What Are the Different Methods of Beard Removal?

Kaiser Castro

Beard removal is sometimes a necessary requirement for those who work in a corporate setting, while others may remove their facial hair for more cosmetic reasons. There are a number of beard removal methods that can be used. Shaving, depilatory creams, threading, and waxing or sugaring are viable beard removal options. The beard removal method chosen should be suitable for the type and length of hair as well.

Ingrown facial hairs occur when a portion of the shaved hair gets trapped in the hair follicle.
Ingrown facial hairs occur when a portion of the shaved hair gets trapped in the hair follicle.

Shaving tends to be the more traditional method of beard removal used by most men. The process consists of slathering shaving cream onto the whiskers, and using a razor to slice the hair off of the face. Even though shaving is a option for those with naturally straight hair, individuals who have curly hair may experience ingrown hairs. This is due to the hair curling back into the skin as it starts growing, causing inflammation. Using a shaving cream for sensitive skin and applying finishing lotion afterwards can help to avoid this problem.

Beard wax may be used to remove facial hair.
Beard wax may be used to remove facial hair.

Depilatory creams are another option for comprehensive beard removal. The depilatory cream breaks down the protein bonds in the beard, allowing a person to remove the hair with a wipe of a washcloth. Even though this is an excellent option for coarse beards, there is the danger of leaving the cream on the skin for a longer period of time. Depilatory creams that are left on too long will start to eat away at the skin, subsequently damaging it and causing chemical burns. If the beard can tolerate depilatory creams, then this is an option for those who may suffer from ingrown hairs or who prefer a longer-lasting option.

Some men prefer to use a straight razor when shaving their face.
Some men prefer to use a straight razor when shaving their face.

If the person does not experience heavy beard growth with the occasional cluster of whiskers, then threading is an option. This method consists of rubbing string along the face that clings onto the hair, systematically removing it. Albeit a viable option for light hair growth, the pain factor can deter some users.

Waxing and sugaring are a more painful, but a longer-lasting hair removal method. These beard removal methods consist of applying a wax onto the beard in the direction of hair growth and then smoothing a cloth on top of the waxed area. The hair will then be essentially ripped out of its follicles opposite the direction of hair growth, leaving a smooth finish.

Though done in much the same method, sugaring tends to be a bit gentler than waxing, allowing it to be a route of beard removal for individuals who have sensitive skin. Unlike waxing, sugar waxes are free of resins. The ingredients in sugar waxes are also water-soluble, allowing for easy clean up.

Men shave to remove facial hair.
Men shave to remove facial hair.

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Discussion Comments


I had a friend who decided to use electrolysis for permanent beard removal. He said it was a really long and sometimes painful process, but in the long run it was preferable to shaving every day. I thought that sounded a little extreme, but apparently he had one of those beards that seemed to grow back in a matter of hours.

He always had some stubble or shadow on his face, and he wanted to look clean-shaven because he had a very public job. He still has to shave a few areas that didn't get completely burned out by the electrolysis, but not often.


My wife won't let me shave my beard off any more, but when I had to do it for a play I was in, I used a combination of shaving and a beard removal cream. My beard was so thick that shaving alone would only bring it down to a "five o'clock shadow" stage. I needed to look like a clean-shaven military officer for the role, so I used the chemical beard remover to achieve an even cleaner look.

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