So that dark upper lip has finally transformed, cruelly, into a full-fledged mustachio . . . and you have no Y chromosome. For many women, unwanted facial hair cripples confidence and tarnishes self-esteem. I believe this is because women have been made to feel like freaks for having a bit of facial hair, even though all women grow facial hair at some point in their lives. That being said, it is much easier to learn how to get rid of facial hair than it is to undo Western society's media-conditioned body image. There are a limited number of ways to get rid of facial hair, but you'll undoubtedly find one or more that work for you.
Below are the most popular and effective ways to get rid of facial hair. These hair removal methods vary greatly in price, and some may prove more effective than others depending on the color of your skin and facial hair, as well as how fine or coarse that hair is. If your facial hair growth has been rapid and accompanied by other physical changes, then pick up your phone and call your doctor.
Getting Rid of Facial Hair
Electrolysis is the only FDA and AMA approved method to get rid of facial hair permanently. During electrolysis, a small needle is inserted into the hair follicle and the growth center is wiped out chemically or thermally. It is vitally important to find a highly trained, recommended electrologist to get rid of your facial hair; lesser technicians with shoddy equipment will take your money without permanently getting rid of your facial hair. Also, don't bother with a home electrolysis kit--it's kind of like buying a home appendix removal kit. In the end, electrolysis is a highly effective, yet expensive, method to get rid of facial hair.
Laser hair removal is one the most effective and long-lasting methods for getting rid of facial hair. As with electrolysis, go to a professional that comes highly recommended and wouldn't mind providing references . . . because they are going to be destroying your hair follicles with a laser. Because the procedure works through melanin (pigment), it is vastly more effective for light-skinned, dark-haired women. So, if you have dark skin or feel naked without your tan, laser hair removal probably isn't for you. Be patient with this method--you'll need to suffer a few sessions for results, and your hair may begin growing back and then wither.
Many women never have to get rid of facial hair--not because they don't have any but because it's nearly invisible. Hair bleaching creams, which are chiefly used to get rid of unwanted facial hair, are designed to achieve that aesthetic for women with hair that does not blend against the skin. Facial hair bleaching creams are cheap ($6–$10) and effective, though they don't have the staying power of the previous methods. Surgi is a popular, reputable brand, but whatever brand you choose, test it on a small patch of skin to avoid allergic reactions.
Sugaring is similar to waxing without the tremendous pain, and it is a great way to get rid of facial hair. Sugaring is ages old, and many recipes abound online, or you can buy a cheap, environmentally friendly product from Moom. The sugaring concoction sticks to hair instead of skin, so the process is nothing like the scream-in-horror waxing of old. Sugaring should be done on dry, clean skin. Results should last for up to four weeks.
Threading is a great way to shape eyebrows, but it is also effective at getting rid of facial hair. You're probably not going to find a salon that does threading in small-town America, but this ancient hair removal technique is quickly spreading. With this method, two pieces of cotton are used to literally pluck the hair from the root. While it sounds similar to tweezing, it is much quicker and far less painful. Also, a skilled practitioner of threading will leave less chance of an ingrown hair or infection--especially if you utilize an antibacterial afterwards. Again, find an experienced practitioner; those who do it for a living are faster, kinder, and produce better results.
Prescription Treatments that Get Rid of Unwanted Facial Hair
Vaniqa (Eflonithine) is an FDA approved topical prescription medication that doesn't get rid of facial hair, but it significantly slows down facial hair growth. Vaniqa inhibits hair growth by blocking an enzyme that fosters hair production. Vaniqa is best used in tandem with one of the facial hair removal methods above; it can greatly reduce the amount of times you'll need to sugar, pluck, or drop cash on more expensive schemes. The results of Vaniqa vary greatly: for some it hardly works, while others report that their hair stopped growing after a number of months. Like nearly all hair removal methods, once you stop the treatment, your hair production will revert back to what it once was.
If facial hair growth is caused by an excess of male hormones (hirsutism) or a hormonal imbalance, oral contraceptives and antiandrogens may be prescribed. Hormonal problems such as hirsutism are more common than people think; up to 12% of all women experience the disorder at some point in their lives. Again, these prescriptions can and should be used alongside other hair removal methods for optimum results.