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It is natural for both men and women to have some upper lip hair, but people may prefer to remove it. Creams, razors, electronic tools, and natural methods can remove the hair temporarily, and people can see a dermatologist for permanent removal.
Some methods, such as shaving or waxing, remove the hair immediately while others, including creams and electrolysis, work over a more extended period.
Read on for instructions on 10 ways to remove hair from the upper lip.
Shaving is an easy and affordable way of removing upper lip hair, and it can be less painful than other options for sensitive areas of skin. Smaller razors are better than larger ones for removing hair from the upper lip.
Shaving is a temporary method of removing hair, which means that people may notice hair regrowth within 1–2 days.
To shave the upper lip, apply shaving cream, and use a clean razor to shave in the direction of the hair growth. Pull the upper lip down while shaving to keep the skin taut and create a cleaner shave. Take care to avoid shaving over any spots or cuts.
Razors that manufacturers have designed specifically for the upper lip are available in drugstores, or people can choose between a range of products online.
Some hair removal creams are safe to use on sensitive facial skin, including the upper lip.
Depilatory creams are highly alkaline solutions that break down the protein bonds in the hair, causing it to dissolve. At this point, people can simply wipe the hair away.
To use this cream, apply it to the upper lip for as long as the instructions advise and then rinse it off, along with the loose hair.
Depilatory creams are an easy, affordable, and quick way of removing lip hair. However, these creams do not dissolve hair down to the root, so they only have a short-term effect.
Some creams have a strong smell that people may find off-putting. Depilatory creams contain strong chemicals that can sometimes irritate the skin. It is important to do a patch test on another area of skin before applying one of these creams to the face.
If people notice any sensitivity to these creams, they should stop using them. Depilatory creams are not suitable for use on any broken, sunburnt, or irritated skin.
Drugstores and online stores sell hair removal creams specifically for use on the face.
People can apply a waxing strip to their upper lip to remove hair. Waxing can be painful on sensitive areas of skin, such as the upper lip, but it provides longer lasting results as it removes the whole strand of hair.
To wax their upper lip hair, a person can apply hot wax to this area of skin and press it down firmly with a cloth strip while it cools. They then need to pull the strip away quickly, which uproots the hair, leaving the skin hair-free for several weeks.
Waxing is most effective when the hair is a certain length. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommend that hair should be one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch before waxing. If the hair is longer than this, it might make waxing more painful.
People can buy home waxing kits from their local drugstore or online.
People can use tweezers to remove hair from their upper lip. Tweezing removes one hair at a time by pulling it up from the root, so this method is suitable for small areas of hair removal, such as the upper lip.
After cleaning the skin, a person can use a clean pair of tweezers to pluck out each hair from the upper lip as follows:
- hold the skin taut by pulling down on the upper lip
- pinch the hair with the tweezers and pull sharply in the direction of the hair growth
- rinse the upper lip with cold water
An epilator is a handheld electrical device that removes hairs in a similar way to tweezers by plucking them from the root. Epilators remove more than one hair at a time though, so epilating is a more efficient method than tweezing.
People may find that exfoliating the upper lip with a facial scrub before using an epilator gives a better result. People can then run the epilator over the upper lip to remove any unwanted hair.
An epilator may cause some redness of the skin, which should soon pass. However, anyone who notices any skin irritation from using an epilator should stop using it.
People can buy epilators from drugstores or online. Small epilators or those that the label describes as being for use on the face may be more comfortable and easier to use.
People can use a spring hair removal tool to remove hair from the upper lip.
The tool is a length of spring that works by plucking out strands of hair. People can bend the stick into a U-shape and roll it over their upper lip to remove the hairs.
Some drugstores and online stores sell a variety of spring hair removal tools.
Threading is another technique for hair removal. Like tweezing and epilating, it works by removing hair from the root, so the effects are temporary but last longer than shaving.
During this treatment, a dermatologist or beautician winds a length of thread around the hairs on the upper lip and then pulls sharply so that they come out at the root.
Sugaring is a natural option for removing facial hair. Although there are no scientific studies to confirm that it works, some people find it effective, and trying it does not pose any risks.
People have used the sugaring method, which works similarly to hot wax, for centuries. The sugar in the solution also works as an exfoliant, which can help soften skin.
To use this method, thicken sugar with other natural substances and heat it. Once the mixture has cooled, apply it to the upper lip and firmly press a clean strip of cloth over it before pulling the cloth away quickly in the direction of the hair growth.
Some people use the following ingredients to create a sugaring paste:
- lemon juice
People should ensure that the paste has cooled to room temperature before applying it to their skin.
Before trying any home remedies on the face, apply a small amount to another area of skin to test for an allergic reaction or skin irritation. If either occurs, stop using the paste and speak to a doctor if the symptoms do not go away.
Laser hair removal is an effective way to get rid of upper lip hair. During this procedure, a dermatologist directs a concentrated beam of light at the hair follicle to destroy the hair.
Laser hair removal is not a permanent method, but its results can last for up to several months. People may find that they need between two and six treatments to remove the hair.
Although people can purchase at-home laser hair removal kits, these are not suitable for use on the face. The AAD advise people to see a board-certified dermatologist for laser hair removal, as it can have dangerous side effects if an unskilled person attempts it.
Electrolysis uses an electrical current to remove body hair. An electrologist will insert a tiny probe into the hair follicle where a small electrical current will destroy both the hair and follicle. This damage prevents the hair from regrowing, so electrolysis removes hair permanently.
Electrolysis is suitable for sensitive areas of skin, such as the upper lip.
Some people may worry that shaving the upper lip can cause the hair to grow back darker, thicker, or faster. However, this a common misconception.
According to a 2007 article published in the BMJ, multiple studies have demonstrated that shaving does not affect the thickness or growth rate of hair.
The pervasiveness of this myth may be because when a person shaves, it removes the fine taper at the end of hairs, so the remaining part of the hair can seem coarser. New growth following shaving can also appear darker because the sun has yet to lighten the hair.
There are many effective ways to remove hair from the upper lip. People can choose their preferred method depending on their skin type, budget, and how long they want the effects of hair removal to last.
A person who is uncertain about how best to remove hair from their upper lip can talk to a dermatologist or cosmetic professional.
When undergoing any cosmetic procedure, it is essential to ensure that a board-certified dermatologist provides the treatment.