I have been in the permanent hair removal business for almost two years. The majority of my clients are women who are seeking relief from stubborn, course hair on their chins. Many of them come to see me after years of tweezing and the situation has gotten out of control. They started out innocently plucking a few stray hairs but over time those hairs turned into a mess of thick hairs. A quick internet search on chin hair removal methods reveals many different options – waxing, threading, shaving, depilatory creams (chemical hair removal), tweezing, epilators, topical prescriptions to slow hair growth, sugaring, and laser/IPL. Electrolysis or the permanent destruction of hair growth cells using heat or chemical energy was not mentioned in several of articles. Most of the articles mentioned plucking or waxing as viable options for removing chin hair. Seeing this advice makes me cringe.
Hair growth is caused by two things – hormones and blood supply. The big trifectas of hormonal influence for women are puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Androgen hormones produced in high levels or individuals who are genetically sensitive to them trigger hair to grow. High levels of daily stress and certain medications can also awaken dormant hair follicles. Certain areas of the body are especially sensitive to hormones – the chin and upper lip being the most reactive. Blood supply is another cause of hair growth. When a hair is ripped from the follicle via plucking or waxing, blood is rushed to the area to repair the damage. Over time, our body naturally responds by building a thicker, stronger hair. Repeated trauma can even distort the shape of the follicle. The simple act of tweezing a fine hair can eventually spiral into a crop of unending dark, course hairs.
Plucking chin hairs is never a good idea. Instead, I would recommend women with a few stray hairs to invest in a pair of cuticle scissors and to trim the hair at the surface of the skin. If the hair growth volume is greater or it just drives you crazy having hair on your face or you want a more permanent solution, I would advise finding a licensed or certified electrologist in your area. Electrolysis uses heat or chemical decomposition to destroy the cells that enable hair growth. It does take numerous treatments but over time dark, thick hairs will become finer and take longer to grow back. Eventually when all of the hair cells have been eradicated from that follicle – a hair will never grow back! You might be wondering if the process is painful. Technology has changed much in recent years and many newer machines are more comfortable than they used to be. Those with a lower pain threshold can apply a topical anesthetic prior to the appointment as a precautionary measure.
No one likes feeling like Paul Bunyan. Hormones can reak havoc on your face and cause hair to sprout out of your chin. As quick and easy as it seems to whip out the tweezers and be done with it – don’t do it!!!! Tweezing has a strong possibility of a snowball effect and things can get out of control fast. Trim those pesky hairs with cuticle scissors or I highly recommend finding an electrologist near you at the American Electrology Association (www.electrology.com) or via your state licensing board to permanently solve the situation.