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From waxing to dermaplaning & more, here’s how to master your technique
Fussed about facial hair? Don’t be! Most of us deal with a stray whisker or two – it’s totally normal. And, while there’s nothing wrong with keeping that hair, here at H&B we appreciate that for a lot of people, getting rid of it's a priority – and that’s also OK.
So, if you’re hoping for a fuzz-free face, we’re here to help. Following on from our guide to the different types of hair removal, we’ve got the lowdown on getting to grips with removing unwanted facial hair at home – with minimal effort. Hair removal creams, wax strips and facial razors at the ready…
Why do I have excess hair?
It’s completely normal to have hair on your face, as well as your body. All of us do. In fact, a lot of women find that they have increasing amounts of lighter, finer hair on their face and body as they get older, particularly after menopause.
However, if you notice that the hair on your face, neck, chest, stomach, lower back, buttocks or thighs is particularly thick and dark, and it’s a problem for you, it can be helpful to see your GP to find out if there’s an underlying cause that may be related to your hormones.
But for everyday hair removal and maintenance, here’s some of the most popular options available:
• IPL hair removal
• Facial hair removal creams
• Facial hair lightening creams
• Prescription creams
Here, we provide the lowdown on each one, complete with easy-to-follow step by steps.
Waxing isn’t just reserved for the salon – you can get the job done quickly (and effectively) from the comfort of your own home.
And the even better news? The results can last up to six weeks, depending on your hair type and thickness. Plus, with repeated waxing, hair can grow back thinner and less coarse.
How to wax at home – step-by-step
- Always start by gently exfoliating the area to help avoid any telltale waxing bumps and ingrown hairs.
- On dry skin, apply the wax strip or wax in the direction of the hair growth.
- If using a strip, it’s best if you warm it in your palms slightly beforehand and peel it off in one swift movement.
- Hold the skin taut with the other hand and use the other to pull the strip back on itself quickly.
- Afterwards, treat the area to a cooling gel, such as aloe vera to help soothe redness or irritation.
IPL hair removal
Great for a longer-term option (you could be hair-free for up to 12 months), IPL or intense pulsed light works by using light to heat and destroy hair follicles in the skin, ultimately disrupting hair growth.
At-home, IPL takes a course of treatments – normally a minimum of six – to get the best results. Each treatment can take between five and 10 minutes and feels a bit like a hot elastic band pinging against the skin.
It’s worth bearing in mind that IPL is most effective on people with pale skin and dark hair, so if you’re fair haired or have tanned or a dark skin tone, it may be best to consider an alternative, such as waxing.
There are specific gadgets available for those tricky areas, such as the upper lip, between the eyebrows and the chin. How to use each one varies, so it’s best to check your specific device’s instructions, but generally speaking, the IPL process involves the below…
How to IPL at home – step-by-step
- Shave the area to remove any hair first. You can also wax or epilate it, but do so the day before your IPL treatment.
- Choose the correct head or attachment for the area that you’d like to treat.
- Put the nozzle in full contact with the skin and activate.
- Move onto the next spot.
- When you’re finished, follow your device’s cleaning instructions.
Dermaplaning has received a lot of buzz in the fuzz-removal community lately. It’s easy to see why – not only is it relatively simple to do, but it’s super convenient.
It’s more than just shaving your face, though. Unlike a traditional razor, it involves using a smaller blade to remove hair. Extra bonus: it can also help slough off dead skin cells.
But it’s not for everyone. If you have spots or skin conditions, such as acne or rosacea, it’s best avoided to help keep skin irritation-free.
How to dermaplane at home – step-by-step
- Wash skin with a gentle cleanser. Face shaving can be done on clean and moisturised skin or on damp skin with your face wash still on the skin.
- Holding skin taut, hold your razor at an angle and use short, feathery strokes, gently gliding the razor downwards and in the direction of the hair growth. Avoid delicate areas, such as around the eyes.
- Rinse the blade after each swipe.
- When done, rinse your face and apply a serum or moisturiser to rehydrate (check out our guide to the best moisturisers for sensitive skin to find your perfect match).
- Clean the blade with alcohol after use and place its protective cap back on.
Facial hair removal creams
Hair removal creams can be a great option for removing unwanted facial hair. They work by dissolving the hair at the skin’s surface.
There are a range of formulations available, created with the sensitive needs of the face in mind. Despite this, we always recommend starting with a patch test to avoid any potential reactions.
How to use a hair removal cream – step-by-step
- Apply a thick layer of the cream on clean, dry skin and ensure the hair is fully covered.
- Leave for around five minutes and then use cotton wool to remove a small area. If hair comes away easily, remove the rest.
- If it needs more time, leave on for a total of eight to 10 minutes (check your product’s instructions).
- Rinse off thoroughly and then dry.
- Follow with a fragrance-free moisturiser or cream formulated for sensitive skin.
Facial hair lightening creams
If you’d like to minimise the appearance of hair (without actually getting rid of it), then hair lightening creams could be for you.
They work thanks to a mild bleach formula that helps lighten dark excess facial hair, leaving it a less noticeable shade.
Lighteners are best used on fine areas of hair, such as the upper lip area, so stay clear of brows unless you consider yourself a seasoned pro. And, as ever, never forget the importance of a patch test 24 hours before using a new lightening product.
As it makes strands lighter, it’s a better choice for those with lighter skin tones.
How to use a hair lightening cream – step-by-step
- On clean, dry skin, smooth the cream over the area to be lightened with the product’s spatula (usually provided).
- Leave for five to 10 minutes, checking regularly to see if the hair has lightened.
- Remove using the spatula.
- Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
Tweezing is super easy and a great way to tame eyebrow hairs (and pesky stray chin hairs), while on the go.
Allowing for incredibly precise hair removal, technique is key to help minimise discomfort – as is the tool you use. Today’s tweezers boast everything from slanted and straight edges to ergonomic handles.
How to tweeze facial hair – step-by-step
- Hold skin taut before you pluck to keep your tweezing efforts as ouch-free as possible.
- Holding your tweezer between your thumb and index finger, grab each hair as close to the root as possible and pluck swiftly in the direction of the hair growth.
- Go slowly and step back and look at your handiwork after each tweeze to make sure you don’t over-pluck.
For more tips and tricks, check out our guide to how to pluck your eyebrows at home.
If your facial hair is particularly bothering you, then consider visiting Boots Online Doctor Facial Hair Removal Treatment service*. Simply complete an online consultation and get a clinical review in as little as 24 hours.
Those with severe excess facial hair can also visit their GP to rule out any underlying health conditions.
Facial hair is normal. And whether you make the choice to keep it or get rid of it, it’s a you-do-you situation. However, if you’ve got concerns about excessive facial hair, it’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment with your GP.