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How to get rid of upper lip hair without causing a shadow

Updated April 17, 2017

Several methods of hair removal are suitable for getting rid of upper lip hair, and they all have their pros and cons. The best method for you will depend on how dark the hair on your upper lip is, how quickly it grows back and how much money you have to spend on removing it. Hair regrowth or ingrown hairs can sometimes cause a "shadow" effect on the upper lip, which can be embarrassing.

Ask a qualified beauty therapist with experience in hair removal for advice. If you have never removed hair from your upper lip, or have concerns about the process, professional help will give you the confidence to make the right decision.

Consider permanent hair removal. Electrolysis uses electric currents to kill hair at the root, and is the only method of permanent elimination. It can only be carried out by a dermatologist or qualified health professional, and it can take up to 10 hours to completely remove upper lip hair. If successful, electrolysis can permanently get rid of upper lip hair. Be aware of the possible side effects, which include dry, blotchy and swollen skin, scarring and enlarged pores.

Think about semi-permanent hair removal. Laser hair removal focuses a laser beam on the upper lip to destroy the follicles underneath the skin and prevent future growth. You will notice a permanent reduction in growth, and if you are lucky it will cease altogether. Take care to protect the treated area from sun damage, or darker patches of skin may occur. The main disadvantages of laser hair removal are that it is painful, costly and takes several months to achieve results, because there has to be a gap of at least four weeks between treatments. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is thought to be a gentler, less painful alternative to laser treatment, but uses several light wavelengths instead of a single wavelength.

Try threading to remove upper lip hair. This is an ancient Middle Eastern hair removal method that simply involves cotton thread pulling hair out from the root. It is suitable for very short hair and regrowth tends to be limited over time as the follicle becomes damaged.

Avoid waxing or hair removal cream if the hair on your upper lip is thick or coarse, or if you have dark skin. Waxing can lead to discolouration, and cream may make the hair grow back prickly. In both cases, this can lead to the undesirable "shadow" effect.

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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."