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Unwanted Facial Hair

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Lets "FACE FACTS"! Most of us have problems with one or other part of our bodies and for many their problem is the scourge of unwanted facial hair. Today we find out how to tackle this problem head on and banish those beastly strays.

At some stage in most female's lives they will experience unwanted facial hair. The most common times for unwanted facial hair to appear are during Puberty, Pregnancy and the Menopause.

Another important factor to consider is hereditary sensitivity.
There are certain areas on the body know as target areas where there will be a growth of hair when stimulated by the male hormone androgen. As a women's body produces these hormones in much smaller quantities, under normal circumstances, she does not develop hair in all the target areas i.e. chin, upper lip, jaw line etc.

However there may be an increase in the production of Androgens during Puberty, Pregnancy and the menopause increasing the likely hood of unwanted facial hair.

Topical causes such as irritation on the skins surface can also cause excessive hair growth. It is the body's natural reaction to trauma or irritation on the skin to protect itself. The hairs in the area of irritation will be stimulated to grow coarser and deeper, creating a protective covering on the skin, against further irritation. Abnormal causes include hysterectomy, polycystic ovaries, anorexia nervosa and stress.

Methods of excess hair removal.

1. BLEACHING

ADVANTAGE: A quick fix used to lessen the appearance of facial hair. Ideal for fine pigmented hair.

DISADVANTAGE: Can irritate the skin, not always successful on coarser darker hairs. Does not remove the hair.

TIPS:  Always patch test on skin first. Do this by applying a tiny amount behind the ear or on the wrist. If the skin feels irritated or appears red or itchy do not apply to face. Read the instructions carefully and follow the times and recommendations to the tee. Never exceed application times. Remove the cream completely and rinse the skin with luke warm water. Soap products or perfumed products must not be used on the treated area for several hours. Always wear sun protection after use as the skin will be much more susceptible to UV damage.

2. PLUCKING
 
ADVANTAGE : Plucking the hairs with tweezers removes the hair from the follicle and re-growth takes longer than with other methods of removal, such as shaving or depilatory creams.

DISADVANTAGE: Plucking stimulates the blood supply which will eventually cause accelerated growth of the plucked hair.

TIP: Always use a good tweezers .A slightly slanted edge works best and allows the user to get as low as possible on the hair shaft resting closely on the skin. Always pull in the direction of the hair growth. Never dig into the skin to retrieve a hair. You must wait until the hair is above the skin and easily accessible with your tweezers.

3. WAXING

ADVANTAGES: The application and removal procedure is very quick. Re-growth is tapered and soft, taking up to six weeks to grow back.

DISADVANTAGES: Can be painful. May cause in growing hairs. Can be sticky and a bit messy for novice users. If used incorrectly can cause trauma to the skin. This method is not permanent.

TIPS: Treat the areas in sections e.g. the lip area although small should be treated in three sections, either side of the lip and then a small section in the middle. Strips must be cut to size to fit the area.Do not treat the same area more than twice. Soothing lotion e.g. aloe vera must be applied immediately after removal and if the skin reacts and becomes very red or even slightly swollen a cold compress should be applied. Do not use any perfumed lotions after waxing. Do not expose the skin to ultraviolet light. Wear an SPF.

IF YOU HAVE TRIED AND FAILED CHECK THE FOLLOWING
Hair length between 3-5 mm minimum
Skin is clean, dry and oil free
A thin layer of wax has been applied
When pulling strip DO NOT DRAG, pull strip quickly and in the direction of growth keeping the strip as close to the skin as possible.

4. ELECTROLYSIS

Short- wave diathermy:
It may also be called thermolysis as this term means heat destruction. Electrolysis uses a high frequency, short-wave alternating current to produce heat as its destructive force. The current is applied through a fine metal needle inserted into the hair follicle and discharged for a very short time, producing heat in the tissues to cauterize and coagulate the papilla.

ADVANTAGES: Permanent hair removal. Carried out by a trained professional. Correctly done there is little redness and peace of mind knowing that the therapist has correctly applied aftercare products.

DISADVANTAGES: Can take a long time for permanent hair removal of all excess hairs. Regular appointments and a commitment to treatment is essential for optimum results. Time consuming.

TIPS: Recommendation is the best way to choose your therapist. Don't pluck hairs in between treatments. Always wear an spf after and in between treatments.

Other methods of hair removal include

DEPILATORY CREAMS
The active ingredient in a depilatory cream is a keratolytic, which is a keratin dissolving substance. Therefore it will cause skin to become very sensitive if used on a regular basis as it will attack the skin as well as the hair because skin also contains the protein keratin.

ADVANTAGE: Quick and easy to use.

DISADVANTAGE: Can cause skin irritations. Depending on product used, they can leave some hair growth. The hair is only removed from the surface of the skin and blunt re-growth is apparent after only a few days.

TIP: Always patch test on skin first. Do this by applying a tiny amount behind the ear or on the wrist. If the skin feels irritated or appears red or itchy do not apply to face. Read the instructions carefully and follow the times and recommendations to the tee. Never exceed application times. Remove the cream completely and rinse the skin with luke warm water. Soap products or perfumed products must not be used on the treated area for several hours. Always wear sun protection after use as the skin will be much more susceptible to UV damage.

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