Hair growing over the upper lip is considered undesirable by women in many cultures, and a number of solutions exist for removing hair growing in this sensitive area. These include the home and salon remedies of shaving, tweezing, threading, waxing, and using depilatories. Permanent methods of hair removal are lasers and electrolysis, which require professional services.
Shaving with a razor is not a recommended method for lip hair removal. Shaving can leave visible dots created by dark hair follicles left in the skin, and stubble may begin to reappear the next day, or even later the same day for some individuals. The skin above the upper lip is especially delicate as well, and susceptible to abrasions from razors. Additionally, it is quite easy to slip and cut the upper lip by accident.
Another way to remove lip hair is tweezing. Pulling out the offending hairs one at a time with a tweezers eliminates the possibility of dark hair follicles creating dots. This solution is viable if only a few hairs are growing over the upper lip; more would be time-consuming. Tweezing, like shaving and waxing, can cause ingrown hairs.
Threading is a lesser-known alternative, involving the use of a long loop of thread, twisted several times in the middle. Each of the two resulting loops is fitted over one hand; the left hand opens as the right hand closes to push the twisted area towards the right, and the action is reversed to move the twisted area to the left. The twisted area is placed against the upper lip area so that the thread catches the hair while moving, and pulls it out. This method is quicker than tweezing, and it can remove hair too short to tweeze. It takes some practice, however, to be able to perform threading efficiently.
Waxing the upper lip means applying melted wax formulated specifically for hair removal, then covering the wax with a cloth and quickly ripping both from the skin — and removing the hair, which becomes embedded in the wax. This method is quite efficient for removing a large amount of lip hair quickly. Disadvantages are the required continued purchase of waxing kits, and the possibility of a negative skin reaction to the wax.
Chemical depilatories are beauty products that remove hair by dissolving it. Facial depilatories should be used for lip hair removal, as depilatories meant for body hair may contain harsher chemicals. Using this method for removing hair is perhaps the least painful, provided instructions are followed with care and the depilatory cream does not touch the wrong parts of the face. A patch test should be performed before use, to ensure that there will be no negative reaction when applied to the face.
Individuals may also seek out professionals for permanent lip hair removal. Laser hair removal lessens the growth of hair over the course of several treatments, while electrolysis kills the hair root altogether and stops its growth. These methods are considerably more expensive than home treatments. Note, however, that the upper lip is a small area that will not cost as much as treatment for larger patches of hair on the body.