13 Best Facial Hair Removal Options If You Can't Afford Lasers

woman shhh fingerVladimir Gjorgiev/ShutterstockIt's the subject so taboo we aren't supposed to talk about it in public: women and facial hair. Shocking! But the only thing that should surprise us nowadays is the fact that we're still whispering about what we can do to get rid of our mustaches, whiskers, and too-lengthy sideburns. After all, hair removal is big business, and salons command top dollar in order to get your skin silky-smooth.

Lasers are by far the best option for those with a skin pigment that allows the rays to work, but it's also the most expensive -- costing upwards of $500 for the average six sessions it takes to permanently zap the hair away  -- and are not guaranteed to permanently remove hair.

More from CafeMom: A Quick Guide on How to Remove Body Hair

A licensed dermatologist (and you should never take your chances with anything but a doc) uses a laser to deliver beams of light that target hairs at their follicles. Because hair grows at different stages, it may take several treatments to reduce the amount of hair on your face or body. And not all women are ideal candidates -- lasers work best on people with light skin and dark hair.

However, there are other less costly and often more private facial hair removal solutions. We have gathered info for 13 of the most popular methods so you can think before you tweeze, snip, wax, sugar, or thread.

facial hair removers
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  • Tweeze It

    1

    The good news about tweezing your facial hair is that a myth you've probably believed since you were 9 is totally untrue: plucking doesn't make your hair grow back thicker. A good pair of tweezers can cost you less than $25, and of course, you can pluck away in private. But you should always sterilize your face and tweezers with alcohol to avoid infection. And remember: plucking can cause insanely annoying ingrown hairs, so you should proceed with caution.

  • Threading

    2

    Threading has been around for centuries but, in recent years, has really become a trendy, fast, and inexpensive way to eliminate facial hair and sculpt eyebrows. Although it can hurt like crazy, threading can actually be far less irritating to your skin than waxing, and hair won't grow back for at least one month -- possibly two. Without using any chemicals, a licensed technician removes facial hair using little else but a cotton thread that she twists and pulls over your hair follicles. Expect to spend between $2 and $30 on this procedure, depending on which areas of your face you'd like to thread.

  • Bleach Those Hairs

    3

    Bleaching your facial hair is obviously not going to make it go anywhere anytime soon. However, it might be the ideal option for women who don't want to deal with pain or have a few dark hairs they need to address. Most creams work their magic in less than 10 minutes and cost somewhere between $6 and $12. Be sure you follow the directions carefully and leave bleach on long enough to avoid being left with little orange hairs all over your face.

  • Trim Hairs With Scissors

    4

    Can you imagine an easier fix than this? If you are plagued with peach fuzz but can't imagine waxing or threading your entire face, you can simply grab a pair of small scissors and (carefully) trim your hairs down so they are less visible. And much the same way the hair on your head won't grow thicker or faster if you cut it, your facial hair also won't be affected by frequent snips.

  • Shave It Off

    5

    No matter how tempted you are to grab your husband's razor and go to town, consider this one scary side effect of shaving: stubble. It's annoying enough to deal with prickly hairs on your legs -- now imagine them on your face. There are far better ways to handle facial hair. Ladies, step away from the razor.

  • Sugar Mask

    6

    Consider yourself too granola for lasers or hot wax? Though people debate whether home facial hair removal masks actually work, the beautiful thing about them is that they're CHEAP and can't hurt. Some women swear by sugaring -- here's how to make the mask: mix lemon juice, sugar, and honey. Apply warm water to the mixture to thicken it. Leave it on as long as you like and then gently remove it with a warm washcloth. If it doesn't get rid of your hair, at least you'll have beautiful, smooth skin.

  • At-Home Wax Strips

    7

    DIY facial waxing strips are a discreet way to remove unwanted hair and they won't break the bank (Veet Ready to Use Hair Removal Wax Strips are just $4.99 for a package of 20 strips). If you've ever used a Biore Pore Strip, you've got a good idea how these work. These are most effective on facial hair that is short, so trim yours before you use them. And, as with salon waxing, be aware that your skin could become red or irritated if you are sensitive to wax.

  • Waxing

    8

    Lots of us are too busy or scared to try at-home waxing kits. With so many salons offering to coat us with hot wax and strip away every hair on our bodies, we never need to take the DIY route. The effects of professional waxing -- in which hair is ripped from the follicle -- last about six weeks and can cost between $5 to $40, depending on the area you want waxed and the salon you visit. If you have sensitive skin, you should tell your technician before she begins -- some salons offer a gentler wax that is less likely to irritate your skin.

  • Chickpea Flour & Turmeric Mask

    9

    Chickpea/garbanzo bean/gram flour has been used traditionally throughout India and the Middle East to remove fine facial hairs and to inhibit new growth. It's especially effective when combined with turmeric. You can combine with milk or yogurt to make a paste, let dry, and then wipe off. This won't eradicate hair as quickly as shaving, but it's a great, nontoxic, long-term strategy. Here are three gram flour mask recipes from BeautyMunsta.com.

  • Gelatin & Lavender Peel-Off Mask

    10

    Could a peel-off mask made of gelatin, milk, and lavender essential oil temporarily remove hair from your face? It's worth a try. Test a tiny bit of lavender oil on your hand, first, before trying this mask.

  • Burnt Walnuts Mask

    11

    A traditional Russian hair removal treatment is to mix the ashes of burnt walnut shells with water, let sit for 12 hours, and apply to your face for 15 minutes. Again, test this one on your hand before putting it on your face.

  • Oatmeal Paste

    12

    A paste of coarsely-ground oats, honey, and lemon juice may remove your facial hair. You leave the mask on for about 15-20 minutes, then scrub for a few minutes before rinsing off.

  • At-Home Laser Treatments

    13

    If you can't spend thousands of dollars on laser hair removal, you could spend hundreds on an at-home hair removal device like the iluminage Precise Touch Permanent Hair Reduction tool (($295, sephora.com). It may not remove all of your hair, and as you can imagine requires a good amount of courage. 

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