Is removing facial hair a painful process every time? Ayurveda suggests natural herbal remedies that can minimize facial hair growth naturally.
Removing unwanted hair has been in practice for ages with newer methods cropping up every day. However, not all may suit your skin. Resorting to natural, home and herbal remedies can keep post hair removal complications at bay.
Read on to know the best ways to remove facial hair for a problem-free unblemished look.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Says
“Formulations for loma shatan (body hair epilation) find mention in the Kshudra Roga Chikitsa of Bhaishjya Ratnavali and various other texts. These mainly consist of pastes and oils of various Kshara (alkaline) drugs.”
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
Causes Of Thick Facial Hair In Women
Facial hair is a common occurrence among women. In fact, most women have soft, fine hair on the face known as vellus hair. However, the following causes may lead to the growth of excess or terminal hair on the face.
The female hormones, especially oestrogen, keep female body hair soft and fine. In hirsutism , excess production of male androgen hormones causes excess coarse hair growth in body parts not normally covered by hair, such as the face.
The condition may be triggered by underlying medical issues. Women with hirsutism may also experience deepening of voice and irregularity or absence of menstruation, known as amenorrhoea.
The hair follicle size and texture of one’s hair is also dependent on one’s genes. Coarse or excess hair on the face and body in women can be a genetically  influenced condition.
Many women experience a change of hormonal balance after menopause. With the stoppage of menstrual periods, there is an abrupt reduction in the amount of estrogen produced by your ovaries.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome disrupts the function of your ovaries. This can cause hormonal imbalance, irregular periods and weight gain. PCOS can trigger hirsutism and lead to thick hair growth on the face.
5. Adrenal Tumors
A tumor  on the adrenal glands located above your kidneys can cause excess secretion of adrenal gland hormones such as the androgens. This can lead to the onset of hirsutism or excessive hair growth on the body and face.
6. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
This is a rare condition of the adrenal glands that causes excess release of androgens in the body. Apart from other severe symptoms, the condition can trigger thick facial hair growth.
7. Medicine Side Effect
Certain medications such as oral contraceptives that contain norgestrel, anabolic steroids, glucocorticoids or muscle mass enhancing supplements like DHEA can cause facial hair growth in women.
Is It Good To Remove Facial Hair?
While facial hair isn't really a bad thing and keeps your face protected from pollution, microbial invasion and sun damage, it may hinder your idea of a flawless look. Proven methods of hair removal performed by a professional reduce chances of complications such as ingrown hair, folliculitis, razor bumps, cuts, redness, inflammation and breakouts.
Further, removing facial hair can improve product absorption and help blend your make-up better, giving you healthy skin and an aesthetic look.
How To Remove Facial Hair?
A. Natural Methods
Threading helps remove unwanted facial hair naturally with minimal skin damage. Being superficial, this procedure is usually recommended by most beauty experts for small sensitive areas such as the face.
The only drawback is that hair grows back faster than other procedures such as waxing. Threading is better done by a professional to minimize chances of minor cuts and bruises.
Many salons now use waxing for removing facial hair due to the longevity of its effect. The wax penetrates deeper into the skin and removes facial hair from its roots, thus slowing down hair re-growth.
While traditional waxing methods leave your facial areas with minor burns, redness and inflammation, newer techniques such as hard wax, fruit wax and chocolate wax are safe even for sensitive skin types. Fruit and chocolate waxes are infused with antioxidants, skin brightening and moisturizing ingredients that keep skin healthy post-waxing.
Avoid waxing your skin if you are on isotretinoin  (anti-acne medication), antibiotics or are applying retinoid creams on your skin.
Face epilators are perfect for a painless hair removing experience. Epilators can even pluck short, fine hair, giving you smooth textured skin. However, it is important to remove facial hair in the direction of hair growth to prevent ingrown hair.
Shaving as a facial hair removal process has its own pros and cons. A men’s razor is not recommended as it can make your hair grow back coarser and you may even end up with razor bumps. Make sure to find a safe razor suitable for shaving women's fine facial hair.
Some beauty experts recommend shaving facial hair as it helps remove dead skin cells and prevents pore-clogging. However, shaving is not advisable for acne-prone and sensitive skin types.
B. At-Home Methods
1. Sugar, Lemon, Honey And Hot Water
To remove facial hair at home, mix a tablespoon of sugar, lemon juice and honey. Now heat this to make a thick syrup. Add a little hot water to adjust the consistency. Now apply on your facial hair and let it dry. Use a wax strip and pull against the direction of hair growth to remove facial hair.
While sugar is a natural exfoliator, lemon juice helps clear off dead skin cells. Honey moisturizes your skin and its antibacterial properties prevent infections and acne.
2. Gram Flour And Curd
Make a thick paste with a tablespoon of gram flour and half a tablespoon of curd. Add water if needed. Apply and let it dry for 15 minutes. Now gently scrub against the direction of your facial hair growth and wash it off.
Both gram flour and curd are known for their exfoliation and skin brightening properties. Using them to remove facial hair also helps improve your overall skin tone.
3. Masoor Dal And Turmeric
Blend both ingredients with water to make a paste. Apply this on your facial areas experiencing hair growth. Let it sit for about 20 minutes before you gently scrub and wash off with lukewarm water.
4. Oatmeal, Avocado And Milk
Add a small amount of avocado pulp to 2 tablespoons of oatmeal. Blend into a thick paste and add a few drops of milk to adjust the consistency. Apply on the face and let it dry for 20 minutes. Gently scrub against the direction of hair growth and wash off with lukewarm water to remove facial hair.
All three ingredients have a moisturizing effect on your skin. Milk further helps to clean clogged pores and oatmeal’s anti-inflammatory properties keep skin inflammatory conditions at bay.
5. Gelatin, Aloe Vera And Raw Milk Peel-Off Mask
Take 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder and add aloe vera gel and raw milk to make a paste of thick consistency. Apply on your facial hair and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Now gently peel off the dried mask in the direction opposite to your hair growth to remove facial hair.
Using this peel-off mask to remove facial hair also helps to hydrate and revitalize your skin.
Vedix Tip: Consuming estrogen balancing foods such as flax seeds, tofu, soy milk, sesame seeds, barley, dry fruits, etc. can help reduce thick facial hair growth.
C. Ayurvedic Ways
1. Herbal Hair Removal Ubtans
To make your own herbal facial hair removal ubtan, grind sun-dried datura seeds. Add a spoon each of almond flour and wheat flour to it. Now add water as required to make a paste. Apply over the facial hair and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Once dried, gently massage against the direction of your hair growth and wipe off with a damp cloth.
The above-mentioned ingredients not only remove facial hair naturally but also help prevent dry skin, pigmentation and premature skin aging due to the presence of vitamin C and vitamin E.
Thanaka powder and kusumba (safflower) oil in combination is a permanent facial hair removal treatment quoted frequently by beauty experts. Mix the ingredients in equal parts and apply on your facial hair. Gently massage in for 5 to 10 minutes and wash off. Repeat regularly to prevent further hair growth.
2. Herbal Oils
Frequent warm oil massages may remove facial hair permanently. Apply gentle pressure and massage against the direction of hair growth. Continue for 10 minutes and wash off. The following oils can be used to remove facial hair at home.
- Castor oil
- Coconut oil
- Sesame oil
- Mustard oil
3. Herbal Depilatory Facial Hair Removal Creams
While most depilatory creams are considered harmful for your face due to their chemical content, herbal ones might be a safer alternative.
These creams remove facial hair by breaking their keratin structure and dissolving them to give you a painless hair removal procedure. They also contain herbal ingredients that prevent skin burns, irritation and darkening.
Read the instructions thoroughly to know if the ingredients are suitable for your skin type and always do a patch test before using one for the first time.
4. Herbal Wax
Herbal waxes are infused with the goodness of Ayurvedic herbs that improve your skin health. These come in powdered forms and you simply need to add water to make a paste. Apply on your face and wipe off with a damp cloth after 7 to 10 minutes or as mentioned on the label. However, it is safe to do a patch test before applying herbal wax to check for allergic reactions.
Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, “Formulations for Loma shatan (body hair epilation) find mention in the Kshudra Roga Chikitsa of Bhaishjya Ratnavali and various other texts. These mainly consist of pastes and oils of various Kshara (alkaline) drugs.”
She further adds, “Sudha (chuna / slaked lime) in combination with Hartal (Arsenic trioxide) paste is a recommendation from Bhaishajya Ratnavali. Various other combinations comprising ‘Bhasma’ of shells/conches/oyster shells in combination with Arsenic di and trioxide also find a mention in the texts.”
D. Topical Prescriptions
According to a study, Eflornithine HCL 13.9%, an FDA approved topical prescription facial hair removal cream slowed hair growth in almost 60% of women. Improvement of conditions was seen within a period of 4-8 weeks. However, few reported the presence of redness, rashes and mild skin irritations.
In Unani medicine, lime (choona), zinc oxide and arsenic trisulphide  are topically applied to remove unwanted hair.
Tips & Precautions While Using Facial Hair Removal Remedies
1. Most facial hair removal procedures can leave you with skin irritation. Hence, follow up with an ice rub and a mild chemical-free moisturizer to soothe your skin.
2. For first-time users of waxes and hair removal creams, make sure to do a patch test to prevent allergic reactions. Wait at least 48 hours before using the product to remove your facial hair.
3. Certain commercially available depilatory creams have shown to increase the number of hair follicles  in your skin, thereby causing excess hair growth. Thus, it is safer to opt for good herbal products to prevent such adverse effects.
4. Use depilatory creams with caution. Do not exceed the time limit mentioned in the instructions to prevent burns and skin irritations.
5. While waxing, make sure to use a wooden spatula and not a metal one to apply the hot wax. Roll-on waxes are always a safer option.
6. While removing facial hair at home, disinfect your razor, trimmer, tweezer or epilator head to minimize chances of skin infection.
7. If you prefer to shave your facial hair, make sure to use a new blade every time to prevent ingrown hair.
8. Your skin is likely to be sensitive and more prone to environmental damages immediately after a facial hair removal session. Therefore, limit direct sun exposure to prevent skin damage.
9. Remember like all cosmetic products, hair removal creams and waxes also have an expiry date. Read the label carefully before use.
10. Lastly, consult your Ayurvedic doctor to know your Prakriti and skin type. This will help you choose your facial hair removal products better to achieve desired results.
Does Removing Facial Hair Cause It To Grow Back Thicker?
Despite the common belief that shaving, waxing and other hair removal methods can make your facial hair grow back thicker, hair growth and thickness is governed by completely different factors. These mainly include heredity, hormones and health conditions.
Your hair grows from its roots, hence superficial hair removal methods such as depilatory creams or trimming and shaving do not influence the thickness of the hair shaft. However, using improper hair removing tools such as a blunt razor can cut the hair unevenly. So you are likely to be left with tiny hair that has sharp edges.
This increases the chance of ingrown hair as the sharp tip of the hair shaft may cut and penetrate into your skin rather than growing upwards. Further, when the hair begins to grow back, these coarse, pocky edges give the impression of thicker hair and give your face a rough texture.
The Last Word
Facial hair removal is often a hassle. While some women prefer the natural look, many want their face to be hair-free. This can constantly keep one on the search for better and painless methods of hair removal.
While alternatives are available, the home and herbal facial hair removal methods are considered the best as they are safe and suitable for all skin types. So remember to follow the precautionary measures mentioned in this article and safely remove your facial hair for a healthy, beautiful, flawless look.Know Your Dosha Now
1. Hirsutism (Excessive Hair) - Women, 2021
2. What Should I Know About Removing Unwanted Facial Hair?, 2002 November
3. Hormonal Effects On Hair Follicles, 2020 August
4. Adrenal Tumors, 2018 June
5. 7 Ways To Remove Unwanted Hair, 2021 September
6. Concept Of Cosmetics In Unani System Of Medicine, 2016 December
7. Depilatory Creams Increase The Number Of Hair Follicles, And Dermal Fibroblasts Expressing Interleukin-6, Tumor Necrosis Factor-ɑ, And Tumor Necrosis Factor-β In Mouse Skin, 2021 November
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