The 10 Most Popular Ways To Remove Unwanted Hair

Top 7 forms of hair removal for women | Braun US

The 10 Most Popular Ways To Remove Unwanted Hair

With these methods you remove your body hair by the root. It takes weeks for hair to grow back, and when it does, it is usually softer and thinner than before. The great thing is that root hair removal lets you enjoy smooth skin for a very long time – up to 4 weeks.

Read on to learn about the different root hair removal methods and their individual pros and cons.

Works by:

Using a hand-held device that has a head of rotating tweezers which you run along the skin’s surface, removing hairs as it goes.

Best for:

All body parts – legs, underarms, arms, bikini area and face


Ultra-smooth results, lasting up to four weeks. It is mess free and new models also come with an extra attachment for removing unwanted hair from specific areas such as the face.


It may be uncomfortable in more sensitive areas.

Beauty rating:

Epilators can remove hairs as short as 0.5mm, un wax which needs lengths of 2mm hair growth for optimal results – so there’s no need to wait for unsightly regrowth.

Dermatologist’s note:

“Because with epilation the hair is removed at the root, when it does grow back the tip tends to be tapered which results in it having a finer appearance. In addition, regular epilation can reduce the number of in-growing hairs.”

Works by:

Applying hot or cold wax to the skin in the direction of hair growth. Then, once it solidifies, fabric strips are smoothed on and quickly stripped off against the direction of the growth, pulling the hair out with it. An alternative option are pre-made wax strips.

Best for:

Legs, bikini, eyebrows, underarms and upper lip.


Wax can keep skin hair free for weeks, so you don’t have to think about hair removal for some time.


Can be painful. Plus you have to wait until hairs are long enough before you can wax them again, which can be a problem if you want to bare your legs or hate the feeling of regrowing hairs. If you do it yourself, it can be messy, and if you go to a salon, it can be expensive. Finally, wax can miss very short hairs.

Beauty rating:

Great if you find daily hair removal a ‘hassle’ – and if you’re prepared to pay for a professional treatment.

Dermatologist’s note:

When you wax, skin can be left dry afterwards. Follow with a soothing lotion, ideally one containing aloe vera.

Works by:

Taking fine pieces of cotton thread and twining the thread round each individual hair then pulling the thread quickly apart, removing the hair along with it.

Best for:

Small, delicate areas eyebrows and upper lip.


Hairs are removed from the root, so regrowth is slow, and hairs don’t grow back prickly.


Fairly slow process, since hairs need to be pulled out one by one. It’s also quite a specialized procedure, so you need to go to a well-trained professional.

Beauty rating:

Great for eyebrows – once they’ve tried it, most women are converts.

Dermatologist’s note:

“Threading is not very traumatic for the skin, so is good to use on particularly sensitive areas the upper lip or eyebrow.”

With these methods you remove the parts of body hair that have grown above the skin surface. Generally it is quite easily done, but on the other hand you need to do it pretty often. Read on to learn about the various root hair removal methods and understand what the differences are.

Works by:

Passing a small electric machine with a fine screen at one end across the skin’s surface, trapping hair. Blades move laterally and cut the hairs against the edge of the screen.

Best for:

Legs, bikini area, underarms


Quick, safe and because you do it ‘dry’, it’s easy to do on the go. Also a good option for those with very sensitive skin.


The ‘hairless’ effect doesn’t last as quite as long as wet shaving. The razor also needs looking after properly, which means regular cleaning and changing the blade annually.

Beauty rating:

Great as a gentle and quick hair removal method.

Dermatologist’s note:

“This is a convenient hair removal option that’s gentle enough to be suitable for most people. Don’t use it if your skin is already irritated by cuts or rashes, though.”

Works by:

Gliding blades over moistened skin to cut hair at the surface.

Best for:

Legs, underarms, bikini area


Fast, effective, painless and also gently exfoliates dry, flaky skin on legs to keep them looking extra-smooth.


Whilst shaving does reveal beautifully smooth skin you have to keep on doing it frequently in order to maintain the smooth results.

Beauty rating:

A great option for busy women.

Dermatologist’s note:

“Shaving is a convenient option – but it’s important to do it properly. Just using soap and water is not ideal as it often leaves skin with a dry, scaly appearance. It is better to use a moisturizing shave gel.”

Works by:

Chemically dissolving the hair at the surface of the skin. Once applied, the cream is left on the skin for up to 10 minutes then removed by gently rubbing away at the hair.

Best for:

Upper lip, bikini area and underarms


Pain-free, inexpensive.


Can sometimes be messy and difficult to apply. Traditionally, products have had an unpleasant smell, though some are better than others. Skin irritation can be a problem, too, so it’s best to do a patch test 24 hours before you want to apply.

Beauty rating:

Best for small areas face and underarms

Dermatologist’s note:

“If you have sensitive skin, depilatory creams may not be the most appropriate option, because the chemicals contained in them can cause both irritant and allergic reactions. Always carry out a patch test, ideally on the inside of the arm and better still on two separate occasions, before using it on an entire leg or face.”

IPL is a comparatively new hair removal method. It works with flashes of light that affect the regrowth of body hair. It is derived from professional methods used by dermatologists.

Read on to learn what is special about this method and what to look for when you think about using it.

Works by:

Focusing a narrow beam of concentrated light on to small sections of skin. The light is absorbed by pigment in the hair follicle underneath the skin surface, thus heating the hair follicle and disabling hair growth depending on growth cycle (anagen only). The paler your skin and the darker your hair, the better the treatment will work.

Best for:

Bikini, underarm, upper lip


Much faster and less painful than it used to be, because larger sections of skin can now be treated in one go. In many cases, hair is discouraged from ever growing back, or if it does, the hair tends to be very fine and thin.


Requires shaving of the skin before each treatment. Results are not permanent. So you need multiple treatments that can get very expensive.

You also have to be careful about going in the sun for up to six weeks either side of your treatment as the changes to pigment in your skin can increase the risk of sunburn.

Hormonal changes pregnancy or the menopause can also cause hair to start growing back again.

Beauty rating:

Great for areas that cause you real distress, the upper lip, but quite extreme as an ordinary hair removal option.

Dermatologist’s note:

“The laser works by ‘homing in’ on the pigment in the hairs – so the closer your hair colour to your skin colour, the higher the risk of burning and potential scarring. The ideal combination is therefore dark hair on pale skin. If you have dark skin, you should give careful thought before embarking on this technique.”


10 Best Facial Hair Removers 2020

The 10 Most Popular Ways To Remove Unwanted Hair

Christine Giordano

Fact check: all women have fine, thin hair covering their faces and necks—and it’s completely normal. How coarse, or dark that hair is, is a result of genetics.

“Women in certain ethnic groups (not necessarily race) have more hair than others,” says Morgan Rabach, MD, a dermatologist in NYC.

“For example, Caucasian British women, in this study, had statistically less facial hair than Caucasian Italian women.”

One thing to note is that for a small percentage of women, “facial hair can be a sign of an underlying endocrine disruption, meaning your hormones are balance, which can be a result of conditions PCOS,” says Dr.


“If you are female, and have coarse dark facial hair, you should make sure that everything is okay inside your body by getting your hormones checked by a board-certified dermatologist or endocrinologist,” she says.

Regardless of the cause, choosing to remove some or all of your facial hair is your prerogative—and naturally, the beauty world has come up with a number of ways to go about facial hair removal. Read on as we’ve rounded up all your options so you can pick the one that’s best for you.

“At-home waxing kits are another non-permanent but effective way to remove hair,” Dr. Rabach says—she cautions “to follow the directions labeled on the package closely!” When using a kit that requires heating up, be careful not to overheat the wax to prevent burns.

According to Dr. Rabach, at-home dermaplaning is “a good way to remove fine vellus hairs (aka peach fuzz) and also remove the thin top layer of dead skin.” almost every option on the list, this is a temporary solution.

An epilator acts multiple tweezers working at once. “It’s an at-home device that removes hair by yanking many hairs out from their roots at the same time,” Dr. Rabach explains. Similarly to waxing, the payoff will last a little longer since you're getting the hair at the root, but this method can be slightly more painful for some as well.

These at-home lasers (IPL is short for Intense Pulsed Light) convert light to heat and essentially kill the hair follicle—this is a permanent solution, though even laser can need maintenance a couple times a year.

Depilatory Cream
“Make sure to diligently use sun protection, (as always!)” Dr. Rabach says—because cream hair removal, while painless, can be irritating, and leave skin more sensitive to the sun.

Here are the best tools for each category.

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This beginner-friendly set includes ready-to-use wax strips (nothing to heat up or spread on). After-wax cloths eliminate stickiness, and an aloe-loaded serum helps calm skin post-rip. 


Hair Remover Wax Strip Kit Sally Hansen


If pain is preventing you from at-home wax options, look no further than these Sally Hansen Insta Wax Strips, which come with “ouch-relief” numbing wipes. These also don’t require any prep, so they’re super easy to use.


Poetic Waxing Hair Removal Kit

To mimic the spa experience at home (and play esthetician) go for this microwaveable wax which is applied directly to the skin, and then pulled off, taking unwanted hair with it. 


2.0 Luxe Facial Exfoliation & Peach Fuzz Removal DERMAFLASH


If you want your face to be a fully smooth canvas, try Dermaflash, the at-home system for dermaplaning (a service in which a dermatologist or esthetician uses a medical grade blade to exfoliate and remove the top layer of skin and peach fuzz). The Dermaflash vibrates and uses a blade. Loyal fans are especially obsessed with the way makeup goes on after use.


Grooming Dermablade Trio Joey Healy


Joey Healy is a beauty editor favorite when it comes to brow upkeep. These can be used to keep the area between and around the brows smooth—or to dermablade peach fuzz all around. Make sure to pull the skin taut to avoid nicks. The collapsible dermablades fold into themselves so the blade is not exposed, making them travel friendly. 


Face Perfection Women's Hair Remover

This convenient (battery-powered) tool features ten micro-openings that grab and remove even super-fine hairs. The precise, small tool allows you to target areas the chin, upper lip, forehead, and even between the brows. 


Silk·expert Pro 5 IPL Hair Remover Braun


While this $300+ tool might seem a splurge, the reality is that it costs less than your average session of professional laser hair removal (and way more than one session is required). This high-tech (FDA-approved) gadget lets you DIY the process in a safe and fast way—plus it can be used all over your body, so you get more bang for your buck.

Depilatory Cream

Facial Hair Removal Cream

Specifically formulated for facial skin, this cream contains softening almond and soothing calendula oils and dispenses from an angled precision-tip for easy application. When you’re done, there’s an after care balm to make sure skin calms down post-hair removal. 

Electric Razor

Flawless Women's Painless Hair Remover Finishing Touch


This less-than-$20 gadget is truly a cult favorite—especially because it’s sensitive-skin friendly and doesn’t feel you’re using anything at all. Its unique “Butterfly” technology microscopically pares hair down via a spinning head. 

Razor Pen

Satin Compact Touch-Up Pen Trimmer

This purse-friendly trimming pen (it’s a tiny razor) is one you can pull out for a quick touch-up just about anywhere. It even comes with a click on comb to groom brows on-the-go.

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How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Hair: A Comprehensive Guide

The 10 Most Popular Ways To Remove Unwanted Hair

Depending on personal preference, removing unwanted hair can be an ongoing (and expensive) chore. Plus—with so many available hair removal options—deciding which method is right for you isn’t always easy.

We looked at the pros and cons of the most popular ways to get rid of hair—and why they may or may not work for you:

Depilatory / hair removal creams

Apply cream to desired area, set a timer, awkwardly wait while the chemicals break down the hair, remove cream to reveal hairless skin.

Pros: Easy to apply (depending of the product you choose). Not painful. Relatively quick to use.

Cons: That unmistakably funky chemical smell. You’re applying chemicals to your skin and letting them sit there. You’ll need to use separate depilatory creams for face and body (including your bikini line).

Cost: $7 to $20, depending on the size of the bottle and type of formulation (roll-on, shower-safe, etc…)


A small filament is inserted into the hair follicle to cauterize the dermal papilla, permanently destroying its ability to grow hair.

Pros: Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. Is effective on all types of skin and hair. Permanently removes hair.

Cons: Multiple visits are required for it to be effective. Expensive. Painful. Hairs are removed individually.

Cost: A 45 minute session of electrolysis costs around $80


Imagine an electric razor had a love child with a pair of tweezers, and that’s kind of what an epilator is—a small handheld electric device with “tweezing discs” that open and close as they spin and pull out hair.

Pros: Removes hair from the root. Relatively quick. Can be done anywhere you have access to electricity (or a battery, depending on your epilator). Does not pull at the skin.

Cons: Painful enough to make your palms sweat as you operate the device. Initial cost of purchasing an epilator.

Cost: $50 to $130 for an epilator

Laser hair removal

A relatively new method of hair removal, targeted pulses of light are used to kill the hair follicle, this can take between six and 10 sessions per area (legs and bikini line would be considered two separate areas).

Pros: When done effectively, hair is gone forever. Depending on the size of the area you’re treating, it can be done quite quickly.

Cons: Expensive in the short term. More painful than shaving, but less painful than waxing. May not work as effectively depending on your skin tone and hair colour. Blistering may occur.

Cost: A single session of full leg laser hair removal starts at approximately $310 (but packages are usually available)


Wet your skin, apply shaving cream or foam (dealer’s choice) and glide a razor along your skin for instantly smooth results—it doesn’t get much easier than that.

Pros: Painless (until you inevitably cut yourself). Quick. Inexpensive. You can shave just about anywhere you have access to water.

Cons: It’s easy to cut yourself. Razor burn. Generates a lot of non-recyclable waste.

Cost: A 10-pack of disposable razors can cost as little as $5


A paste made of three ingredients (sugar, water and lemon juice) is spread onto the skin against the direction of hair growth and then quickly removed in the direction that hair naturally grows.

Pros: A zero waste hair removal method. Sugaring paste can be dissolved with water. Only sticks to hair, not your skin.

Cons: Less painful than waxing (because it doesn’t stick to your skin), but not a walk in the park. Expensive if done at a salon.

Cost: Having your full legs sugared by a professional costs $60 to $70


Cotton thread is twisted into a tight hourglass shape. The twisted threads in the middle of the hourglass pull out the hairs as the thread is moved across the skin’s surface.

Pros: Hair is removed from the root. Threading is fast and precise. Shorter hairs can be removed.

Cons: Moderately painful. Not as widely available in salons. Typically limited to smaller areas of the body.

Cost: Having your face (chin, upper lip, brow shaping, etc…) fully threaded will set you back about $25


Tweezers are used to remove individual hairs.

Pros: Hair is removed from the root. Can be done anywhere. Inexpensive and easy to do.

Cons: Slow. Can be painful.

Cost: A good pair of tweezers (with lifetime sharpening) will set you back about $30


Soft wax is warmed up, applied to the skin in the direction that the hair naturally grows and quickly removed with fabric strips (or no strips, if hard wax is being used). Hair is removed against the direction of growth.

Pros: Hair is removed from the root. Re-growth will be thinner and lighter. Depending on how quickly your hair grows, you won’t see re-growth for at least two weeks.

Cons: Waxing is painful, with a steep learning curve if you are trying to do it yourself. May cause ingrown hairs. More expensive than other forms of hair removal if done in a salon.

Cost: A full leg wax at a salon will cost $45 to $55

FILED UNDER: Beauty hair removal


Hair Removal 101: What’s the best way to remove unwanted hair?

The 10 Most Popular Ways To Remove Unwanted Hair
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Waxing can keep hair away several weeks.

Waxing, shaving, threading and more…. Learn the best way to remove unwanted facial or body hair.

Hair removal is a subject that elicits strong opinions. After all, it’s something most people have to contend with. From just a few stray hairs to a whole forest, most people feel that they have at least a couple of wayward hairs that need to be managed.

But what’s the best way to do it? Whether it’s shaving, waxing, threading or newer technologies, there are so many options for hair removal that deciding what’s right for you can be overwhelming. I’ve compiled this guide to work through some of the advantages and disadvantages of each hair removal method, so you can ultimately choose the best hair removal method for you.

Hair removal 101: Learn About Your Options

Shaving is the process of removing hair with a sharp razor to cut the hair off at the skin’s surface.

This method of hair removal can be used on virtually any body part, and is often the go-to method for men who the feel of a close shave.

Shaving works best if you have light or fine hair, and trust me, a sharp blade will make the world of difference when it comes to shave quality and potential discomfort.

Pros: Shaving can be an inexpensive way to get rid of unwanted hair. Done correctly, it should be painless, and shaving can be effective for short-term hair removal.
Cons: Shaving may get rid of hair, but it will only keep hair away for a few days in the best case.

Hair reappears faster than it would with other methods—there’s a reason for the saying ‘five o-clock shadow.’ Shaving is also not recommended as a first choice hair removal method for those with very dark body hair, because you may still be able to see the hair root just below the skin even after shaving.

Also, keep in mind that because you’re working with a razor, you’re susceptible to cuts and razor burn.
Bottom line: If you need a quick fix for getting rid of body hair, shaving will do the trick.

Just beware that hair will reappear quickly, and blunt ends created by shaving can exacerbate stubble.

Waxing is an age-old method of hair removal that entails putting warm wax over an area of unwanted hair, then using a cloth or paper strip to rip hair out by the follicle. It works well for those with dark or coarse hair.

Pros: With waxing, hair appears to grows back more slowly, because you are removing each hair directly by the follicle. You’ll typically be hair-free for about two to eight weeks, depending on the texture of your hair and your personal hair growth cycle.

Waxing can be relatively inexpensive, depending on whether you choose to go to a professional or attempt it at home. Many people say that the pain of waxing diminishes each time, but individual experiences do vary.
Cons: Ouch! Waxing is known to be painful.

You’ll also need to pay attention to your exfoliating routine to ward off ingrown hairs.
Bottom line: Waxing is good for keeping unwanted hair away for a few weeks at a time. Waxing is a great solution for larger body areas such as legs, arms, and underarms for a few weeks.

Be prepared to feel a small amount of pain to achieve smooth skin.

Sugaring is a form of hair removal that’s very similar to waxing: hair is removed at the root. Sugaring involves applying a warm gel or paste to your skin, then removing the ‘sugar’ with a cotton or muslin strip. Sugaring paste is also usually made from natural ingredients such as sugar, honey and lemon.

Pros: Sugaring paste or gel is usually a mixture of natural ingredients. This can mean there is less risk of skin irritation, making sugaring a great option for those with sensitive skin. The risk of accidental burning is also reduced because sugaring paste or gel is typically applied at a lower temperature than wax.

Similar to waxing, sugaring will keep hair away for two to eight weeks.
Cons: Much waxing, there is a pain factor associated to this method of hair removal. It can also be difficult to find salons that offer sugaring as a service because most offer waxing. If sugaring is available, it tends to be a little more costly than waxing.

For both sugaring and waxing, ensure the salon or practitioner maintains good hygiene standards.
Bottom line: If you have sensitive skin, can bear the pain and are willing to pay a little more, sugaring is a great hair removal option. Hair will stay away longer and, over time, your follicles may be less noticeable.

Sugaring can be a great long-term hair removal method.

Threading is an ancient form of hair removal that originated in the Middle East and South Asia. As the name suggests, threading involves using a cotton thread that’s twisted around individual hairs, then the hair is pulled out at the root. Threading is a typical choice for eyebrows or other small areas of unwanted hair (particularly on the face).

Pros: Threading is much quicker than tweezing, usually taking only a few minutes to achieve a polished brow area. It’s an inexpensive way to get shapely eyebrows, and the pain is about the same as plucking. If you go to an experienced professional, they can quickly shape your brows to the arch that best suits your face and eye structure.

Cons: Threading is recommended as a hair removal method on small areas; it’s not an option for removing body hair. It can be very painful for men because men have thicker facial hair. Recently, there have been concerns around the hygiene of threading and you’ll need to decide how you feel about the process.

If you’re unsure, ask to watch the technique before booking your appointment. If done incorrectly, hair won’t be pulled from the roots and may instead be snapped at skin level, which means noticeable regrowth occurs sooner.
Bottom line: Threading is a great hair removal option for the eyebrow area or for women looking to remove any other unwanted facial hair.

Make sure to ask your friends for recommendations, or do your research and go to an experienced professional.

Depilatory Creams
Depilatory creams are chemical-based creams that remove hair by breaking down the hair structure itself. A depilatory cream is applied to an area of unwanted hair and removed after 5-10 minutes, usually with a warm washcloth.

Pros: A depilatory cream will remove hair with less pain than other methods of hair removal. It’s a quick procedure, can be done at home, and most depilatory creams are relatively inexpensive.
Cons: Depilatory cream results will last longer than shaving, but not as long as waxing or sugaring.

You can expect to see hair resurfacing after a few days, though it sometimes lasts as long as a week. One common complaint about depilatory creams is the smell, although this has improved greatly in recent years. Also, be careful not to leave a depilatory cream on for too long as it could damage the skin.

As always, follow instructions and be sure to try a patch test before using a depilatory cream for the first time. Some people may find that they have an instant reaction or will feel itching or burning within a few hours of use, so a patch test is critical.

Bottom line: If you want to remove body hair quickly with minimal pain, and want results that will last longer than shaving, then a depilatory cream is a good option. Just make sure not to leave it on too long.

Laser hair removal and electrolysis
Laser hair removal and electrolysis offer the closest thing to permanent hair removal available, but they certainly aren’t an option for everyone.

‘Laser’ refers to an intense pulse of light, which means it carries a risk of burns and should only be performed by a certified professional.

Electrolysis involves inserting a fine needle into the hair shaft to destroy the hair producing cells.

Pros: These options are often billed as permanent hair removal, and some people have been able to say goodbye to unwanted hair for good.
Cons: Both electrolysis and laser hair removal can be painful—although, subjectively, I’d say less so than waxing or sugaring.

Costs can also be high and, unfortunately, these methods aren’t suitable for all skin types. If you have darker skin, then you may find these options are not recommended. Laser hair removal works by firing a pulse of intense light at a hair, ultimately damaging the follicle where the hair is produced.

This can reduce or stop hair growth, but it’s most effective if there’s a significant difference between the hair color and the color of the surrounding skin. In very light hair (white, red or blonde) melanin levels are too low for laser hair treatment to be effective.

Bottom line: Put in some research to decide if lasering or electrolysis is right for you. Know that you’ll have to be patient. Each treatment must be scheduled according to your hair growth cycle, and usually several treatments are needed to remove hair permanently.

Ultimately, laser hair removal can be an effective way to decrease the quantity of unwanted body hair, but you’ll need to weigh the pros against time and cost.


Even though technology has improved significantly over time, it doesn’t mean that more modern hair removal techniques are any better than ancient ones. Through trial and error you’ll discover your preference and the best hair removal solution for you.


9 Best Facial Hair Removal Ideas for Women – How to Remove Upper Lip, Brow and Chin Facial Hair

The 10 Most Popular Ways To Remove Unwanted Hair

Of all the beauty treatments out there, removing your facial hair is one of the least pleasant activities. “Almost everyone has some facial hair,” explains April Franzino, GH beauty director. “It tends to be lighter-colored and less coarse than other body hair.”

But de-fuzzing your lip, brows, or chin doesn't have to be difficult or super painful.

Facial skin is delicate (and often the first thing people see!), so you’ll want to take extra care choose the best facial hair removal method for you.

We talked with top experts in the field, from dermatologists to estheticians to get the lowdown on everything from how to properly shave to the best epilators for your face.

So if you want to get rid of that fuzz along your upper lip, hairs on your chin, or sprouts between your brows, here's what you need to know about each possible way, plus the best hair removal products for your face.

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  • Best for: Small areas ( stray chin hairs), wiry hairs, or precision tasks ( shaping brows)
  • Pain level: Low to medium
  • DIY-safe: Yes

Chances are, plucking is the route with which you're most familiar. After all, tweezers are commonplace in most households so they're the easiest to reach for when you see some strays.

“Tweezing is better for smaller, localized areas your brows and chin,” advises Lavanya Krishnan, M.D., a dermatologist based in San Francisco. Just make sure you're diligent about cleaning them.

Birnur Aral, Ph.D.

, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab, recommends wiping the tips of tweezers before and after every use with a cotton pad wet with rubbing or ethyl alcohol or an alcohol wipe then letting them dry.

Don't wash the tool with regular soap and water — you run the risk of accidentally dropping and damaging it (thanks to slippery hands) or possibly causing the metal to tarnish or oxidize.

And you should always store tweezers inside a protective pouch.“Reputable manufacturers often offer a warranty for natural wear and tear, but dropping tweezers will ly ruin the alignment of the tips and void that,” Aral adds. And if you're not sure how to properly shape your brows, take a look at our easy eyebrow guide.

How to remove facial hair by waxing

  • Best for: Coarse, thick hair and larger areas ( the sideburns or cheeks), for skin that isn't easily irritated
  • Pain level: High
  • DIY-safe: Sometimes

Another very common method is waxing. Using either soft wax, which is pulled off with cloth strips, or hard wax that simply hardens and is pulled off on its own, a practitioner can remove hairs from your upper lip, cheeks, brows, and chin with ease. But this popular practice isn't for everyone.

“Waxing can cause irritation because the skin can be sensitive to the products being applied to the surface,” warns Michelle Yagoda, M.D., a cosmetic surgeon based in New York.

“An inexact technique may result in incomplete extraction of the hair follicle and breakage of the hair shaft, so the skin surrounding the hair shaft can then become inflamed.” If the retained hair follicle becomes entrapped, it can lead to ingrown hairs.

Always read reviews online prior to visiting a new waxing boutique. Your skin will thank you.

With practice and a careful hand, you can also wax at-home. Check out our experts' tips for facial waxing and some of our top-tested wax kits.

How to remove facial hair by shaving

  • Best for: Fine hair all over the face, and skin that isn't susceptible to razor burn
  • Pain level: Low
  • DIY-safe: Yes

More and more women are opting to shave their face either in-salon in a process called dermaplaning or at home to remove hair and exfoliate skin. Shaving is a painless way to remove hair from the face, and “it's just a myth that your hair will grow coarser and more densely after shaving,” explains Dr. Krishnan. “The follicle gets cut in half so it feels pricklier, but it's not any thicker.”

If you feel most comfortable with a razor, just be sure to take precautions so you can get the smoothest, least irritated finish.

“Shave either in the shower or just afterward to allow the skin to soften,” advises Anthony Sosnick, shaving expert and founder of Shaveworks.

This is also helpful if you have thick or coarse hair, as the heat of the steam also softens the strands. You can also apply a pre-shave oil to avoid razor burn.

A good razor matters, too. If you're opting for a traditional razor, Sosnick recommends picking one with at least two blades, as “they tend to be more targeted for those sensitive areas — and sometimes, fewer blades does the job without the potential for redness and razor burn.”

One big tip from dermatologist Michael Swann, M.D.: Don't make passes over the same area several times with your razor. Otherwise, you could irritate your skin — not a great look to have front and center on your face. Once you're done shaving, apply a hydrating moisturizer to soothe your skin.

How to remove facial hair by threading

  • Best for: Precise tasks on smaller areas the eyebrows, upper lip, and cheeks
  • Pain level: Medium-high
  • DIY-safe: No

Eyebrow threading is a very common practice in Middle Eastern and Asian countries that involves using a thin, doubled cotton thread pulled super-taut to roll over spots where you wish to remove hairs, thus pulling them out.

While it isn't quite as labor intensive as plucking hairs one at a time, it works best on smaller areas such as the eyebrows, upper lip and cheeks. And un using tweezers, threading is much trickier to try if you've never been trained in it, so head to a salon with a professional who specializes in it for the best results.

How to remove facial hair with depilatory creams

  • Best for: Large areas of hair, legs and arms
  • Pain level: Low-medium
  • DIY-safe: Yes

Gone are the days when facial hair removal creams were pungently scented — there are lots of new ones that are gentle and fragrance-free. These creams are applied to the area with unwanted hair, then wiped away along with the hairs themselves.

“Depilatory creams use chemicals such as calcium thioglycolate or potassium thioglycolate, which break disulfide bonds in keratin, thereby weakening the hair,” explains Christine Choi Kim, M.D., a dermatologist based in Santa Monica, California.

This is one of the most painless forms of hair removal except for some mild tingling or redness as the hair melts away. If you have very sensitive skin, you may experience some irritation: Always do a patch test first to check for any allergies.

How to remove facial hair with epilation

  • Best for: Removing hair at the root from larger areas that don't need a precise touch ( underarms, arms, and cheeks)
  • Pain level: Medium-high
  • DIY-safe: Yes

Un tweezers, which pull out individual strands, epilation devices pluck out multiple hairs at once — great for snagging errant hairs between waxes. “Think of the device as having multiple little tweezers, all going at once,” explains Aral.

It’s closest to threading on the pain scale, so more painful than plucking, but not as bad as waxing. Plus, the more you use it, the more accustomed you’ll become to the feeling and you may not even consider it painful after regular use.

“Don’t try to use an epilator to shape your eyebrows,” warns Aral. “In between your brows is okay, but be wary of any areas that need a precise touch.” She recommends this for hair removal on your chin, side of the face, and even underarms.

How to remove facial hair with topical prescriptions

  • Best for: Slowing hair growth temporarily
  • Pain level: Low
  • DIY-safe: Yes

In addition to the aforementioned over-the-counter or in-salon methods, you can also talk to your dermatologist about trying a topical prescription.

“There are prescription meds Vaniqa, which is a topical once-a-day treatment used to reduce hair growth,” explains Dr. Krishnan. Here's the catch: While it's “very effective,” Dr. Krishnan notes that once you stop, the effect wears off and your hair will grow back.

How to remove facial hair with laser hair removal

  • Best for: Permanent hair removal for coarse hair or larger areas of hair growth (legs, arms, etc.


  • Pain level: High
  • DIY-safe: No

For permanent hair removal, you can try laser hair removal, also known as intense pulse light therapy.

“Lasers shoot a certain wavelength of light that's specifically absorbed by the hair follicle itself,” says Dr. Krishnan. When that light is absorbed, it's converted into heat which kills the hair follicle.

The advantage this route has over electrolysis is treating a larger portion at a time, while electrolysis (elaborated on below) is individually ablating one follicle at a time — think waxing versus plucking.

The downsides: This isn't an ideal route for those with light or fine hairs, and the cost is high, with sessions ranging from $50 to $300. Plus, you may need several sessions to fully destroy the follicles.

While many at-home IPL lasers are available on the market, Gretchen Frieling, MD, a certified dermatopathologist at GFaceMD, says that in-office sessions are more worth your money. “In-home laser hair removal devices are not regulated by the FDA, and therefore, their safety and long-term efficacy are not clear,” she says.

She adds that at-home treatment can come with serious risks including burns, scarring, and hyperpigmentation if you aren’t an appropriate candidate (the procedure works best on dark-haired gals). Plus, Dr.

Frieling adds that it's more difficult to cover a lot of surface area with at-home treatments and may take more time, so it's best to leave it to the pros.

How to remove facial hair with electrolysis

  • Best for: Permanent hair removal for fine hair or smaller areas of hair growth (upper lip, chin, etc.


  • Pain level: High
  • DIY-safe: No

Another permanent option: Electrolysis. This uses concentrated heat to destroy each follicle one at a time to prohibit hairs from growing.

This is an ideal method for folks who want permanent hair removal, but can't do laser removal because their hairs are light or fuzzy.

While there are several devices for in-home use, Dr. Frieling says it's best to have the procedure done in a professional setting. “There is always a risk of scarring and permanent skin damage, and even worse, electrocution,” she notes. After all, in electrolysis, a needle is used to penetrate the follicle, so a safe and sterile environment outside the home is vital.

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