Woman removing facial hair

Dealing with annoying facial hair? Here’s what you need to know.

Unfortunately, lots of us deal with unwanted facial hair: unruly eyebrows, stubborn mustaches, and way-too-long sideburns are just some of the annoyances women might face. And while some of us have always dealt with it since puberty (thanks, genetics!), sudden hair growth in a new place is something you should definitely check in with your doctor about.

Hair growing in a typically male pattern–think the beard and chest area–can be a sign of a hormonal imbalance called hirsutism, which is basically an overload of testosterone in women. Rapid facial hair growth can also be caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, or an adrenal gland malfunction. So if you’re here because you’ve suddenly got a new crop of facial hair where there once was none, check in with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy. It never hurts to check!

But if you’re healthy and just cursed with facial hair, first of all: don’t stress. Hair is hair; having facial hair as a woman isn’t the end of the world–in fact, lots of ancient cultures considered it beautiful. So while facial hair removal can be weirdly relaxing and desirable to some women, if it’s not your thing, then rock your thick eyebrows or little ‘stache. No judgment if you go that route.

However, if you’re searching for ways to remove your facial hair, good news: there’s a lot of options! Here are some of the most popular.

Threading.

Threading
An ancient practice that started in the Middle East, threading is a hair removal method that uses cotton or silk threads to remove hair by its root, similar to waxing. Because threading involves removing hair one line at a time, it takes a little longer than waxing, but can give a very precise, clean look. Because threading is able to avoid the skin and just focus on facial hair, it’s a great option for those with sensitive skin. Some wax studios will offer threading, or you can find aestheticians that thread at local salons.

Waxing
Waxing is the hair removal method of applying hot wax to the skin and removing it, taking any unwanted hair in its path. Wax is always applied warm, but your wax technician may choose to remove it with a muslin strip while it’s still warm (hot waxing), or wait until it cools and remove the wax in one piece (cold waxing). Waxing pulls hair out by the root, which means it takes longer to grow back, which is always nice. If you want to try a facial hair wax, look for studios that specialize in waxing and have good reputations: the only downside of waxing is that if it’s not done by a professional, you could end up with burns.

Tweezing eyebrows

Tweezing
While tackling large swaths of eyebrow hair or fine baby hairs around your lips won’t work well with tweezers, tweezing is great for touching up between hair removal appointments or for catching stray hairs in between brows or on moles. Tweezing is the process of removing hairs individually with a pair of tweezers, which is totally doable at home.

Dermaplaning
The latest buzz in facial hair removal is definitely dermaplaning, the process of removing hair and dead skin with a surgical-grade razor. These procedures are done be aestheticians, and on top of removing peach fuzz can give the same gentle exfoliation as microdermabrasion or a peel without disrupting the skin’s delicate pH balance–so none of the scary red-facedness that you’ll often see after a peel. Exfoliation and no stubble? Sounds amazing.