permanent facial hair removal

10 Things to Know About Permanent Facial Hair Removal

After years of shaving the same spots every single day, some hirsute men are opting for permanent facial hair removal. There are two main options: laser and electrolysis, with the former being the vastly more popular option. If you're considering laser hair removal or electrolysis, then here are ten things to know in advance.

1. You're not alone in considering it.

Men who are sick of ingrown hairs and razor burn are increasingly looking to lose their whiskers for good. Rachel Qin at Satori Laser Center in New York City estimates that one in every five customers is male, and that many of them are coming for facial hair removal treatments, primarily to combat ingrown hairs on the neck.

2. Think in terms of reduction, not removal.

Laser hair removal, the most popular and practical method for faces, will thin your beard by about 70-85 percent. If you're looking to get rid of your razor entirely, electrolysis is a better bet for eliminating every hair you've got—but it's more painful, more expensive, and much more time-consuming.

3. It's ideal for shaping your facial hair…

Because laser removal thins hair so effectively, it's perfect for those spots you constantly trim. You can clean up your neck (again, a common site of ingrown hairs), the tops of your cheeks, and the stragglers around your beard or mustache.

4. …If you're an ideal candidate.

Laser removal finds your hair by targeting high-contrast spots of pigment. This means pale, dark-haired guys will get the best results. "If customers have light blonde, grey or red hair, we recommend that they try electrolysis," says Qin.

5. A complete laser treatment course runs around $4,000.

Sure, that's a lot compared to the cost of shaving, but what's it worth to sleep a little later every morning?

6. No pain, no gain.

Laser is aimed at destroying your hair follicles, not soothing your skin. Treatment itself feels like a bunch of rubber bands snapping on your face: uncomfortable, but brief.

7. You won't have to take a sick day.

Each laser session only lasts 15-30 minutes, and the worst it'll leave you with is the redness of a slight sunburn afterwards.

8. It takes time to see results.

For full-face treatment, laser can take up to six hours over the course of a year, while electrolysis can take up to 400 hours over four years. Makes sense that most people lean toward laser removal, right?

9. Even "permanent" treatments might not last forever.

After your initial sessions, laser removal may require once-a-year treatment to maintain the look. "As long as the body has metabolism, there is a chance that hair will grow," says Qin.

10. Guys who've had it love it.

One laser customer writes, "I'm very happy with the results…when it's done, I walk out of the room with a smile on my face." And an electrolysis patient sums it up: "Expensive? Yes! Painful? Yes! Worth it? Every penny!"

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