What to Do About Unwanted Facial Hair

Everybody has some facial hair, including women. When it comes to facial hair, the main difference between men and women is that hair on a woman’s face typically is so fine that it’s barely visible.

Facial hair in women has a few causes, including genetics, higher levels of testosterone, or hirsutism, which results in the growth of course, dark hair in women. Hirsutism affects around 5%-10% of women. 

If you’re a woman dealing with unwanted facial hair, Dr. Javier Zelaya and our team at Skinworks Dermatology, with three New York City locations, can help. We offer laser treatment for a variety of cosmetic purposes, including hair removal.

Laser hair removal

Laser hair removal consists of directing a concentrated beam of light at a selected area of skin. The light is absorbed in the hair follicles of the skin, which slows and prevents hair growth. While not permanent, the effects can last for a long time, months or even years.

Not all of your hair is at the same stage of the growth cycle, so full treatment may take up to six visits 1-2 months apart. 

Before we start laser hair removal, we provide you with goggles to protect your eyes from the light. Also, a topical anesthetic may be used to alleviate any discomfort during the procedure.

The hand-held laser device is used alongside a cooling gel to protect the skin. The treatment is commonly described as feeling like a warm pinprick, with mild discomfort.

Small areas may only take a few minutes, with larger areas taking as long as an hour. Redness and swelling afterward are typical for the first few hours, and hair often sheds over the course of days or weeks.

Laser hair removal is effective and long-lasting, but it’s not the only method at your disposal to remove unwanted facial hair.

At-home facial hair removal

If you’d like to deal with your facial hair at home, there are a variety of common methods:

Shaving

Shaving, of course, is the go-to for men dealing with facial hair. But women, too, can use disposable or electric razors to shave unwanted hair on the face and other areas of the body. Shaving gets immediate results, but the hair doesn’t usually stay gone for long.

Tweezing

Also used for shaping eyebrows, tweezers can remove the hair from its root. It can be mildly painful and, though the results last longer than with shaving, your hair grows back in a short time. Disinfect the tweezers before using.

Epilation

This method, which can last up to a month or so, employs an epilator to remove multiple hairs from the root at the same time. While they’re typically used on larger areas, epilators come in different sizes.

Waxing

Waxing can be used to remove hair from just about anywhere on the body. Kits come in the form of waxing strips or wax that’s warmed and applied with a stick. The process, which can be uncomfortable, may cause acne or ingrown hairs.

Depilatories

Depilatory creams use chemicals that break down hair follicles, causing hair to dissolve for easy removal. This method lasts longer than shaving or tweezing, but there’s a risk of skin reaction, including redness, bumps, and itching. Test a small area first to make sure it’s safe for you.

If you’re considering using home treatments to remove unwanted facial hair, make sure to read the instructions and take all the necessary safety precautions.

But if you’re looking for a long-term treatment for dealing with hair removal, consider laser hair removal at Skinworks Dermatology. To learn more, call one of our offices in Maspeth, Park Slope, and New York, New York, or use our online tool to make your appointment.

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