Salon closures over this crisis could lead to poor choices as far as facial hair removal is concerned. Some methods may seem efficient but could leave you with a bigger problem, in more ways than hair growth.
Things to avoid and why:
- RAZOR SHAVING: In many cases the hair will grow back darker and thicker. There are associated risks like razor burn, which stings and if you are not a dab-hand you can inadvertently raze off some skin cells, which could lead to scarring. The only time to use a razor is 24 hours prior to Laser Hair Removal because the laser treatment itself targets the hair bulb and the pigment, thereby preventing a thicker hair from developing and the pigment from darkening.
- HAIR REMOVAL CREAM can cause an allergy-like reaction in those with sensitive skin, but more importantly, the skin is the largest organ of the body, and has a high absorbency capability. Nature has a fantastic way of controlling that absorbency with a protective barrier to substances that are potentially harmful once inside the body. Now, hair is composed of a tough protein tissue called keratin, and if the ingredients of a lotion or cream are able to break the bonds holding a tough protein together, what could these same chemicals break down in the body beneath the skin after they have absorbed? If a chemical can turn keratin into a jelly-like substance, I would not like it to have access to my internal soft tissue! Additionally, Hair Removal Creams contain alcohol, which will result in dry flaking skin once the skin’s barrier has ‘sealed’ again; you’ll see this most commonly before the hair regrows. Don’t be fooled by the smooth feel of the skin after using Hair Removal Cream, because that results from a temporary increase in nutrient absorption, often ingredients of the cream such as Retinol A and/or Vitamin C.
- TWEEZING results in thicker hair regrowth, increased risk for ingrown hairs, and a high risk for subsequent infection and scarring.
- THREADING can be quite painful and carries a high risk if the person doing it is untrained. As a home method I do not recommend threading because it carries a higher level of pain than other methods, there are risks for ingrown hairs to develop, breakouts are common, and there is often a significant level of redness and swelling afterwards. Infections, including Herpes and Staph types can spread as a result of threading. To avoid a visit to A & E during this time, and reduce the burden on the NHS, give threading a wide birth unless you are properly trained / experienced.
Here are some options on managing facial hair at home until you can get to the salon:
- LET IT GROW If you can leave the hair to grow this would be optimum, so as not to disrupt your progress on a hair removal treatment plan.
- DERMAPLANING for soft facial hair (peach fuzz). This is a somewhat new method, doesn’t last very long because it literally just skims off the hair and dead skin cells, without addressing the root at all. Dermaplaning tools for home use are easy to find and inexpensive. It is relatively risk free, although developing white heads afterwards is common. More seriously, infection and scarring have been known to occur in a minority.
- WAXING specifically Waxing Strips may be one of the safest solution for the lock-down period. It does carry the risk for ingrown hairs and can be painful if not performed well. The strips are a cleaner option than heating up the wax, ensuring the right temperature etc.
- SUGARING is a better option for sensitive skin compared to waxing. This is because the sugar solution has a higher affinity for the hair not the skin, making it less painful. The hair does have to be long enough for it to work (approximately ¼ inch). You can buy sugaring product kits for home use or search on You Tube for a recipe to make up yourself. Cautions are: Always test patch a small area first, and be prepared for the mess!
- If possible, leave hair removal until after lock-down and use professionally delivered therapies.
- The most effective solution to unwanted facial hair is professional Laser Hair Removal, or professional Electrolysis for those who are not suitable for laser (fine, fair hairs), it you don’t want to let it grow, use the home methods described above.
- As soon as lock-down is over, get your next appointment booked.
- If you are not yet familiar with Laser Hair Removal I suggest you take advantage of the current offers available for packages at a reputable clinic; it could be your personal resolution goal for end of lock-down!
- Did you know? All forms of Hair Removal will leave the skin somewhat irritated and inflamed to some degree. This makes the pigment containing cells prone to stimulation if they are exposed to sunlight or sunbeds. Any form of tanning after hair removal predisposes one to the potential for hyperpigmentation.