Peach fuzz is a problem that many people are facing. The soft, thin facial hair is of a light color for most, but some have the misfortune of their darker pigmentation taking over vellus hair, as well.
Even those who are lucky enough to have bright, almost golden, feathery facial hair, often struggle with certain thick hair patches, most often found on the upper lip, on the chin, and in the sideburn area. Regardless of the thickness of the hair patches, peach fuzz can be quite disruptive for makeup, especially for those who opt for using a lot of foundation, powder, highlighter, and other contouring techniques which require a full face of makeup – an abundance of peach fuzz can cake up the makeup and cause unevenness and lumpiness.
In fact, this is quite a common problem for those who work on television, or in any sort of profession that involves exposure to the lime light and a more dramatic look in front of any kind of lens.
Thankfully, beauticians and aestheticians worldwide have picked up on this issue, and have developed several techniques to take care of peach fuzz. The two trending techniques are dermaplaning and laser hair removal.
Here’s all you need to know to make an informed decision on which technique is the right solution for you.
Dermaplaning Vs. Laser Hair Removal: What Are the Differences?
Dermaplaning is commonly known as a scalpel facial. The treatment entails the use of a medical grade scalpel to scrape off the dead skin cells which form the top layer of the skin, scraping off the vellus hair along the way. Although a bit uncomfortable, dermaplaning is painless, and it doesn’t ask for much downtime.
The initial redness of the skin will fade away quickly after the procedure as the skin relaxes and the scraping sensation fades away. The effects of demaplaning normally last up to 20 days. The scalpel facial is popular, not just because of the vellus hair removal aspect, but because it is simultaneously a skin exfoliating treatment. (Read Dermaplaning and You: Your Comprehensive Guide to Scalpel Facials.)
Laser hair removal is the fourth most popular application of the laser technique (the lasers used are Diode, Alexandrite, and Nd:YAG). This is a popular hair removal technique (in fact, 455,000 patients tried laser hair removal in 2017 in the USA alone), and is used to treat legs, arms, the underarms, the intimate areas, and the upper lip area.
A skincare professional will use a laser to send highly concentrated beams of light into the targeted hair follicles. The energy of the light pulses is attracted to the pigment of hair, the pigment follicles absorb the light, and this ultimately destroys the hair. The lasers used are very precise, targeting hairs effectively without causing any damage to the surrounding skin.
The effects of the treatment aren’t visible immediately. In fact, the hairs will start falling out only later, in a process which looks like hair shedding. The treatment needs to be repeated several times in order to end the hair growth cycle. The hair removal isn’t fully permanent, but it does stop hair re-growth for up to two years. When repeated regularly, it is known to cause permanent hair loss.
What the two procedures do have in common is that they are the most effective choices when it comes to peach fuzz removal, and that they need to carried out by certified professionals.
What Makes the Treatments Popular?
What makes dermaplaning a popular technique is the fact that it manages to get rid of all hairs with ease, even the very light blonde ones, which are the toughest type of hairs to remove. Very light, short and fuzzy hair can’t be removed by waxing, and is quite a challenge for laser hair removal which works best and fastest when targeting dark, thicker hair.
Dermaplaning can be done on any type of skin and on people with all pigmentation. It is not, however, recommended to those who have cystic acne, regular acne break outs, or a problem with cold sores.
On top of that, a scalpel facial is very much a two-in-one procedure, because it’s not just a hair removal treatment, but an exfoliating treatment as well. The scalpel facial is essentially physical exfoliation. Dermaplaning entails the removal of the top layer of skin which consists of dead skin cells. Like with all exfoliation, this gives the skin an immediate look of smoothness and freshness, as it leaves the client with softer, brighter, glowing skin.
The removal of the top layer of dead skin entails the scraping off of the fine lines and age spots, mild acne scars, dirt, and of course, peach fuzz.
Laser hair removal is popular because of its long lasting effects. While dermaplaning has the benefits of a facial included, it needs to be repeated at least once every three weeks. Laser hair removal is a longer process, but more effective in the long run – that's if your only goal is to get rid of hair.
It takes several sessions for the effects of laser hair removal to become visible. The treatments don’t remove the hairs immediately, but cause it to shed over the next month. Once the hair growth cycle is broken, which takes three to seven sessions, the hair free period that follows lasts up to two years on average.
If the laser hair removal procedure is repeated over the years, after several full cycles of treatment, most people experience permanent hair loss.
Laser Hair Removal Vs. Dermaplaning Aftercare
Laser hair removal is a much more aggressive treatment, and unlike a scalpel facial, it does ask for a certain amount of down time. The treated area will look and feel sunburned several days after each session. Cool compresses and moisturizers are recommended as aftercare for everyone, but particularly for those with sensitive skin. Although it’s not that common, sensitive skin types are known to get blisters as a consequence, but any permanent skin damage is highly unlikely.
Some swelling, redness, and temporary scarring are also possible. Although the aftercare can be a bit challenging for some individuals, laser hair removal is not known to have any permanent consequences or to cause lasting damage.
What dermaplaning and laser hair removal have in common though is the sensitivity to the sun which follows the treatments.
Dermaplaning scrapes off the top most layer of skin which protects the skin from harmful UV rays. You are strongly advised to wear sunblock at all times, as well as make up which contains sunscreen components. Laser hair removal mildly damages the skin in the process and leaves it as exposed as a scalpel facial, but not permanently.
Sunblock and avoiding direct sun exposer is advised between laser hair removal treatments, but about a month after the final laser hair removal session, the skin will go back to normal.
What About Other Hair Removal Techniques?
Shaving is the fastest, easiest, and worst hair removal technique you can opt for. Shaving removes all hair, but it removes the surface level of the hairs and not the roots, making the hairs grow back quickly and evenly. A lot of the times, people fall for the illusion that shaving is the cheapest option, but on the long haul, it really isn’t. Statistics show that for the average American woman, the lifetime cost of shaving is about $10,000 (US Dollars).
Waxing is even more expensive, amounting to a lifetime cost of approximately $23,000, but is ultimately the better option. Waxing rips the hairs out from their roots, leaving the skin much softer, smoother, and clearer. Hairs will also grow out much slower than with shaving.
Waxing results in the “generational hair growth” – meaning hair will grow in uneven cycles, and will become visible with waxing, as the hairs won’t grow out simultaneously. This makes the treated areas look less hairy as the hairs grow at their own speeds following their own cycles instead of sprouting up at the same time.
The flaw with waxing is, however, that it doesn’t treat light and soft hair effectively. What’s more, waxing is quite aggressive, and sensitive skin types usually can’t use waxing for peach fuzz removal, as it causes skin burns, bleeding, and extreme redness, soreness and tenderness.
Comparing Dermaplaning Vs. Laser Cost Efficiency
A laser hair removal session, depending on the area being treated, will cost around $300 per session. A scalpel facial will cost anywhere between $100 and $200.
Generally speaking, when dealing only with facial hair, the pricing will boil down to quite a similar range. While one treatment of dermaplaning is cheaper than one laser hair removal session, you will need an average of 5-7 laser hair removal treatments, as opposed to one scalpel facial per month.
So, while the journey to semi-permanent hair removal is quite costly, it still is cheaper than doing a scalpel facial per month for the rest of your life.
What We've Learned
When deciding which way to go, the bottom line is to question your priorities.
Laser hair removal is the right way to go if your main goal is hair removal, but dermaplaning is the better choice if you want to get facials and regularly exfoliate your skin. If regular facials are something that you feel your skin needs and you will be doing that anyway, a scalpel facial might be the best option.