BPGP: Facial Hair Removal

Jul 30, 2013

Women spend a lot of time removing hair.  We shave, we tweeze, we wax, we pay for electrolysis.  Hair removal is a constant chore, and like many women, I struggle to safely and painlessly remove the follicles from my face.  Here are some of my favorite products and tricks:

Eyebrows.  I tweeze my eyebrows myself to save money, and because I think I do a better job than most of the professionals I have been to see.  In the beginning, I bought this Anastasia Brow Kit for a bit of help.  This article explains the different shapes, and this tutorial from The Beauty Department will help you create the perfect brow shape.

Upper Lip.  Until recently, I shaved my upper lip.  It was just simpler than going for a wax, and after a traumatic teenage experience with a depilatory cream (can you say chemical burn?), it felt safer.  Now, I use the Bliss Poetic Wax.  It’s easy to use, and since it’s a hard wax, easy to remove.

I tried the Poetic Wax strips for face and I didn’t like them.  They don’t grab on to the hair, making the removal part of hair removal a 50/50 shot.   They also left a greasy feeling on my skin.

Chin.  Yep, chin hair.  Tougher than upper lip hair, mine feels like sandpaper when it grows in.  Groovy.  At first, I was tweezing, but that’s a chore when the hair seems to grow in so quickly.  As for wax, it causes chin acne that won’t quit.

Instead, I tried Bliss’s Fuzz Off Hair Removal Cream, and I like it.  It’s not painful, doesn’t irritate my skin and can be used on short hair, so you don’t have to wait for the hair to grow in so you can remove it.  It also works well if you have a bit too much fuzz in your sideburns.

So how do you remove your facial hair?  Or do you prefer a natural look?  And since I have y’all on the phone (*wink*), has anyone tried the No!No! hair removal device?  I’ve been thinking about investing but can’t find a review that they didn’t pay for or that didn’t come from a flamer who hates the product a bit too much to be believed.


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  1. adrienne says:

    i’ve been curious about the Tria. effective at home electrolysis and no cartridges? too good to be true?


  2. Rory says:

    Have you ever looked into threading? I recently switched over from waxing to threading and I really do think it’s superior. My eyebrows look SO MUCH better than waxing ever got them, and it took them longer to grow back in. I used to have get my eyebrows done every two weeks but I can go for about 4-5 weeks with threading. Same for my chin. I also don’t have the acne that accompanies waxing.

    • Helena says:

      Threading gives you the precision of tweezing in half the time. And it’s much kinder to your skin than waxing.

    • MC says:

      Totally agree! Once you try threading, you’ll never go back!

    • Kaye says:

      Threading 4 evr. I’m surprised it’s not more popular- the lovely ‘Threads’ salon in Chinatown has even agreed to thread my underarms before vacations, and then I don’t have to shave for two weeks!

    • JP says:

      I’m creeped out by threading. They typically cover the threads in saliva…

    • Amanda says:

      Threading totally depends on the follicles (apparently mine are freakishly long and thick). I have tried it twice and my eye brows stay bright red and swollen for hours and hours. It was miserable. Not to mention it takes twice as long and for me the pain was twice as intense. Hell no give me waxing any day.

    • BBB says:

      I recently had my brows threaded for the first time. Never again. I’m much happier having them waxed – it’s faster and for me, much less painful. Plus I don’t feel it has lasted any longer.

      As for the saliva comment, the woman who did mine did not put the thread in her mouth, but several friends have told me that happens often. Ick.

  3. Meredith says:

    I use the olay hair removal duo for upper lip. The balm helps to create a barrier to keep my skin from being irritated, which is nice since I have super sensitive skin. I have those crazy neck hairs as well that go from nothing to 1 inch long over night – usually I pluck those.

  4. N says:

    I recently switched from waxing my brows to threading. Now I never get acne from the wax and my eyebrows look so much better. Also with threading, I feel like it’s a lot harder to mess up your brows and I can go to a different person each time and get the same look–(cannot say the same about waxing). Surprisingly enough, the simple threading kiosks at the mall do the job great. However, when I have time I always go to Rani in Glover Park at the Guven Salon. She is AMAZING.


    • m says:

      I’ve had my eyebrows threaded for years at various salons, and Rani is a step above them all. I totally agree she is AMAZING.

      That said, I can’t afford what Rani charges for a regular brow touch-up. Dupont Threading is my usual place for eyebrow and upper lip threading.

  5. Christine says:

    Belle, you should give Dupont Threading a try, and ask specifically for an appointment with Nitasha, the owner. I go once a month for my brows (and maintain them on my own in between) and twice a month for my upper lip. This service is so much better for your skin than waxing, and you get much better results for hair regrowth than tweezing or shaving(!). Other women regularly complement me on my brows after a visit. She also now has a location in Eastern Market.

    That being said, I too am interested in No!No! or the new Tria. I don’t have the money to get professional laser treatments for all the areas on my face that need it, let alone other areas of my body.

    • Belle says:

      I thought about threading, but most of the women I know who thread have eyebrows that are way over groomed. I just spent years growing these babies back in, I’m not sure I can bring myself to risk it.

      • Austin says:

        Sounds like Nitasha is the woman for you. She has beautiful, not-too-skinny brows herself and has always been good about working with my natural shape. Do note, however, that the skill level of the person threading matters a lot when it comes to the pain. I see only her and not her assistants.

        • JS says:

          Cannot agree more about Nitasha (Dupont Threading)! i am absolutely neurotic about my eyebrows (I have very thick/full brows) and used Nitasha for 5yrs+. She is a rare find in DC and I have referred countless number of clients to her. Everyone I have sent there has become a regular. Run there and don’t look back!

      • Christine says:

        Ha, that’s what I usually associate with waxing or tweezing! I like my brows full too, and I’ve been using Nitasha/Dupont Threading for about 5 years. Just tell them what shape you want (they have some images as guides if you would like) and you should be fine. I agree with Austin that some of the assistants are not as practiced (I still use them when I don’t make an appointment), so that’s why you should start with Nitasha. Like anything, if you don’t tell someone what you want you’re not likely to get what you want.

      • Courtney says:

        Totally agree with the gals on here who are commenting with a specific name – finding the right person was the key for me. I’m not in the DC area, but where I’m at, I found a name through asking people I know with the best brows – no surprise, they see the same expert. Hannah, who I now see, tells me that she prefers threading because she can be more accurate on shape with the threads. Something about the speed with which she can roll the string over an area and get everything, but also being able to pull one hair at a time to tweak at the end. But – if you’ve got the skill down with the tweezers, no need to spend money that can be saved!

      • N says:

        I would have to disagree. I am Greek and blessed with the hairy gene and thread my brows as do all the other ethnic girls I know and our brows are still well defined and not thin at all. For example, beauty vlogger Claire Ashley is Lebanese and threads and her brows are amazing!

  6. sp says:

    I also thread my eyebrows every few months and use this device on my upper lip:


    It is AMAZING!!! no, instead of waiting a couple weeks for the hair to be worth taking to a threader, I use this device (which does the same thing — pulls out the hairs using a coil mechanism) for literally 10 seconds every couple days.

  7. jj says:

    My grandmother, of all people, bought a NoNo, and of course I had to try it. It basically “burns off” your hair, And it smells like burning hair. I had to go over areas multiple times for any results. I could see the benefits if you don’t like waxing or the stubble that razors leave behind but overall it is not worth the price.

  8. J says:

    I also recommend Dupont Threading. I think threading is way better than waxing. You avoid readness or bumps. With an experienced threader you hardly feel anything at all and they are great at shaping. They are usually busy during lunch but if you go on an off hour like 2 pm or after work there is no line. I go about every 4-5 weeks for my eyebrows. Luckily I don’t have any other noticeable facial hair to deal with except for 1 random annoying chin hair that I pluck.

  9. J says:

    For all facial hair (eye brows, upper lip and all randoms), I really believe in electrolysis. True…it’s a little painful (but no more so than some of those nighmare waxing stories), but the results are worth it. It’s permanent, no break outs, no stubble, and it works on dark and light hair. My facial hair is no longer a constant struggle. I go for months now without even thinking about it.

    • ElleDC says:

      AGREE! It’s the only PERMANENT solution. I go to Falls Church Electrolysis. Would really recommend for chin/upperlip. I haven’t done my brows only because I think that trends change and I like being able to go from a thinner to a thinker brow and back if I want to.

  10. Kaye says:

    I have light skin and dark hair, so I shave my legs/arms and thread my face. I was also shocked by how much more “lifted” my face looked when I started getting my ‘sideburns’ threaded.

    Of course, no one should feel pressured to remove hair if they don’t want to- but I had the sides of my face threaded on a whim, and it makes my face look narrower, my cheekbones look higher! My old roommate had dark, full ‘sideburns’, and I always wondered what she’d look like without them, lol. Anyway, it is something to try if you feel adventurous.

  11. sandres says:

    REM spring for upper lip and chin….it’s cheap, lasts forever and works amazing!!!

  12. Heather says:

    I used to thread for years b/c I loved how long it lasted (I could go 3 months before a thread),and b/c waxing made me break out, but it HURT so insanely bad I’d have to hit up happy hour hardcore before braving the treading chair, and even then it was the most painful thing I’ve ever done, seriously, brazillian waxes were blissful to me in comparison to threading! Thankfully, I gave it up and started getting my waxes done at Blue Mercury. The wax they use is amazing! I never break out, and the technicians are so talented my eyebrows look better than threading ever did. It’s definitely worth finding a good cosmetician to do your services, even if it costs more.

  13. Meg says:

    DuPont threading is amazing!! $12 for eyebrows and $8 for upper lip and this is the only place I’ve been where they do not over thread and leave me with thin eyebrows!

  14. Jess says:

    I go natural. I don’t do anything to my eyebrows, but am blessed with a pretty great, full shape. I rarely shave my armpits unless I am going somewhere super important. I hardly sweat at all when I let it grow so I don’t have to worry about using antiperspirants and all the crap in them, and I probably shave my legs less than 5 times a year. I love it, my husband has gotten used to it. And it truly doesn’t bother me what anyone else thinks. No one has ever said anything to me. That being said, I am not in a professional environment, and if I was perhaps I would do things differently.

  15. Miss Pearl says:

    I did laser. It was price-y, but well worth it!

  16. MM says:

    Not in the DC area but I too get my brows threaded (I specifically point out shape/thickness to avoid the overgrooming concern)

    As for the rest of it, after years of shaving/plucking/etc (and I’m Italian so this is no easy routine) I sucked it up and paid (pay) for laser hair removal. Started with a Groupon deal from a reputable medi-spa to see if I liked and have kept it up. I’m at the point now where there is very minimal maintenance on my end between treatments. I also tried Dermaplaning for the first time several weeks ago (gets rid of peach fuzz and resurfaces dead cells) and WOW. It was actually WEIRD to feel my face *that* smooth and I also got comments from others (who had no clue what I had done) about my skin “glowing”. Definitely worth the $45 (and done from the same people who also do my laser work) and something I plan to keep in the routine every few months.

  17. MM says:

    I also wanted to say that the time NOT spent worrying about facial hair removal has been worth every penny of the laser treatments!

  18. NS says:

    I am blessed with more hair than god should ever give a girl. i thread my eyebrows at this indian place and though its painful, they become very shapely & the hair grows back slowly. i used to thread my chin & upper lip as well, but i tried laser and am SO IMPRESSED. am thinking of laser on my legs as well now – which i shave/wax.

  19. IRMcK says:

    I would also endorse the laser treatments 100%. You have to go back a bunch,VERY regularly, which is a bit of a downside. It can get expensive, but not having to deal with it anymore is worth every penny. (I’ve now done my underarms and my upper lip. I’m saving for the legs, and I can’t wait).

  20. MMR says:

    Belle and other facial-hair-removers:

    Do any of you use prescription acne creams? Have you had problems with the interactions b/w acne stuff and hair removers? Most laser and waxing places refuse to touch my upper lip because of it, but perhaps threading would work? Thanks!!

    • Courtney says:

      That is precisely why I switched to threading . . . even years after stopping using my prescription acne cream, any and all forms of waxing took the skin off. Painful, and not chic, unless you’re shooting for a horror-flick look. I ended up liking the results! I do laser now on other areas, but I’ve never tried it on my face b/c I’m too afraid from my long past with acne/skin issues, etc. PS – laser on underarms, etc, great!

  21. Addison says:

    I pluck my own eyebrows and shave my legs/underarms. As for upper lip hair, I use Sally Hansen creme remover. It’s cheap, fast, never irritates my skin and lasts a long time (both the product and the results)

  22. Grapeful says:

    Reading from the comments, it sounds like threading is a good option. I don’t like having to go to someone for hair removal. Has anyone had experience with the at home threading kits?

    I had great experience with Nair gel cream for my legs, specifically because the hair took a while to grow back and did not grow back with a blunt tip (avoiding redness and bumps). I’m hoping to find a similar product appropriate for my upper lip.

  23. Tori says:

    I did that No-No since my skin is so sensitive and shaving/waxing/Nair all make me have that razor burn type-bumps for 2 days post hair removal. It smells like burning. Does it work? Maybe a little. I did it for 3 months and did notice that the hair growing back in was finer than before. However, it is a very slow going process and lots of burning smell. Have I mentioned the smell?

    The only gadget I’ve found to remove hair and truly over time make it less and less is epilating. Good grief is it not comfortable, but it works SO well. My leg hair now can go 4-5 days between shaves without being noticeable (and I’m Greek). It’s much less dense than before as well. Maybe there’s something to it? Did the epillating for 2 months before the gadget I was using quit on me and I was happy with the fewer hairs I had so I quit.

  24. A says:

    What else are people doing for their underarm hair? I see a lot of tips on here for eyebrows and other facial hair but fewer comments about underarms. I have light skin and dark, thick hair (another Italian here) and even after I shave my underarms, they still look terrible. No matter how expensive or new the razor is or what shave cream I use, my underarms look irritated, have red bumps, and I can see the hair/it looks like stubble even immediately after a shave! I see other women whose underarms look like they literally don’t grow hair there. What is everyone else doing? Laser? Do people actually wax their underarms?

    • Belle says:

      I used to wax mine. It works, and if you put on some tend skin after, you won’t get the bumps.

    • Julie says:

      I’ve tried waxing but I was too self conscious while it was growing out. I actually use the Dove brand deoderant that helps with the hair/skin tone issue (i forget what it’s called) and it’s helped a lot.

    • Kaye says:

      I get mine threaded before a vacation or a particularly hot week. It lasts for weeks and it looks like the hair is thinner because half the hair grows in and gets long enough to shave before the other half starts growing in (if that made sense). I feel ya on the Italian hair genes!

    • MM says:

      I’ve started laser hair removal on my underarms too! (I also suffer(ed) from the 5 o’clock shadow on my pits)

    • An says:

      Laser is amazing for your underarms. It took me about six sessions, and I still shave regularly (because I’m OCD about it, not because I need to), but I no longer stress about the 5 o’clock shadow or the early-morning swim. I’ve had laser done on other parts of my body (and have a Tria now, just need to make myself use it more regularly!) but it hasn’t worked quite as well anywhere else as it did under my arms.

  25. Courtney says:

    I’ve seen several laser comments, and I’ve done that as well with equally happy results (they are not kidding when they say that it is AWESOME to get back the hours of your life that go into the actual shaving, not to mention all the time spent thinking “I need to shave”). Started with underarms, $150 for 6 laser treatments, all 2-5 months apart. So it’s not an immediate change, but over time, as the laser gets more hair (I was told by the gal that only 10-15% of your hair follicles on underarms/legs/bikini are active at any time), it’s just something that you think less and less about! The actual laser time on underarms, time in-session, is probably less than 5 minutes. It doesn’t feel awesome, but I’ve certainly done more painful things in the name of hair removal. Also, there’s a numbing cream possibility that I never did because I’m cheap and I can tolerate the pops (it feels like being popped with a rubber band – not nice, but not end-of-the-world awful). The laser is attracted to pigment, so fair-skinned/dark-haired gals who are usually the most stressed about hair actually get the best results in the long run (or so I’m told by my medi-spa).

    I’ve heard there’s a new laser out there now that doesn’t pop. My medi-spa doesn’t carry the laser, they said they think the one that pops gets better results. I don’t know how the other one works, but I’m willing to suck it up a little bit to say goodbye to hair (no pain, no gain, baby!). Ended up doing legs and bikini ($600 ea for 6 treatments), and then having to have 3 additional ‘touch-up’ sessions after my initial 6 until everything was finished. Technically – long and expensive process. However, the cost is up-front and then you’re done (the touch-ups are super-cheap), and you’re only going in for 6-9 quick appointments over a period of 3 years. It’s not like something you have to do every day or even every month, which is a plus.

    Sorry for the long comment, just thought I’d share the info I had in case anyone was wondering – I had questions about some of these things myself before I took the plunge, and it helped me to hear from someone who had done it.

  26. Julia S. says:

    I love getting my eyebrows threaded but it’s hard to find a consistently good threader (I’m not in DC). I tweeze in between, and trim my brows also with scissors, which makes a huge difference. I like having the threading done to give them shape, and then maintain it with tweezing.

    Underarms – the Dove deodorant does make a difference but it’s not as good at keeping me dry. I shave. I also shave my upper lip but I’m looking for a better option that I can do at home.

    As for the lovely random hairs, I pluck. Bikini and legs, I shave but it’s imperfect. Would love a better option but a regular trip to anywhere other than my dry cleaners is not an option these days.

  27. Jenna says:

    Any recommendations for laser hair removal places in DC/VA?

  28. Mo says:

    I can recommend the Dermatology Center at Sibley Hospital at https://www.dermskin.com, you can also go to Rockville but Sibley is in DC and is more convenient for those that live in the District. There is parking in the parking lot right next to the building (not in the main hospital) and it’s never crowded. I like knowing that I’m in a professionals hands as have tried “chain-type” clinics before with little success. I see Kelly who is great.

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