Female Facial Hair Waxing – Pros, Cons and Advice
Why Wax your Face?
Reasons for waxing your face are varied and numerous, but there is no doubt that it can leave your face looking beautifully smooth and hair free for two weeks or more.
It is particularly effective for those with a lot of facial hair and as it pulls hair out at the root, avoids the stubbly regrowth often associated with shaving.
If you prefer you can go to a salon for professional waxing, but it is also an easy method to master if you prefer the comfort and convenience of your own home, with many good products readily available to choose from.
Waxing can effectively treat full facial hair or can equally be used very precisely to shape areas such as eyebrows, if used correctly.
Advantages of Waxing
Probably the main advantage of waxing as opposed to shaving is that it gives longer lasting results because it pulls hair from the root, whilst shaving merely cuts the hair at the skin's surface.
As shaving cuts the hair shaft at the base where it is thicker, it gives the impression of growing back darker and can feel stubbly.
This is not the case with waxed regrowth and in fact, if you wax regularly, the hair follicles become more and more weakened so that the new hair actually becomes finer and sparser.
Waxing can be a relatively inexpensive method of hair removal in comparison to those such as electrolysis and laser, especially if you opt for DIY.
It is possible to be pretty precise with waxing, which is good for shaping brows and only the hair with wax on it will be removed. Not as precise as tweezing, of course, and you will likely need a pair of tweezers handy for any odd strays.
Disadvantages of Waxing
The biggest disadvantage of waxing over shaving or depilatories is the pain factor.
Obviously, pulling hair out from the root will involve an element of pain, however if you persevere, your skin will become accustomed to the process and discomfort will lessen.
There is a risk of allergic reactions to the wax, especially for those with sensitive skin, so a patch test is always advised prior to carrying out a full treatment.
If you are waxing at home, you do need to ensure you get a good method going to lessen the risk of ingrown hairs, skin irritation and possible infection.
After waxing, the skin is likely to be red and will be extra sensitive, so it is not advisable to wax just before you plan to go for a night out!
Probably the biggest down side of facial hair waxing is that you need a certain amount of visible hair growth for the wax to effectively adhere to - rule of thumb is ¼" although you can get away with slightly less if it is just a bit of peach fuzz on the cheeks.
Which Wax to Choose?
Hot wax can be either hard or soft and is gently heated prior to use to melt it to a thick, spreadable consistency.
In the case of soft wax, a cloth waxing strip is pressed on top of the applied wax until it sticks, and is used to pull the wax off.
In the case of hard wax, strips are not required, but the wax is allowed to cool sufficiently after application to allow it to be pulled off in one piece from the end edge.
Some hot wax products come in tubs which can be heated in the microwave or you can get wax beans for melting in a special wax warmer.
Cold wax is easier and less messy to use at home, but not as effective as hard wax, especially for thicker, coarser hair.
As implied by the name, it is not necessary to heat cold wax, which comes already applied to strips, but you need to warm slightly with your hands to soften it so that it adheres well to the hair.
Cold wax is gentler on the skin and obviously does come with the risk of burns from overheating that you run with hot wax if you are not careful.
It is easier to be precise with cold wax strips, especially as a beginner, as they can be cut to size and often they are transparent so that you can see exactly where you are waxing.
Our Female Face Waxing Top Product Picks
3.5 oz microwaveable, stripless hard wax pot for short, coarse hair - face, underarms and bikini. All Natural. Includes 2 wooden spatulas and 2 post waxing wipes for £13.
24 ready to use, soft and flexible cold wax strips plus 4 post wax oil wipes to soothe skin and remove any remaining wax. Good for upper lip, chin and monobrow. Pack of 2 for around $13.
32 pre-waxed transparent mini strips for easy shaping of eyebrows. Includes bottle of azulene finishing oil to remove wax residue, soothe and moisturize. Value for money at around $9 online.
Guide to Facial Hair Waxing
Decide which wax to use - I would suggest that if it is your first time waxing at home, the easiest choice would be the ready to use cold wax strips.
Whatever you decide, make sure that it is recommended for facial use as wax used on legs and body may be too harsh for your delicate facial skin.
Have a decent pair of tweezers ready to deal with any odd strays that are missed!
Do take time to read and thoroughly digest all instructions and precautions provided with the wax product you are using, and carry out a test on a small area first to check for any adverse reactions and to get an idea of how it will feel.
Firstly, you need to have very clean skin and I would suggest that after cleansing you gently exfoliate using a flannel cloth using small circular motions with very little pressure.
Although you want your skin to be exfoliated, you don't want to go mad with it as waxing itself can cause irritation.
Using warm water will help to soften the skin open up the pores so that the hair will come out more easily.
The hair needs to be the correct length for waxing (at least ¼") if longer then trim down with a pair of scissors.
Your skin needs to be very dry, so applying a little baby powder and rubbing into the skin will absorb any moisture and help protect it from the wax.
Make sure that you have clean hands and can clearly see the area you wish to wax - a good, magnifying mirror and natural light is a good idea to help with this.
Whichever wax you decide to use, it needs to be applied in the same direction.
So, if using cold wax strips, warm between your palms to soften and then place over the hair to be removed and press on by rubbing down with the hair's natural growth.
If using hot wax, apply using the spatula in the same direction as the hair grows and then, if using strips, smooth them on over the top of the wax the same way.
Leave for about 20 - 30 seconds and then, holding the skin very taut with one hand, grip the strip at the bottom edge and rip it back in one firm, quick movement in the opposite direction of the hair's growth.
Immediately apply pressure to the area to reduce sting using your hand or a cool cloth.
Always use a light, soothing moisturizer when you have completed waxing and exfoliate regularly between treatments to help combat the risk of ingrown hairs.
Facial Waxing Summary of Pros and Cons
Pros of Waxing
- Convenient - can be done at home quickly and easily at your own convenience
- Cost Effective - relatively inexpensive when done at home
- Smooth skin - leaves skin looking smooth and soft
- Longish lasting - longer than shaving, up to 4 weeks between waxing
- Fine regrowth - over time regrowth appears lighter and sparser
- Precise - can be quite precise with waxing - easier than with shaving
Cons of Waxing
- Painful - although this should lessen over time as skin becomes accustomed
- Ongoing cost of buying wax and other products
- Risk of ingrown hairs, irritation to skin and possible allergic reaction
- Can be a bit messy if using hot wax
- Visible regrowth - need to grow hair out to a certain length before waxing
- Not permanent