Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ask Lydia: Upper Lip Waxing

Hi Lydia,

I have a question about lipwaxing. Am a lipwax virgin. Afraid to try for fear the hair will grow back thicker, true? Is bleaching an option? Or is there a cream ointment I could use that will kill the hair follicles? Funny how the older you get you start losing the hair you want (like the hair on your head) and start growing it in unwanted places, like around the mouth!

Thanks in advance for your advice.


Hi and thanks for your question.

It sucks being a mammal. We have hair all over the place, and it can show itself in some truly horrifying places.

When it comes to facial hair removal, we do have options: tweezing, cream hair removers, waxing, or more permanent hair removal techniques. And all options have pros and cons. Now, fair warning: I am not an expert...so if anyone has anything they want to add, be sure to leave a comment.

TWEEZING
Pros: it's easy, it's almost free (you just have to pay for the tweezers), it requires very little skill, it is a precision job, and it's best for small areas of hair (upper lip, eyebrows, etc.)
Cons: you need really good lighting, it can be painful (have you ever pulled a root out? Ouch! Plus it can bleed--yuck!), it's easy to miss hairs, ingrown hairs can happen if you over-tweeze or incorrectly tweeze, and it seems like tweezing is a never-end job
Do it right: if you want to tweeze, invest in a decent pair of slant-ended tweezers (check out Tweezerman's selection at Sephora--they're worth the money), a decent mirror, and a good light. Click here for pointers on how to tweeze properly.

CREAM FACIAL HAIR REMOVERS
Pros: potentially not as painful as other hair removal techniques, relatively easy to use, readily available
Cons: creams can be irritating to skin, can smell nasty, and can be messy. You may need to get a prescription if you use products like Vaniqua.
Other thoughts: I have never bleached or used a cream facial hair remover, but I have tried products like Nair on my legs in the past. I found the product to be harsh-smelling and it didn't do as good of a job at removing my leg hair as my trusty razor. Since the blade has no place near your face, I'd personally recommend tweezing or waxing over cream removers.

WAXING Pros: excellent results, someone else does it for you, hair takes longer to grow back
Cons: somewhat painful, can be irritating to your skin, requires regular upkeep which means regular visits to your salon/spa for a wax
Other thoughts: This is my preferred facial hair removal method. I personally like the way a waxing feels...it's somewhat painful but also a bit cathartic. You will need to let the hair grow in a bit before going in for a wax. You may also want to exfoliate the area somewhat regularly before your waxing appointment to deter ingrown hairs. You might experience some redness, swelling, or tenderness immediately after a waxing. (If you're in the Seattle/Everett, WA area, the Mill Creek InSpa does excellent waxing and I've rarely had to deal with post-waxing redness after an appointment!)

PERMANENT MEASURES

There are more permanent options for getting rid of unwanted hair. If you're interested in laser hair removal or electrolysis, I would strongly recommend that you talk to a professional. They should be honest about what you can expect, how much pain and money will be involved, and how many sessions you'll need to undergo.

For facial hair, I prefer waxing and tweezing. They seem to be the most easy and cost-effective. If anyone has any thoughts on this, go ahead and leave a comment!

2 comments:

phairhead said...

as an Italian woman and a sufferer of PCOS, i have unwanted facial hair. I prefer waxing for all hair removal

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