Facial-Hair Removal: The Chick Edition

We're not ones to judge when it comes to body hair — facial or otherwise. If you're comfortable keeping what's naturally yours exactly where it sprouts, we applaud you. But, there are plenty of women who just prefer to be a little smoother, especially when it comes to their faces. And, strong>we now live in a world where grooming your brows has become as commonplace as visiting your hairstylist.
But, what about the hair on other parts of your face? What's the best way to get rid of those? We're talking peach fuzz on your upper lip, those dark chin spikes, and that one weird hair that grows out of your forehead. Attacking these guys with your tweezers may not be the most effective way to banish 'em for good. So, we chatted with brow expert Ramy Gafni about how to remove the other hairs on your mug. Read on for his tips, and then get to ousting those strands — if you're into that, that is.
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Upper Lip
Let's start basic: the upper lip. "People will constantly complain that they break out from waxing," Gafni says. "But, the inflammation that they see isn't a pimple — it's a traumatized hair follicle." He explains that this can also happen with the eyebrows, and if the follicle gets too damaged, it could stop the hair from growing back.

Where does shaving fall in this whole spectrum? First, Gafni totally debunks the "it'll grow back thicker" idea. "When you pluck your hair, you're completely removing it. But, when you shave, you're cutting it off at the skin," he explains. "So, when it grows back, it grows with a flat surface, not a tapered top, like a new hair." So it looks thicker, but it's really just stubbly. It's this reason why Gafni doesn't choose shaving as a first response method. "Just like men, women can get five o'clock shadow," he says.

Instead, he suggests a depilatory cream, like classic Nair. Just be sure to grab a bottle that was formulated for the face. And, "make sure you pay attention to how long it's been on! Don't get distracted," he says. Gafni also suggests doing a patch test before diving in, and taking the product off one full minute before you're supposed to, just to ensure no irritation occurs on sensitive facial skin.
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Ah, the dreaded sideburn. While plenty of gals will go on their merry way sans sideburns for their whole lives, there are some women who just get 'em. While it's mostly genetic, women with brunette hair especially fall victim to this hair growth. For this, Gafni suggests some pretty drastic measures. "I'm sort of well-known for not loving permanent solutions to hair removal on the face, like laser hair removal," he says. "Styles and trends change over time, and if you do something too permanent, you might regret it later. Sideburns, however, are an exception."

According to Gafni, all the other methods just don't get the job done. "I've seen girls with brown hair try to bleach their sideburns, but it's still so obvious," he says. "It's not a solution.

But, before you totally balk at the idea of lasers near your face, just repeat this one word: research. "Make sure you're going to someone reputable, who has a good track record," Gafni says. And, don't get talked into lasering more than you want — just stick to the sideburns. "I had one woman who got talked into doing a little more here and a bit more there, and the technician actually nicked the top of her brow," Gafni says. "It took nine months to grow back." We don't know about you, but that's far too much time to spend with messed up eyebrows.
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Chin hair actually has a ton to do with hormones, but it's not set-in-stone what kind of hormonal situation can set it off. "Some women start growing hair around puberty, some during pregnancy, and others when they go on or off birth control," Gafni explains. There are some women who simply produce excess testosterone, and it manifests that way.

As far as removal goes, Gafni advises to stay away from waxing, especially if you're pregnant. "The wax can cause discoloration around the area of application," he explains. "It can take a while to clear up." Instead, Gafni suggests reaching for your good 'ol hair-removal cream. "This is especially good if you get a patch of hair around your chin, which some women do," he explains. If you're only dealing with one or two errant hairs, you can gently pluck with your tweezers.
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Mutant Hairs
Now, there are a few of us (yes, us) who get what Gafni likes to call mutant hairs. "They've got nothing to do with anything. They just grow at random, in strange places," Gafni explains. They tend to pop up on and around your forehead, whether it be between your brows or a few inches from your hairline. It could be long and white or dark and prickly. Either way, there's only one good way to get rid of it — tweeze.

"If it's just a lone hair, your best bet it to just pluck it," Gafni says. "If you're more comfortable with shaving, you can do that too." But, while you're yanking it out, just take solace in the fact that you aren't the only one with mutant hairs. Even the pros get 'em.
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