beauty

How to deal with those rogue, long facial hairs.

Image: iStock.

Life is full of great mysteries. Why do bobby pins always disappear, and where do they go? Does the fridge light really go off when you close it?

And, more pressingly: why do those random long hairs keep sprouting on my face?

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Whether they appear on your chin, your cheek or any other part of the face — or body, for that matter — errant hairs are completely perplexing.

They seem to come out of nowhere, grow at a preternatural speed, and insist on making a comeback no matter how often you pluck them out. You have to give them points for persistance.

Although rogue hairs are certainly common as you get older, they aren't necessarily an age-related phenomenon. One member of The Glow team recalls having a recurring long white hair on her arm as a teenager (that has since subsided, to her relief).

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If a rogue hair (or three) has taken up residence on your face, here's what you need to know about your new tenant:

What is going on?

According to Lisa Hody, senior therapist Manager of ThaSpa, a luxury beauty salon in Sydney's CBD, these random, isolated hairs are commonly the result of hormonal changes — particularly when they appear in specific regions of the face.

"You can usually figure it by the area. If it's on the chin or cheek area, it's generally hormonal," Lisa explains, adding there are several factors that can trigger hormonal changes. (Post continues after gallery.)

"It could be medication, it could be genetics, it could be anything," she says. Pregnancymenopause and the ageing process are also known to have an affect on the body's hormone balance.

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Rogue hairs on other parts of your body or face could be attributed to the individual hair follicle having a different growth pattern to the other follicles in that area. Those little rebels.

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What can I do?

Esquire magazine's famous 'shaving cream' cover

So you've found yourself with a supercharged hair. If you're not content to just leave it be, you have a few removal options — which are largely dependent on how much time and/or money you want to commit to vanquishing your little sprout.

"Most people, if they want to treat it at home by themselves, will generally just tweeze it out, or they'll trim it. You're not going to get many results from trimming; by tweezing it, it'll take a little longer for the hair to grow back," Lisa Hody explains.

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If you'd prefer a more long-lasting effect, Lisa suggests either electrolysis or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment.

"Electrolysis is one needle. Basically, what we do is insert the needle into the hair follicle and we zap the hair follicle, using a chemical and heat combination which helps to kill the hair off," she says.

"The other thing we can do is an IPL treatment on the area, so basically we can isolate that one piece of hair and zap it." (Post continues after gallery.)

Although Lisa says the hair removal effect of these treatments can be permanent "if you're lucky enough", for most people they provide a permanent hair reduction — meaning the hairs grow back less quickly.

It's also worth knowing that if the hair has hormonal causes, any hormonal activity post-treatment can potentially reverse the effects. We know, we know — life is cruel.

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"It's quite difficult to treat hormonal hairs, obviously... If somebody decides they want IPL and they notice great results in their hair reduction, and they decide to have a child or hit menopause or anything that's quite hormonal, the hair can naturally just grow back," Lisa says.

Do you experience rogue hairs? What do you do about them?

You can contact ThaSpa on their website or on their Facebook page.

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