Shaving your legs? Standard. Waxing your underarms? Yeah, OK, it has to be done. But tweezing your face? That's a lady maintenance task we didn’t sign up for.
Female facial hair isn't all that uncommon, although it can be a sign of health issues. “Excessive facial hair usually is associated with hair loss on your scalp and is associated with an excess of male hormones,” says trichologist Yvonne Solomon. “We all have hair all over our bodies, but with an excess of male hormones it becomes more coarse, and noticeable.”
However, she says there are other reasons you might see more noticeable hairs cropping up on your face, like an over or underactive adrenal gland. “Hair is the perfect barometer for what is going on inside,” she says. “If something is happening within your body, many times the first indicator will be a change in your hair.” Otherwise, it could be harmless. “It’s normal that as we age, our [female hormone] estrogen levels drop and [male hormone] testosterone becomes more influential.” To know for sure, visit an endocrinologist for a blood test, but in the meantime, here are her top methods for dealing with facial hair growth.
Cover It With Makeup
“Try and cover it cosmetically first, before you try anything else,” says Solomon. “Always apply makeup in the direction that the hair is growing as long as it is not discolored. But if it is a black hair, it will need a more permanent solution.”
If you have dark skin or hair, this may be your best method: It’s quick, easy and painless. “Often follicles don’t just pop up, they are already there,” says Solomon. “But we don’t pay attention to them because they are inconspicuous. [When they do show up] bleaching can be your best option so they are not as noticeable.”
If you are sick of dying your face every few weeks, Solomon recommends the waxing route. “Just go to someone who does it professionally,” she says. “When you are dealing with your face, you need someone who understands the skin and how long [wax] should stay on for.” DIY face waxing = burnt skin.
Use sparingly — in small areas and not every time you have a mustache situation. “I don’t tend to recommend them because they can be really harsh to the skin,” Solomon explains.
Electrolysis involves using a fine, needle-shaped probe to apply an electric current into the hair follicle to destroy it. “If you can afford it and want a more permanent solution, I would suggest trying electrolysis,” Solomon says. Since each hair needs to be destroyed individually — and can require several treatments — it can be a costly process.
Likewise, laser treatments can be costly and time-consuming. They work by using pulsating light beams to heat up and burn the pigment-producing melanin in the hair follicle, causing it to stop production. Therefore, results can be less effective on lighter hair follicles, since they contain less melanin. If hair is dark, however, and the severity of the condition is traumatizing, laser can be the answer. Though, thankfully, “Generally I don’t see patients with an excessive enough issue to warrant laser treatments,” says Solomon.
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