Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Self-care methods to remove unwanted body hair include:
- Plucking. Using a tweezers is a good method to remove a few stray hairs, but is not useful for removing a large area of hair. While plucking may hurt a little and doesn't last forever, it is the most common method women use to get rid of unwanted facial hair.
- Shaving. Shaving is quick and inexpensive, but it needs to be repeated regularly since it removes the hair only down to the surface of your skin.
- Waxing. Waxing involves applying warm wax on your skin where the unwanted hair grows. Once the wax hardens, it's pulled back from your skin against the direction of hair growth, removing hair. Waxing removes hair from a large area quickly, but it may sting temporarily and sometimes causes skin irritation and redness. Hot wax can also burn your skin.
- Chemical depilatories. Generally available as gels, lotions or creams that you spread on your skin, chemical depilatories work by breaking down the protein structure of the hair shaft. Some people are allergic to the chemicals used in depilatories.
Instead of removing unwanted body hair, some women use bleaching. Bleaching removes the hair color, making the hair less visible. Bleaching may cause skin irritation, so test the bleach on a small area first.
- Evaluation and treatment of hirsutism in premenopausal women: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Chevy Chase, Md.: The Endocrine Society. http://www.endo-society.org/custom_apps/search.cfm?q=hirsutism. Accessed Oct. 29, 2010.
- Chang J, et al., eds. The Hormone Foundation's patient guide to the evaluation and treatment of hirsutism in premenopausal women. The Hormone Foundation. http://www.hormone.org/Resources/Patient_Guides/upload/Hirsutism_Patient_Guide.pdf. Accessed Oct. 29, 2010.
- Hirsutism. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec10/ch124/ch124c.html?qt=hirsutism&alt=sh#sec10-ch124-ch124c-989. Accessed Oct. 29, 2010.