Shaving and various types of hair removal are among the most popular methods of removing unwanted hair from various parts of our body. However, these are temporary solutions, as the hair appears again from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the method chosen. And if there’s one area where removing hair is a particularly tricky business, it’s probably our face. Not only is it the most visible hairy area, but the epidermis of the facial skin is among the most sensitive. Ah, if you could get rid of despicable hair permanently… Is there a permanent solution? How to prevent facial hair from growing back?
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What methods can be used to get rid of facial hair forever?
As you know, shaving is quick, painless and easy to perform even by a non-professional. Nevertheless, in just a few days, the hair is visible again and it looks even thicker, darker and harder than before. Hair removal, whether electric, waxing or threading, gives longer-lasting results, since the hair is pulled out from the root instead of simply cut at the base. But it does have its risks, including ingrown hairs, irritation and hyperpigmentation, among others, and it’s not permanent either. So how do you prevent facial hair from growing back?
What is electrolysis? How does it work?
Electrolysis hair removal involves the introduction of a short wave electrical current directly into your hair follicles through fine needles. The goal is to destroy the bulbs from which the hair grows so that it no longer grows back. Be aware that this procedure should only be performed by a certified dermatologist or electrologist. Electrolysis can be performed on any part of the body and is suitable for most skin types.
Unlike other hair removal methods, electrolysis is considered the closest solution to permanency. However, to achieve these permanent results, you will need several follow-up appointments (each of which will cost some money). Most people need weekly sessions or touch-ups every two weeks for their facial hair to slow down growth. Then, the treatment is continued, once a month, for 12 to 18 months so that hairs finally stop appearing.
Is laser hair removal permanent and does it prevent facial hair from growing back?
Laser hair removal is another fairly popular option, including when talking about facial hair removal. But is it permanent? Frankly, it will be more accurate to say that it is long term. Like electrolysis, this treatment targets the hair follicles and damages them with high temperature lasers to prevent new hair growth. However, it cannot prevent the formation of new, fine, light hairs in a few years.
Laser hair removal is performed anywhere on the body except around the eyes and multiple sessions are required, which can significantly increase the cost. In most cases, this hair removal lasts several months, and in some cases, it can last for years. When hair grows back, it is often finer and lighter in color. However, laser hair removal does not guarantee a permanent effect. It should be taken into account that the treatment tends to work best on light-skinned people with dark hair.
What about pulsed light hair removal?
The situation with pulsed light hair removal, targeting the melanin in the hair, is quite similar to the previous one. Still, the method works on most hair areas and a number of procedures are needed to feel its effects. It can have a permanent, if not lasting, effect on many hairs, but getting rid of all facial hair forever using this method is highly unlikely.
An important advantage of this type of hair removal is that you can do it yourself at home using a special pulsed light device (IPL Hair Removal System). This can significantly reduce the total cost of the process related to touch-ups, especially if you are not only treating facial hair, but also larger areas of your body. The problem? Pulsed light cannot distinguish the melanin in the hair from that in the skin, which means that the use of this method on dark skin is not recommended.
Creams to prevent facial hair from growing back?
Face creams and serums have become an important part of our skin care routine. Over-the-counter hair removal creams that weaken the hair protein called keratin cause hair loss, but don’t target the hair follicle, so results only last about two weeks. But there are also prescription creams with eflornithine (Vaniqa), which you apply twice a day for a month and they suppress the production of enzymes that stimulate hair growth. Alas, according to studies, the results can only last up to eight weeks and the process is not without risks. Some side effects may include burning, rashes, and acne breakouts due to follicle disruption.