Has Your Magnifying Mirror Become Your Best Friend?

Makeup mirror and tweezers

Lately, does it seem you’re plucking, shaving, or waxing the hair on your face more often? Are you spending more time using the magnifying side of your mirror?

Before you run to ancestry.com to see if you have a distant relative who was a werewolf or an aunt who made a living as the bearded lady in the circus, know this: Most women in Act 2.5 experience an increased amount of unwanted facial hair. This is due to hormonal changes in the body; specifically, while estrogen levels decline testosterone will be more active in postmenopausal women – causing some of the light hairs on the face to become more coarse and annoying.

Many methods you can do at home, but a few need to be done by a skincare professional. Choosing the right method depends on many factors – skin and hair type, budget, time, and pain tolerance. So to help you decide which one(s) are best for you, the list below provides a brief description of each along with the pros and cons:

Waxing – Applying a wax or a wax strip to remove multiple hairs from their roots.

        Pros – inexpensive; convenient; lasts 4 – 6 weeks.

        Cons – painful; hair has to be 1cm to work; irritation to skin; can cause ingrown hairs.

Tweezing – Hair is plucked one by one from the root.

        Pros – inexpensive; convenient; lasts 2 – 3 weeks.

        Cons – painful; time-consuming; can cause ingrown hairs.

Shaving – Using a hair trimmer or razor to remove hair.

        Pros – inexpensive; quick; convenient; painless.

        Cons – hair grows back quickly; hair grows back looking coarser because it is cut at the 

                     thickest part of the shaft; can cause ingrown hairs.

Epilation – Small handheld device with a rotating roller containing multiple tweezers.

        Pros – convenient; efficient; easy to use; can remove very short hair; lasts 4 – 6 weeks.

        Cons – painful; can cause ingrown hairs.

Bleaching – Applying a product to lighten hair to a light shade of blonde.

        Pros – convenient; lasts 2 – 4 weeks; painless; affordable.

        Cons – hair is still visible; can lighten dark skin tones; can irritate sensitive skin.

Threading – A cotton thread pulls unwanted hairs in a twisting motion to lift hairs from their follicles.

        Pros – sanitary; can be done when hair is very short; no redness or irritation; lasts 6 – 8 weeks.

        Cons – painful; hard to find a technician.

Depilatory Creams – Applying cream that breaks down the hair follicles’ protein structure causing it to weaken and dissolve.

        Pros – easy to use; affordable; lasts up to a month; painless.

        Cons – not for sensitive skin; odorous; can dry out skin; may lighten darker skin types.

Laser – Hair follicles are destroyed by exposure to pulses of laser light.

        Pros – semi-permanent; drastically reduces hair growth; no ingrown hairs.

        Cons – slightly painful; expensive; multiple treatments necessary; works best on fair

                    skinned people with dark hair.

Electrolysis – A very fine needle is inserted into each hair follicle, sending an electric current that kills the follicle.

        Pros – permanent; works on all types of hair and skin types.

        Cons – painful; expensive; multiple treatments are necessary.

The good news is you don’t have to pick one or the other to obtain the best results. You may decide that your few chin hairs can be easily plucked, but the upper lip region may need to be waxed. Or threading your eyebrows may work best, but bleaching the short dark hairs around the corners of your lips still works fine. If you find the hairs on your face are coming in coarser and cover more area, you may want to consider either a semi-permanent or permanent solution.