What is the best way to manage facial hair growth?
- April 27, 2018
- Posted by: Cutis
- Category: Knowledge Center
For most women, facial and body hair is frowned upon and can even be an embarrassing problem. “Normal” amounts of facial hair vary from person to person. Some individuals have very little facial and body hair, while others can have a fair amount. Facial and body hair are part of our genetic makeup and ethnicity, which means that genetics plays a role in in determining the facial hair patterns.
Excess facial hair in women can also be caused by underlying hormonal disturbance – Hirsutism. Hirsutism is excess hair in areas where it’s typically seen in men, such as the face and lower abdomen. Hypertrichosis, on the other hand, can increase hair anywhere on the body.
Some of the common causes of excess facial and body hair are:
- Genetic or racial causes are the principal causes of excess facial hair.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Adrenal gland disorders
- Certain medications
Treatment of unwanted facial hair:
There are many medical and nonmedical ways of managing excess facial hair. Meet your dermatologist for the best method suitable for you and to diagnose underlying conditions that can be causing the increased hair growth. The various options available are:
Laser hair removal: is a form of permanent hair removal. It involves using concentrated light rays to damage your hair follicles. Damaged follicles can’t produce hair, and the hair that is present falls out. The results vary from patient to patient. The color and thickness of your hair, area treated, type of laser used, and color of your skin all affect the results. You can expect a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after the first treatment. Removing the unwanted hair often requires a few office visits. Most patients need between 2 to 6 treatments.
Most patients remain hair free for months or even years. When some of the hair regrows, it will be finer, lighter and less noticeable. To keep the area free of hair, a patient may need maintenance laser treatments.
Laser hair removal generally does not require any real downtime. Immediately after having laser hair removal, there may be mild redness and swelling. Despite this, most people return to their everyday activities.
- Avoid direct sunlight from hitting your treated skin.
- Not use a tanning bed, sun lamp, or any other indoor tanning equipment.
- Follow your dermatologist’s after-care instructions.
It is a safe, painless, permanent mode of hair reduction treatment making it the most sought after procedure for excess facial hair.
Laser hair removal can also be used to treat the: Back, bikini area, chest, neck, abdomen, hands and legs.
Electrolysis is another form of permanent hair removal of individual hairs from the face localized in certain areas like chin, white hairs. Medical electrolysis works by destroying the growth center of individual hairs with either chemical or heat energy. It treats each hair follicle individually, so the sessions can take longer.
Your doctor may prescribe certain medication in cream form to reduce the growth of facial hair. Your facial hair growth should slow after one to two months.
If you’re overweight, your doctor will probably suggest that you lose weight to reduce your hair growth. Obesity can change the way your body produces and processes hormones. Maintaining a healthy weight may correct your level of androgens without the use of medication.
You may need medical treatment if excessive hair growth is a symptom of PCOS or adrenal disorders. Consult your doctor for more details.
Other nonmedical methods:
Shaving: One of the most commonly followed household method of hair removal. Although it is easy, less time consuming and inexpensive, it is a temporary method of hair removal. And as commonly thought of, if you use a razor hair will not come back faster or thicker, hair will only seem thicker because the tapered end is cut off.
Waxing: Waxing is another form of hair removal that a lot of women gravitate toward. Waxing uproots the shaft of the hair, so that the hair that grows back later is smooth. Waxing damages the hair follicles which is not a bad thing because damaged follicles reduce the growth of hair. The effects of waxing typically last for about three weeks. However, sensitive skin may develop rashes, irritation, boils and acne following the procedure.
Depilatory creams: Depilatory creams (eg: VEET, Nair, etc) work because they contain ingredients like calcium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide. These ingredients increase the pH of the hair shaft that causes it to chemically break down (breaking the disulfide bonds of the hair). This then allows the user to simply wipe away the weakened hair. Can cause irritation in sensitive individuals. Suggested to do a test spot before applying on entire area.
Bleaching Facial hair: Even though hair removal can be a good option, not everyone is in favor of it. It is a simple method that can be done at home and less time consuming. The kits come with ingredients that need to be mixed and applied. Avoid sun exposure to prevent side effects.