I am a hairy sister. For years I spent hours a week plucking my chin. This was a very bad idea. Put down the tweezers.
Plucking facial hair makes it stronger. When you pull out a downy blonde hair by accident, it grows in a little thicker and darker. The strongest hairs are thick and clear. Next is grey, then black. Still thick.
Plucking also stimulates pigmentation changes in your skin.
Waxing is plucking, done more efficiently. Still bad for facial hair.
Laser treatments on the face were thought to be a solution for people with dark hair, for a while. Now it is generally accepted that laser treatment stimulates new hair growth and can be very damaging to the skin. Lots of women have laser treatments on their face, only to end up hairier than before! Also, laser treatment is very expensive, often $250 for one treatment of the face, and you need 6-10 treatments, assuming that you don't get the regrowth.
I am not making this stuff up. Go to http://hairtell.com for a good overview of hair removal methods and to see people talking about their experiences.
So what is a Cyster to do? There are two solutions, one temporary and the other permanent.
The temporary solution is shaving. Shaving, contrary to popular belief, does not change the hair or stimulate the root. You will probably need to shave every day, and you will get stubble by the end of the day. But if you do shave every day, the stubble won't be visible, only feel-able. At first your skin will be irritated, but use tea tree oil to soothe it. It will adapt.
The permanent solution that I have found is electrolysis. Specifically, I have had good success with thermolysis, which uses heat to damage and finally kill the root of the hair.
I pay about $85 for an hour, and the electrologist is able to treat all the visible hairs on my chin, "sideburns", and upper lip. Most hairs need to be treated at least twice, over the course of treatment. The first time they are treated, they come back much weaker than they were at first.
Hairs can take up to 6 weeks to grow back in after an electrolysis treatment. The bad thing is that if you've been plucking for years (like I was) then you probably have a LOT more hairs than you think. SO at first, it feels like you always have stubble. You shave in between the electrolysis treatments, stopping shaving one or two days before your next treatment.
Electrolysis isn't fun. It is uncomfortable while it is going on, but I have not found it unbearable. I've never had to take breaks during the treatments, although they have been offered.
Now, for my results. I started having electrolys treatments on my chin and face in March 2010. At first, I went twice a week, then once a week, then every couple weeks, then every three weeks. Right now, I am taking six weeks between appointments.
I have to be honest, it is slow going at first. Up until November, I was still shaving every day and I could still feel stubble every night. I did commit myself to stop plucking immediately when I started electrolysis, and just shaved instead. It was hard. The hardest part was stopping shaving two days before my next appointment. The electrologist always made sure to clear the visible areas first (like the front of my chin).
I tended to get pinprick scabs in some areas. They fell off after a day or two. As the hairs got less strong, I got fewer scabs and less damage.
Now it is 9 months since I started treatment. I am only shaving a couple times a week. My skin is not broken out and the pigmentation caused by the years of plucking is going away. I hardly think about my hairs anymore. It is a revelation. I don't even know where my tweezers are.
I probably have 3-4 more treatments and then, since I have PCOS, I will need to go in every 3-4 months for a maintenance. Or I can keep going, and have my eyebrows shaped or get the hairs that grow out of my areolas done. Most of those kind of hairs only take one treatment, by the way.
So if you are ready to do something about your facial hair, consider electrologist. Read on Hairtell.com and ask me whatever questions you have. It truly has changed my life, and I wish I had done it sooner!