Beauty basics with SHAHNAZ HUSAIN
All women have light-coloured body and facial hair, but some of it is thicker and grows faster than others.
Around 10% of women battle the problem of extensive, coarse and dark facial hair growth.
The unwanted hair growth in females is mainly caused due to hormonal or genetic disorder, stress, prescription drugs, higher than normal levels of male hormones in the body or a combination of various such factors.
Every woman wants to look beautiful, soft and smooth without any dark hair on face or other parts of body skin. The various products available in the market to get rid of thick facial hair can be expensive and irritate skin due to harsh chemicals.
There are many easy and safe methods to remove facial hairs though it may take some time to show results. Natural treatments are best remedies in removing unwanted facial hairs. Thick growth of hair, especially on the face, presents quite a problem where beauty is concerned.
Where removal of facial hair is concerned, it falls into two categories — temporary and permanent. The method should be chosen according to the quantity or thickness of hair, its location and rate of growth. It is also essential to get information about the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods.
Temporary hair removal, as the term suggests, requires repeat treatments, as and when there is regrowth.
Methods such as depilation, shaving, tweezing, threading, waxing, epilation, come under the temporary category. Several hair removal creams are available, which contain chemical ingredients to dissolve hair. However, chemical hair removal creams can sometimes cause skin discolouration (dark patches) and should preferably be avoided on the face, especially on the upper lip area, which is particularly sensitive. Needless to say, a hair removing cream should be patch-tested before use. This is done by applying it on the inner arm. If there is a reaction within 10 to 15 minutes, it should not be used.
Home remedies do not remove hair, but may lessen growth over a period of time. Make a thick paste of sugar, lemon juice and water and apply it in the direction of hair growth. Wash off when it dries. Apply it once or twice a week. Or, 3 teaspoons of powdered barley can be mixed with one teaspoon of cold milk and 2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice. Apply and leave on for 20 minutes and then rinse off with water. Do this two-three times a week. It is said to discourage hair growth over a period of time.
Mix a tablespoon each of honey, lemon juice with five tablespoons of potato juice. Meanwhile, grind the lentils (soaked overnight) to a smooth paste. Add all the ingredients and apply the mixture for about 20 minutes on the affected area. Wash it off once it is completely dry. This paste makes a thin crust that helps in hair removal. Potatoes help in bleaching the hair, making them less visible.
An effective and common facial hair removal method is threading. It is useful for shaping the eyebrows and also for removal of facial hair on areas like the upper lip and chin. There may be slight redness after threading, which reduces in a day. It is a popular method of hair removal. Tweezing is another method, where one hair is removed at a time. It is a suitable method for shaping the eyebrows, or to remove solitary hairs from the chin area, or eyebrows. However, a word of caution — hair from a mole must not be removed without consulting a doctor.
Waxing can also be used for facial hair removal. Soft, strip waxing is useful. Roll on waxing kits are also available. It is said to be a breakthrough technology that may be used for facial hair. It is becoming popular as it is easy to use and also more hygienic. The results are also said to be longer lasting. This relatively new method has a roll-on applicator, which is placed in a device that heats the product, but at a low temperature. It is then rolled on the area and removed with a strip. It is said to be useful in removal of short facial hair.
Hair removal by laser is becoming increasingly popular as a permanent method. Laser produces an intense beam of light, which is absorbed by the hair follicles. The laser disables the hair follicle’s ability to produce hair. The heat produced by the laser light is controlled by the operator.
A strong laser light leads to more heat. That is why cooling devices are used to prevent damage to the rest of the skin. The advantage of a laser is that the laser light can scan broader areas. Therefore, fewer sessions may be required. It should be done under supervision of a doctor.
The temporary known side effects are redness, swelling and itching. The main risk in laser treatment is the possibility of skin burns, due to excessive heat of the laser light. Regrowth occurs in some cases, but is slower and scantier. It is very important to find a good laser clinic.
So, before choosing the clinic, it is essential to find out its reputation, by making enquiries and talking to people who have been through the treatment. It is an expensive procedure and one should also discuss the approximate number of sessions that may be needed.
Laser can be used to remove hair from the entire face, or from particular areas, like upper lips, chin or cheeks. The time taken for the actual treatment is not much. As re-growth may occur, one may have to repeat the treatment after four or five months.