Beauty 101: Facial Hair & How To Remove It Safely

Facial hair can be stubborn and difficult to remove – plus, it can massively impact your confidence. To find out how to minimise growth and prevent hair from darkening, we asked Lucy Dawe, senior consultant at the Pulse Light Clinic, for her advice.

Understand Why Facial Hair Occurs

“Men naturally have more facial hair than women due to stimulated hormones. But many women can still develop excess facial – and even body – hair due to their own increasing levels of testosterone. This can (but not always) be caused by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), causing women to grow hair in places where men do – think the upper lip, chin, chest and back. That being said, some of us are more genetically prone to peach fuzz – it all depends on your own DNA and colouring. Either way, it’s important not to feel embarrassed or ashamed – remember, women aren’t born hair-free.” 

Know The Best Treatment Options 

“Luckily, there are an abundance of options when it comes to facial hair removal, with some better than others. If you’re suffering from excessive hair growth on the face, professional laser hair removal or electrolysis is recommended. The latter is ideal for those with a smaller area of stubborn hair as it tackles each follicle on an individual basis. Though it’s a longer and more delicate method, it’s incredibly thorough, thanks to a metal probe and electrical current that causes a chemical reaction and kills hair immediately. As for laser hair removal, this uses an intense beam of light which selectively destroys the hair follicles right from the root, so long-term results are almost guaranteed.” 

Prepare For The Long-Haul 

“It’s worth noting that facial hair removal takes time when done with a laser or through electrolysis. You’re looking at roughly eight sessions to gain 80% reduction in growth. You may need top-up sessions, but this should be enough to get you much smoother, long-term results. It’s a process, but a worthy one if facial hair is deeply affecting your confidence. Despite the number of sessions, you can often get bulk treatments for less money, so it’s worth doing your research.” 

Be Careful With Sensitive Skin

“Not all skin types can handle the abrasive powers of lasers. If you suffer with severe sensitivity but want to pursue facial hair removal, try sugaring. It’s a far better option for skin than waxing because the gentle solution has a higher affinity for the hair, not the skin, so it’s less painful. To qualify though, your facial hair needs to be at least ¼ inch long. You can either buy the product kits yourself, or visit Sugaring.London. Always be sure to do a small patch test first before sugaring or waxing.” 

So many people think it’s okay to shave the odd facial hair off, but this should be avoided at all costs.
Lucy Dawe

Don’t Let Pain Put You Off 

“Often people avoid laser hair removal or electrolysis on the face for fear of pain, but you needn’t let that put you off. There can be some mild discomfort during laser hair removal, however, this tends to feel like an elastic band being pinged against the skin gently. You’ll also have a cool air system blowing alongside the laser throughout, so any discomfort is eased quickly. In fact, many people claim both processes are less painful and faster than any waxing treatment.”

Always Do Your Research Thoroughly 

“Facial scarring is another big concern before undergoing hair removal. To minimise the risk of damage to your skin, it’s essential to do your research and choose a reputable clinic with qualified practitioners. At our Pulse Light Clinic, we use the Gentle Max Pro by Syneron Candela which targets all skin types safely and effectively with zero scarring or pigmentation. It’s also key that anyone you visit carries out patch tests and informs you on how to keep the area protected from the sun and tanning. Carrying out these measures will keep the risk of scarring low.” 

Never Use A Razor Yourself 

“So many people think it’s okay to shave the odd facial hair off, but this should be avoided at all costs. With shaving, in many cases, the hair will grow back darker and thicker – unlike laser hair removal. Other risks with razors are ingrown hairs, razor burn and if you’re not a dab-hand, you can inadvertently razer off some skin cells which can lead to scarring. The only time it’s ever appropriate to use one is 24-hours prior to laser hair removal. This is because the laser targets the hair bulb and pigment, preventing any darkening or thickening hair regrowing, but even that should be left to the pros. The same goes for tweezing – do it too much and you have an increased risk of infection, scarring and red bumps.” 

Avoid Hair Removal Creams

“These are often seen as an easy option, but they come with some red flags. The skin is the largest organ of the body and it has a high absorbency capability. Hair is composed of a tough protein tissue called keratin, but if a removal cream is able to dissolve through these bonds, what type of chemicals break down in the body beneath the skin after they’ve absorbed? It’s certainly worth considering before you apply any jelly-like substance haphazardly. What’s more, hair removal creams often contain alcohol, which will result in dry, flaking skin post-use.”  

Take Note Of DIY Options, Too

“Finally, it’s worth noting one DIY option: dermaplaning. While hair removal should really be left to the pros, this is a new method that is relatively risk-free, so it’s okay to experiment. As a treatment, it doesn’t last very long as it skims off the hair and dead cells without addressing the root at all, but it is inexpensive, easy to find and gives you a quick fix – try Dermaflash. Don’t be alarmed if some whiteheads appear post-use, either – this is very common.”


5 Of The Best Places To Visit For Facial Hair Removal

Sk:n Clinics, Various Locations,

Pulse Light Clinic, Tottenham Court Road,

London Premier Laser Clinic, Various Locations,

The Harley Medical Group, Various Locations,

Courthouse Clinics, Wimpole Street, 


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