You can curl it, color it, gel it, straighten it and trim it, but when it is on your face – just remove it.
Hair when on your head gives you a sense of pride and confidence but when on your face does just the reverse – snatches your sense of self-worth and leaves you at the mercy of snide remarks and jibes from colleagues and friends.
Strange are the ways of this world where baldheaded men are acceptable; sideburns in men are stylish and in women a sore sight! If you are one of the several women searching for answers on how to get rid of your sideburns, read on because for every problem under the sun there is a cure if there is none we shall find one.
Why do women have excess facial hair?
A few strands of hair on the side of the face look attractive, but when they are coarse and stand out, you tend to squirm and be uncomfortable. Knowing the cause of the excess hair will be useful in treating severe cases.
Don’t let a few pesky strands of hair damage your self-esteem and self-confidence. Get rid of these distressing offenders by adopting any of the given methods below.
7 ways to get rid of your sideburns
This is one of the most popular and cost effective methods of removing sideburns or any facial hair. This process involves pulling out hair from its root. As a result, you can sport a clean look for 4-10 weeks depending on how fast your hair grows back. A large amount of hair can be pulled out in one shot.
Waxing can be done at home by using waxing kits or you can go to a salon and get it done by professionals.
How is waxing done?
Apply wax in the direction of hair growth in the desired area. Press a paper cloth( you get waxing strips specifically for this purpose) and pull in a direction opposite to hair growth. In one quick motion, you can remove a chunk of hair. It is painful no doubt but just temporarily.
Which wax to use?
Hard wax is normally used for the face. Here you don’t need to apply a strip to remove it. The wax is applied when hot. Once it cools it hardens and can be removed directly. This is less painful than other kinds of wax.
Pros of waxing
- When done by a professional it is quick and thorough and less painful
- A lot of hair is removed at one shot
- Hair takes longer to grow back since it is pulled from the roots.
- The regrowth is finer and softer.
- It is economical
- It can be used on any kind of hair and skin type. Those with oily hair must use an anti-acne face wash 24 hours after waxing to prevent a breakout.
Cons of waxing
- If you have a sensitive skin, it will break out into rash and irritation will persist.
- It is painful and you must be able to tolerate the pain.
- When done at home it can be messy and not all hair will be targeted unless a partner helps you.
- You have to wait for the hair to be at least a quarter of an inch to do waxing.
- If not done properly it will lead to ingrown hair which will be harder to remove and not very nice to look at.
One of the most ancient methods of removing facial hair, threading is predominantly used in the East. But its long-term benefits have seen it gaining popularity in the West as well.
How is threading done
A good quality cotton thread is taken and its ends are tied. This thread is wrapped around the doer’s fingers and the circle is twisted in the center. The X formed in the center is moved by opening nad closing your fingers and targeting each hair individually. It is difficult to DIY, so get it done in a salon.
This action pulls the hair right from its follicles. As a result, the hair growth is slower. Hair grows back in 3-6 weeks depending once again on each individual's physiology.
Pros of threading
- Suitable for one and all: Since there are no chemicals used anyone can do threading. Those who are allergic to chemicals and wax can opt for this method.
- Hair takes longer to grow: Since the hair pulled from its roots, the hair follicles are weakened and as a result, the hair takes longer to grow.
- Can remove all kinds of hair: This method targets each individual hair; as a result, even the finest hair which wax misses can be removed. Often a combination of threading and waxing is done to remove all hair.
- Cheap: It is one of the cheapest ways to get rid of sideburns since the only equipment used is a cotton thread.
Cons of threading
- Painful: Since the hair is pulled from the shaft, you will experience a tingling stingy sensation which will last until the end of the procedure and in some cases even later.
- Can aggravate acne: The action of pulling the hair from the root can damage the already sensitive skin leading to an outburst of acne.
- Can lead to nicks and cuts: If not done properly the risks of damaging your skin are more and you can even end up with cuts and nicks which will bleed and the make situation worse.
- Not a permanent solution: You need to get it done every 3-6 weeks. It is not a one-time solution.
If the thought of pain has you wondering on how to get rid of your sideburns, you will be thankful for the existence of hair removal creams. One of the fastest and easiest methods of hair removal is the use of depilatories. They can be bought over-the-counter and are found in various forms like cream, gel, and lotion.
The chemicals in the depilatories dissolve the hair on the surface of the skin leaving your skin clean and bereft of unsightly hair.
Benefits of depilatories
- Quick and painless: Since the surface hair is removed by dissolving it, this method is quick and painless way to remove hair. If you are in a hurry, it is probably the best method to use.
- Doesn’t dry the skin: Most of these creams come with moisturizers which leave your skin smooth and hydrated.
- Chemicals: The chemicals used can lead to allergic reactions, skin rash and irritation. Moreover, long-term use of these creams is not advised.
- Weird odor: YThough companies do advertise that the creams will leave you smelling like roses and lavender, the strong odor of chemicals stays for a while. And if you have a sensitive nose you might end up with a headache.
- Choose a face specific cream: You can't use any depilatory that you use for your body for your face because your facial skin is very sensitive when compared to the rest of the body. Furthermore, you should not keep the cream on your skin for more than the stipulated time, as it will have adverse effects.
- Not a permanent cure: The hair is removed only from the surface while the root is still intact.
You must have heard from umpteen sources how the razor should be avoided at all costs. It is true to a large extent but when you are looking for a quick fix to distressing hair the razor does the job effectively.
Even an electric shaver can be used to quickly remove hair really close to the skin. Always use a shaving cream or soap to lather the area before shaving. Shave your hair in the direction of the hair growth and replace the blades frequently.
- Can be used on all kinds of hair.
- They are quick and easy to use.
- No use of chemicals.
- It is cheap.
- Can leave you bleeding if not done properly.
- You need to shave almost every day depending on your hair growth.
- The regrowth will be coarser and darker.
Thus far we have looked at temporary methods of hair removal. In each of the above methods, you will have to repeat a procedure periodically to be sideburn free. But if you are tired of the pain, the mess and the sheer number of times you do it, there are permanent sideburn removal solutions too.
Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal method where a tiny needle is placed in the hair follicle of each hair and an electric current passed. This will destroy the hair completely. Since it involves each hair, it is long drawn process and requires several sittings before you can remove it completely.
- It is the most permanent of hair removal methods.
- It can be done on any skin type and hair type.
- Hair follicles get bent: Previous use of tweezing of waxing often bend the follicles and make it difficult to pierce the needle in to destroy the hair. As a result, all the hair might not be removed.
- Multiple treatments: It is a long drawn procedure which will take at least 15-30 sessions to remove hair completely.
- Uncomfortable: You will feel stingy pin prick feeling while the process is bein done. Hence, it is not pain-free.
- Skin damage: If done by untrained personnel your skin can be permanently discolored and even scarred.
- Pricey: It is very expensive.
Another much-touted solution to your facial hair woes is the Laser. In this method, a strong beam of intense pulsated light is directed to the roots of the hair to destroy them. Once again this requires multiple sittings of at least 6-12 to remove all hair. Further, you will require touch up appointments once a year.
- Less painful than the rest.
- Long lasting results
- Can be done on all skin types
- Skin damage: If not done properly or if you have an ultra sensitive skin you can end up getting a rash, swelling, burning and skin discoloration. And in some cases infection also.
- Not the best treatment for all skin types and tones: Laser treatment targets melanin, the pigment that gives hair the color, as a result, it is more beneficial for darker skin tones than light hair.
- Long Drawn treatment: It requires several sitting to removal all hair and the time is taken for each sitting depends on the hair quality and the area of removal.
- Expensive: Any laser treatment is expensive because of the sophisticated equipment used.
7. Home remedies and supplements
There are several home remedies to treat your problem. There is no guarantee that they will work but then they will not harm either. These are ideal for those with light sideburns.
- Spearmint tea – If your hair is due to hormonal imbalance drinking mint tea might help as it reduces the testosterone in the body and this will reduce the hair growth. To see any significant result, it is recommended that you drink at least 2 cups of tea a day.
- Vitamin B6 – You can also increase the intake of Vitamin B6 in your diet as it prevents the excess production of testosterone in the body thereby reducing facial hair. Include bananas, potatoes, fish, hazelnuts, dairy and collard greens or take supplements to increase vitamin b6.
- Soy products – Increase the level of phytoestrogen in your body to discourage hair growth on face. Include soy products in your diets such as tofu, TVP, tempeh, soy cheese and soy milk.
- Turmeric – Apply a paste made of turmeric and yogurt on the troubled area for 15 minutes and then gently scrub before washing it off.
Hairy Sideburns can be distressing no doubt but let them not define who you are and how you feel about yourself. Choose any of the above methods to get rid of your sideburns and regain your self-confidence. A word of caution, always ensure you go to a salon or a treatment center of repute – you cannot take chances with your face.