9 Facial Hair Removal Techniques That Get Rid of Unwanted Hair

Additionally, lasering is FDA-approved for permanent hair reduction (including some at-home laser devices), but it doesn’t lead to permanent hair removal, meaning your hair could still potentially grow back, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD).

There’s no one-size-fits-all method for facial hair removal—and it may take a little trial and error to figure out which you like best. Keep in mind that how quickly your hair grows back depends on a variety of factors, such as genetics, hormone levels,1 the area treated, and where you are in the hair cycle phase.

A bit of background information on hair growth: Hair is always in one of three phases: anagen or growth phase, when new hair cells are produced in the hair bulb and the hair shaft continues to grow; catagen or transitional phase; and telogen or resting phase, when the blood supply is cut off to the hair root and the hair follicle is dormant.2 Generally, it’s easier to remove hair when it’s in the anagen phase. You can’t necessarily tell what phase your hair is in, but spotting a new hair shaft on the surface of your skin signals the second part of the anagen phase, called the metanagen phase.

With that said, the time ranges listed below may not always reflect your personal experience. Ahead, experts explain the most common facial hair removal options and how they work.

How long it lasts: Generally at least two weeks

Tweezing pros: “I see tweezing as the most precise method,” Zakia Rahman, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology at Stanford University, tells SELF. “It can be used just to remove a single hair, which can be really great for the shaping of eyebrows and removing stray, scraggly hairs anywhere on the face.” (Think those dreaded chin hairs.)

Tweezing comes with minimal risk of irritation, is easy to do at home and inexpensive, and lasts longer than other methods, such as shaving, because you’re removing the entire hair by its root. And since you’re not cutting the hair mid-shaft, hair will grow out with a more natural tapered edge, as opposed to the more blunt edge that results from shaving, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Tweezing cons: This can be time consuming if you’re trying to attack many areas with lots of hair, like if you want to tweeze thick eyebrows, sideburns, and lots of chin hairs. Although tweezing isn’t super risky, you could experience inflamed hair follicles, temporary skin redness, hyperpigmentation, scarring, and ingrown hairs, especially if you’re prone to them already. Too much tweezing can also traumatize and eventually kill hair follicles, resulting in permanently thinner hair.

How long it lasts: Two to three weeks4

Threading pros: This method involves twisting and rolling a cotton thread over your skin to capture unwanted hair.4 The thread is quickly lifted to remove several hairs at a time from the follicle. Unlike plucking individual hairs, threading allows you to remove a precise line of hairs simultaneously, making it an effective method to neatly shape and tame eyebrows. Threading can also be used to remove fine vellus (“peach fuzz”) hairs from the upper lip, cheeks, jawline, and forehead.

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