Unless proper means are taken to abolish it, superfluous hair should be left religiously alone. The more it is pulled out or irritated the lustier and heartier will be the growth that follows. As for cutting it—well! who does not know what the result is sure to be? A challenging Kaiser William mustache, maybe, or perchance a Herr Most style of hirsute trimmings.
In applying creams of any sort to the face, it is wisdom to leave the upper lip untouched with the cosmetic, although one may feel perfectly safe in using home-made emollients which do not contain animal fats. Heat, rubbing and friction are all conducive to the pests, and such oils and fats as vaseline, glycerin, olive oil and mutton tallow or suet should never be used.
Depilatories likewise should be shunned. The powdered preparations are usually composed either of sulphite of arsenic or caustic lime, and merely burn the hair off to the surface of the skin. It seems quite impossible for any such powder to kill or dissolve the hair roots without injury.
The sticky plasters, made of galbanum or pitch, and which are known as “heroic” measures, are equally undesirable, since they are not permanent cures any more than the depilatory powders.
The worst feature of these cures is that for every hair pulled out or burnt off a coarser one takes its place, and for every tiny, downy growth a fully developed hair appears. Of course, the plaster removes this soft lanuginous growth with the hardier one, and for that reason should be left severely alone. The tweezers are therefore less objectionable than the plaster, but this is such a painful way of getting happiness that I cannot advise it.
There is no doubt but that electrolysis is the best cure. The only objection to this is that an incompetent operator will cause her patron considerable pain, and will also be likely to scar the skin.
A woman who has been an expert in this work for years tells me that it is not at all necessary for the beauty patient to hold the little handles—I know not the technical term—of the battery, although this causes a little more careful work on the part of the operator. At the same time, it makes the operation less painful, and really not at all hard to endure. The general desire to have the work done quickly causes the scars. If the hairs are picked out here and there and not close together the skin can heal and the rest of the horrors be destroyed at the next sitting.The result will be clear, unscarred skin, and no future chance of the wee worries coming back to bring heart-hurts and mental agony.
To those who have any timidity at all about the electric needle, there is peroxide of hydrogen and diluted ammonia. Use one as a lotion one night and the other the next. This will often prove a permanent cure, while a better, less noticeable state is certain. The remedy is one, however, that will take time and patience. The superfluous hair will gradually become light-colored and almost white, and the ammonia will, if used persistently, deaden the growth. Do not expect the bleach to take effect right away, for it won’t. If the skin is at all irritated rub on pure, thick cream.
And of course, laser hair removal is a more expensive option that apparently works after several visits.