Procedures that promise to remove unwanted hair for extended periods of time include laser and electrolysis. The latter is the only permanent hair removal method recognized by the FDA. Electrolysis is the more painful of the two procedures. It works by destroying the follicles from the root by using a needle to deliver a low-level current to each hair, one by one. The hair is then removed with tweezers.
Laser hair removal on the other hand, uses a laser to intensely heat small areas of hair at a time, causing enough damage to the follicles to inhibit future growth. Laser hair removal works best on individuals with fair skin and dark hair, and requires several treatments. It does not guarantee permanent hair removal.
More intensive treatments can also be prescribed in topical cream and pill form. Eflornithine is an ointment that softens and lightens facial hair for women.