All The Hairy Details: Getting Rid Of Unwanted Hair

Peering into a makeup mirror may reveal a little more than you’d like to see, in the form of straggly hairs sprouting here and there on your chin or upper lip.

Should you do something about them?

Fortunately you have a wide range of options, temporary or permanent, for hair removal. Your choices may vary according to your patience, hair color and even your age, say the experts.

Tweezing vs. shaving

Tweezing is a do-it-yourself method that you can do every week. Wash your face, make sure your tweezers are clean, and you’re ready to pluck.

But don’t be overzealous: Too much tweezing over time, such as thinning your eyebrows, can decrease the hair in that area.

Despite the myths, shaving doesn’t cause hairs to come in thicker.  After shaving, facial hair feels a little coarser, but it doesn’t come in thicker or darker than if you left it alone.

Waxing away

Waxing is also temporary, and it’s faster than tweezing with results that last about the same amount of time. But it’s best to leave waxing to professionals so you don’t risk burning your skin.

Let your wax technician know if you use Retin A topical cream because the drug could make your skin more sensitive during waxing. In addition, if you’re older you may find waxing irritates your skin.

Making it permanent

As you age and undergo hormonal changes, facial hair may become more prominent, and you might want to consider laser or electrolysis treatments, which are both permanent.

Laser hair removal destroys the root of the follicle so the hair won’t grow back, although new hair follicles may develop. The process is safe and effective, but there are drawbacks. It’s time-consuming and may require several treatments, about eight weeks apart. And it works only on dark colors, not blond, red, white or gray facial hair.

If your hair is lighter, electrolysis may be a good alternative. Electrolysis involves inserting a metal probe into each hair follicle, one at a time, to deliver electricity to the follicle.