What To Do About Fine Hair On Cheeks And Jaw

    Have you ever wondered what to do about the fine hair on the sides of your face? On some women it is very fine and invisible, in this case please skip this post and do something better with your time, like looking up messy buns on Pinterest. However, if the hair on your cheeks, jaw area, forehead and chin annoys you, read on. This peach fuzz can be a bother when applying makeup: the hair makes it harder to blend the product in and powders settle on the down. The hair in those areas is often an issue for women with dark hair and strong hair growth patterns.
    I remember reading on a blog that shaving the down on the face makes the skin look a bit more glowy and less matte. The blogger was a woman in her 50s or older, and she felt that removing facial hair rejuvenated her face optically (if anyone remembers that post, do post the link in the comments. I couldn't find it).
    Even though nobody talks much about it, a lot of women remove the hair from those areas. Japanese women keep their face completely hair-free. Other cultures ignore the facial fuzz completely. My point being: you don't need to feel weird about shaving your cheeks, and you needn't feel weird about accepting your fuzz as it is. If the hair in those areas has never bothered you, don't start obsessing about this. However if you have been wanting to get rid of the hair, here are some tips that might be useful:

* Vellus hair vs Terminal hair:

  You have probably noticed that the fine down on your face is different from the thicker hair on the upper lips and eyebrows. This peach fuss is called Vellus hair, and it is much shorter and finer than Terminal hair (eyebrows, upper lip hair after puberty).

* Access the situation

    You will need two mirrors to take a good look at the sides of your face. You might discover moles with "witch hairs" that you have never seen before. Access the hair situation on your jawline, the chin, and even the tops of your cheeks.

* Shaving

    Use a normal razor and shave really gently in the direction of the hair growth. The razor should be new, and you should use very little pressure (the razor does the work, not you!). Any kind of razor is fine, though I prefer the ones with the thin moisturising strip because they glide better. If you like you can get one of the smaller razor means for the bikini area. You can also use a small electrical shaver meant for the face, these have the advantage of not scraping the face. But it's really fine to use the same razor that you'd use for your legs. Don  shave over blemishes or wounds, and disinfect the razor with alcohol if you are very prone to breakouts.
   Shaving in the direction of the hair means you kind of thin the hair out and don't shave it all off, which gives a more natural look (and means less upkeep). Remember that the razor also takes off the dead skin cells, so don't exfoliate the areas before or after shaving.
  Shaving doesn't make the hair grow faster, that is just a myth. Also, the Vellus hair should not grow back stubbly like Terminal hair would, because it is thin and fine. If your cheek and jaw hair is coarse and thick and you are a woman, you might have a hormone imbalance and should talk to a doctor.

* Waxing

   If your skin is not too sensitive, this might be a great solution for you as it is very quick and easy. But if your skin is delicate or prone to irritations, I'd suggest one of the other hair removal methods instead. You need small wax strips means especially for the face, and you can cut the strips to fit the areas that you want to work on. You can dust your face with talk (or any other powder), that makes the wax strips stick less to the skin. Remember to cleanse the face afterwards, to remove any wax residue.

* Epilation wand

   This is a gentler alternative to waxing, since you're not pulling the skin, just the hair. The wands are really cheap, but a bit more time taking than shaving. But then you need to do it once or twice a fortnight. An alternative to the classic epi wand are models that look like slingshots -- I have seen them on Asian sites like BuyInCoins but never tried one -- have you?

* Threading

   This is the preferred method in several parts of southeast Asia. It's easier than it sounds, there are plenty of videos on Youtube that explain it. It doesn't irritate the skin, and is pretty thorough. It's free, and surprisingly effective.

   Vellus hair is a bad candidate for laser, since it is very fine and not much pigment. I'm also not a fan of hair removal creams: you can give yourself a chemical burn, the chemicals are not kind to the skin, and the hair grows back just as fast as after shaving. Tweezing can be time-consuming for larger areas.

    Have I missed any other methods of dealing with facial fuzz? What is your preferred method? Or do you prefer to leave your down in peace? Do share.
photo credit: Bazule via photopin cc

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