As estrogen declines before and during menopause, some vibrant women experience an increase in male hormones, causing thinning hair on the head and more noticeable hair on the face.
7 ways to get rid of unwanted facial hair
- Sometimes the problem is complicated by a blend of genetic, metabolic, and endocrine issues. A medical workup should be the first step if your unwanted facial hair has progressed to a serious stage. See your internist, dermatologist, and endocrinologist to determine the cause and strategize about a plan of action.
- If you have noticed several dark hairs above your upper lip and/or a few hairs sprouting in the chin area, you may choose a nonmedical option. Many women just tweeze a few errant hairs.
- Some women like the ease of waxing (and the ultra-smooth results) done in a salon setting and schedule it with their hair color touchup. The downside is waxing stings and should be avoided by those with sensitive skin or women who use Retin-A or Renova in that area for smoker’s lines.
- At-home depilatories are fast, but regrowth is fast too, and they can also be very irritating.
- Electrolysis by a trained, experienced technician may offer a permanent solution but requires several treatments over a substantial period of time. Be certain of the “work” by asking for referrals in advance.
- Ask your dermatologist if you are a good candidate for laser hair removal or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) facial hair removal, which offers a permanent, if pricey, solution in a clinical setting. These are true cosmetic dermatological procedures, and cost is determined by the size of the area being done, your choice of doctor, and the number of visits required. Multiple treatments and a few subsequent touchups are typical with each treatment, costing $350 to $500. Laser uses beams of concentrated light to penetrate the hair follicle and destroy it and works better when there is contrast between facial hair and skin tone. Women with dark facial hair and lighter complexions benefit more from this procedure than those with darker skin tones and dark facial hair or light skin tones with fair peach fuzz.
- Another option is the topical prescription cream Vaniqua, which is applied twice a day to slow the growth of facial hair. It works for some women as a companion to their hair-removal procedures since it cannot destroy the hair follicle just inhibit growth.
Lois Joy Johnson is the author of the new Vibrant Nation beauty guide, Great Hair After 50: Hip hairstyles, best products for healthy hair, coloring secrets, whether (and how) to go gray, managing fine or frizzy hair, and solutions for thinning hair and hair loss