Found: the secret to painless hair removal.

Image via HBO.

I have a hair removal secret that will genuinely change your life. It certainly has changed mine.

Firstly, some disclosures: I’m hairy. Body hair, face hair, head hair. And I’m getting hairier as I get older, too.

I’ve also been sick over the past two years. One of the weird hangovers of that is that I have an incredibly low tolerance to pain. So much so that I actively avoid being around children on the first day of the month, so that they don’t try to pinch and punch me. I also bruise very easily.

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So, my natural hairiness and my unnatural aversion to even the slightest pain has meant that facial waxing or threading is a complete nightmare. I’ve had IPL and laser and they a) hurt; and b) didn’t work, because apparently my unwanted hair is more red than black (is that a thing? I don’t know).

But I have found a way to get through hair removal without writhing in pain. Meet your new best friend, Emla cream.

Your new best friend.

It contains the same ingredients as the numbing gel that your dentist uses. You buy it at the pharmacy. It contains Lignocaine 25mg/g, Prilocaine 25mg/g, which are anaesthetics (you can also get Lignocaine as a clear gel. I use the cream because you can easily see where you are putting it).

If you put it on your face, it will numb you up so waxing and threading is much less painful. You will absolutely still feel it, but you will not end up kicking anyone in the face. (I should say that both my GP and my dentist know that I use Emla cream for this purpose. My GP thought it was a reasonable solution and my dentist told all her friends about it. No one freaked out, but obviously, check with your health professional and don’t put it in your eye or feed it to babies or pets.) Here’s what you do:


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1.Put it on your face.

Layer it on quite thickly. Make sure you cover all of the areas that you are going to have waxed or threaded. You will know if you miss. Don’t miss.

You will know if you miss.
So don't miss.

2.Get in your car.

It takes about 30 mins for me to drive to the nearest shopping centre (I live in the country). I’ve found that’s about how long it takes for full effect, though you’ll feel your face numbing up before then. Wave to other drivers with your sweet cream moustache, soul patch and sideburns.

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Be sure to wave to other drivers with your sweet moustache.

3. Park your car. Take off the cream.

I take off the cream with a makeup remover wipe.

Make sure you remember face wipes...

4.Go to your hair removal appointment.

I’ve been getting my face threaded at this booth in a suburban shopping centre. Downside, everyone can watch you. That’s just another reason to numb your face so you don’t scream loudly and have to deal with a security guard.

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This would normally be where my palms begin to sweat...

5.Get your hair removed.

It was harder to take a photo of myself being threaded than you would expect.

No tears!

6.Admire the results.

OK, so the next photo is rough, because I’ve just had my face threaded (I’m also terrible at selfies). But! I am not crying. No one was injured. And I am hairless.

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Et voila!

I should say that my eyebrows ended up way too thin after this appointment. But one of the joys of being a hairy-face is that in two weeks’ time, my brows will be back and bushy as ever. That’s it. Emla Cream! Get comfortably numb. It’s the way forward.

Check out some other ways you can defuzz (with your new bestie Emla Cream.)