Bleaching Facial and Body Hair 101

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Bleaching facial and body hair is considered a hair removal method even though it doesn't actually get rid of any hair. However, it's made to remove the dark pigment of hair and color it to a light shade of blonde. The lightened hair often becomes less noticeable or striking. It's a good option for those who don't like the look of the hair and really don't mind the feel of it. Results last anywhere from two to four weeks depending on hair's thickness and how fast it grows in that area.

How Does it Work?

The bleach is usually mixed according to the manufacturer's directions and applied on the facial or body hair. After about ten minutes or so of letting the bleach work by removing the pigment from the hair, it's then taken off with cool water. It's a similar process to how coloring hair on the head works. While similar ingredients (like hydrogen peroxide) are used for coloring hair on the head on the head, the specific formulation used on the face and body is different and gentler.

The Pros

  • It's fast. The whole process from mixing the product to removing it shouldn't take any more than 15 minutes. And the time that it's on, is all yours to do what you want.
  • Doesn't require an appointment. A professional sugar, wax or threading all require taking the time to visit a salon or spa. Many salons and spas require an appointment.
  • Easy. There's no skill, like with waxing or sugaring, or finesse required like with shaving to remove hair at home. It's extremely simple to do even on yourself on most places of the face or body.
  • Can avoid some hair removal side effects. Because hair isn't being uplifted, there's no pain involved. There's also no risk of getting ingrown hairs, razor bumps, razor burn, or bruising.
  • Affordable. Bleaching creme can be found at any drug store or online. Considering you should be able to get a couple applications and it lasts for a couple weeks, it's an affordable option.

    The Cons

    • Bleaching facial and body hair doesn't give you a smooth and hairless surface. These are the main reasons people want to rid hair because they don't want to see or feel it. Even though hair is lighter, it still may be noticeable, especially if you're standing in the sun or a bright room.
    • Not all hair or skin types can benefit. Don't count on bleaching disguising long or thick hair- only finer ones, like on the face or arms. Bleached hair against medium to dark skin tones may still be noticeable because of the color contrast (really light hair against dark skin).
    • The results aren't very long-lived. The hair above the surface is the only part of the hair follicle that has been lightened. As the hair grows, you will see the darker, natural color. It will be more noticeable of a difference in areas with thick, dark hair.
    • It can temporarily lighten dark skin tones. The bleaching agents can lighten dark skin tones and can last for up to three days.

    Ouch Factor

    A tingling sensation while the cream is working is normal, but shouldn't be painful. Sensitive skin types beware. A strong, burning feeling is a good indicator it's too strong for your skin, or you're allergic to an ingredient.

    In either of these cases, you could turn red for hours or days, get a chemical burn or blister. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions carefully and remove immediately if your skin is burning.

    Bleaching Body and Facial Hair Costs

    A bleaching kit (compare bleaching body and facial hair prices) can range anywhere from $5 - $15. Of course, how many applications you get out of a product depends on the size of the bleach, how many areas you'll be targeting and the size of each zone.