curly hair, is also a common side effect in some ethnic groups.



Threading is an ancient method of hair removal. An antibacterial thread is twisted and rolled across the skin to lift and remove unwanted hair straight from the hair follicle. As the hair is removed entirely, it leaves the skin smooth and can last 4-6 weeks. Repeated treatments can lead the follicle to stop growing hair.



Waxing is a traditional method for hair removal which can be performed either at home or by a skin care professional. It is painful, and the results are temporary which lasts two to eight weeks. A resin mixed with the wax helps in pulling out the hair by hardening around the hair shaft. Any hair colour and all skin types will benefit from waxing. When the wax removes more than one hair at a time, side effects include folliculitis, post-inflammatory pigmentation, scarring and burns from hot wax.



Permanent hair removal is achievable by electrolysis, but the results take time and patience. Both dark and light-skinned patients and those with fair hair are suitable for electrolysis. Galvanic and thermolytic are the two primary electrolysis methods. Galvanic is the more popular method which uses a direct current–induced chemical reaction to destroys the hair follicle. Repeat treatments are often necessary, and this is a slow process. Thermolytic employs an alternating current to destroy the hair follicle by creating heat within it. Temporary side effects of electrolysis are the pain, redness and swelling. Other side effects include acne, ingrown hairs, post-inflammatory pigment changes, as well as scarring in susceptible patients.


Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Laser treatments can show results within two weeks of the first session with the results lasting at least three months. It is recommended to have laser treatments monthly, but there is no guarantee of permanent hair removal. Laser treatments direct concentrated light into the hair follicle to seek out the melanin (pigmentation) in the hair. The melanin destroys the hair bulb by absorbing and changing the light energy into heat, which in turn inhibits the hair growth. Laser treatments are not suitable for fair hair as it has little to no melanin. The laser energy can also be distracted from the target dark hair shaft by pigmented skin such as olive skin. The potential damage resulting from the heating of the epidermal skin cells is why it is advisable not to undergo laser hair removal if you are tanned or had excessive sun exposure. The heat caused during the laser hair removal can be slightly painful. Redness and swelling which usually last a day are the most common side effects.


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