I "mustache" you a question--what's the best way to remove facial hair?
Dark facial hair, particularly that of the upper lip and chin, can be very noticeable and make you self-conscious. Thanks to changes in hormones, hair can turn darker or turn coarser and appear out of nowhere. A couple of examples: I've seen it in aging and sometimes in pregnancy. No worries--there are many methods to remove that mustache.
Over the past 11 months, I took 7 of the most popular methods for removing facial hair and tested them out, carefully observing and recording each one. All of these can be done at home or you can choose a professional.
- This contraption rips hair from the root with a twist of the wrist. There is also a new, more compact model that was just released.
- PAIN: VERY painful--I cannot stand this thing. Tweezing is less painful that this.
- PRICE: $20, but you can find versions for under a dollar on Ebay.
- It works but I say skip this.
2--Facial Hair Removal Creams
- Leave the cream or gel on for a set amount of time and then wipe off.
- PAIN: None, but sometimes skin can get irritated.
- PRICE: $7-$25
- If you've tried these before, you know how they work. Many of them still smell horrible, they can tingle and leave skin feeling a little numb. Since hair is dissolved at surface level, it doesn't last as long as if it's removed from the root. You'll have to use this twice a month usually.
- While these are normally used for shaping the brows, they work very well for the upper lip, chin, and other areas.
- PAIN: None, unless you use incorrectly
- PRICE: $5-$15
- I have tried every brand of these, and I prefer the ones from Sephora. While I do dermaplaning at home often (see dermaplaning post here), those razors are too large for my upper lip.
- This method is super fast.
- Only in extreme areas of growth would I recommend an actual full-sized razor. It's just not necessary.
- I found this to be the most popular method. You can get this hot or cold. Cold can be wax you apply and peel away or wax already applied to strips.
- PAIN: This depends on your pain level, but I always find it painful.
- PRICE: $10+
- There are so many different types of wax out there, and many of them give my skin reactions. I have seen blisters and all sorts of things.
- Results last for a few weeks.
- A natural approach to hair removal with sugar, lemon, and honey (usually). I have seen it removed with strips or by hand. Usually doesn't irritate the skin. Cold or warm.
- PAIN: virtually none
- PRICE: $10+
- While this is not painful, it doesn't last nearly as long as waxing or threading.
- This doesn't remove hair, but lightens it. I wanted to include it as an option.
- PAIN: None, unless your skin reacts
- PRICE: $6-$20
- This two part system of cream and a powder accelerator. Mix, apply to skin, allow to set for a certain amount of time, and then remove.
- I have had crazy reactions to this. I've had my hair turn orange (new trend? ;). I've had my skin react with white spots (another new trend? hehe). So many people like this method, but it's not for me.
- While this can be done at home, I recommend having a trained threader do this.
- PAIN: Since the upper lip hair is different from brow hair, I find threading on my upper lip to be much less painful than threading my brows. It's not painless, but for me, the discomfort is really minor, as opposed to waxing, which leaves my skin red and throbbing for a bit after.
- PRICE: $10+
8--Laser Hair Removal and Electrolysis Removal
- I tried laser hair removal using an at home system and had no results. My legs worked, but not my upper lip.
- I have not tried electrolysis (a very fine needle + electrical current) and while it is pricey and painful, it does lead to permanent results.
My faves: brow razor for quick removal and threading for longer removal. Most people prefer waxing.
What's your favorite method?
- Last night I got to attend a screening of the movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, starring Tina Fey. It takes place during the war, but is more like a black comedy, meaning it takes a tough subject and finds the humor. Is dramady a word? It's more like that. The humor is very dry and I found myself being the only one laughing at certain lines. I give it a B-.