All women have facial hair, and for many—excluding eyebrows—it's not necessarily noticeable. But even noticeable hair on the face is normal for women. I mean, we've all examined our faces in those super-magnifying mirrors. We're hairy humans, and it's nothing to be ashamed of (hi, Lorde and Yara Shahidi). But if your facial hair is personally bothering you, there are many ways to get rid of it without the mess.
We do have to mention, if you have concerns about excessive facial hair, it's best to seek medical advice. Below, we've rounded up the best at-home removal tips, all-natural methods, and even more advanced options that can remove hair permanently. Keep scrolling to learn all about the dos and don’ts of removing hair in this ultra-delicate zone.
Tweezing is the easiest and cheapest method of removing facial hair. It's most commonly the go-to way to keep your eyebrows tamed. But it also can be used for those occasional chin hairs that pop up out of nowhere.
Unless you’re having laser or electrolysis treatments or are really desperate for quick hair removal, put down the razor. Shaving may seem like a fast solution, but it actually creates blunt edges that make the hair appear thicker. Not to mention, the results are extremely temporary and likely will only last a day. It’s okay for your body but not your face. So don’t be fooled by those tiny razors marketed to women. Sure they come in cute colors, but do they really work for you?
Facial shaving is just another version of dermaplaning, and according to estheticians, it is beneficial to skin—aside from facial hair removal. Though folklore will have you believe so, hair does not actually grow back thicker than before. Try using a hydrating serum post-shave for an extra dose of moisture that'll penetrate fresh, smooth skin.
A depilatory is a strong alkaline product that breaks down hair so as to make it easy to wipe off. Generally, facial hair removal creams are thought to be a bit better than shaving your face because creams can't create as sharp of an end to hair as a razor does.
While results will only last a couple of days, it's important to be careful when choosing a product. Hair removal creams often contain harsh chemicals and can burn your skin, especially around the delicate area of the face. Try something like Nair Sensitive for the Face ($3) which is formulated with extra-moisturizing properties.
Threading is an ancient hair removal method that uses a string for precise eyebrow shaping and hair removal. It’s quick, doesn't use any chemicals, and is generally inexpensive. Plus, results can last up to six weeks. With threading the rule of thumb is this: If you can feel the hair, it can be removed.
Waxing is a long-favored method that rids unwanted hair from the body and face. Known to last a good four weeks, all it requires is some hot wax and grit. (We're kidding about the grit, though nobody ever said waxing was a soothing pastime.) You can go to a professional waxing service, which exists almost everywhere or purchase an at-home kit for convenience's sake—it's up to you.
Some side effects of waxing include redness, scabs, or burns, so be prepared for residual redness especially if you've got sensitive skin. Waxing can be a harsh exfoliation process, and with the delicacy of the facial area, we also suggest laying off salicylic acid, AHAs, and other powerful exfoliators beforehand.
There are two types of sugaring: paste and gel. Both types are made with natural ingredients like lemon juice, sugar, and water and leave you hair-free for up to six weeks. People tend to prefer sugaring over waxing because it’s less painful and tends to be gentler on the skin. Traditional sugaring methods use paste and can remove hair as short as 1/16 inch. When compared to the 1/4-inch minimum hair length needed for waxing, sugaring stands out as a cleaner and less painful option.
Coil Hair Removers
Perhaps you've heard of these little gadgets: They look like tiny slinkies and work by grabbing hair straight from the root. Think tweezing, but so much faster because you don't have to grab each hair individually. Either Tweezerman's Smooth Finish Facial Hair Remover ($20) or Lindo's Twist-N-Roll ($11) should get the job done with ease.
Laser hair removal uses pulsed light to disable the hair follicle, which honestly sounds daunting, but it really isn't. Lasering is an FDA-approved method of permanent hair reduction that is safe to use on the face as well as the body. With laser hair removal, hair that returns over time will be thinner and lighter than before and eventually might not return at all.
While those with dark hair and light skin tend to see the most success after laser due to the treatment targeting pigment in the hair, don't worry—if you have blond or light hair, the at-home device, Mē Sleek Face + Body Hair Removal System ($249) is made to treat all variations of facial hair color. According to JoElle Lee, a skincare expert, educator, author, and celebrity esthetician with over 20 years experience, YAG is the most effective laser for anyone with darker skin tones.
At-home devices like Tria Hair Removal Laser Precision ($115), Tria Laser 4X ($349), and Silk'n Flash & Go Express Hair Removal Device ($209) can all be used on the face from the cheek line down for clean, convenient hair removal.
This method has the best track record as it's the only one approved by the FDA for permanent hair removal. (Laser treatments are FDA approved for permanent hair reduction.) Using an electric current, electrolysis is done with a very fine needle-shaped electrode or metal probe and zaps individual hairs.
If electric zaps don't put you off, the upside is that, unlike laser hair removal, you don’t need a certain hair or skin color to attain the best results. Do note that you'll need to book several treatments to achieve a permanently hairless result, but in the end, you won't need to remove hair in that area ever again.
We turn to prescription creams for so many skin woes so why should hair removal be any different? Enter Vaniqa, an FDA-approved prescription cream that reduces facial hair in women. While it's not a permanent removal method, the cream is said to help hair grow back in slower and in finer, softer textures.
Allergan, the pharmaceutical company that makes this cream, says you should see improvements between four and eight weeks after the start of treatment.