Chances are, plucking is the route with which you're most familiar. After all, tweezers are commonplace in most households so they're the easiest to reach for when you see some strays.
"Tweezing is better for smaller, localized areas like your brows and chin since it's much more labor intensive," advises Lavanya Krishnan, M.D., a dermatologist based in San Francisco. Just make sure you're diligent about cleaning them, she adds. "I recommend cleansing your tweezers once per day with warm soap and water, then storing them in a dry place."
If you're not sure how to properly shape your brows, take a look at our easy eyebrow guide.
Another very common method is waxing. Using either soft wax, which is pulled off with cloth strips, or hard wax that simply hardens and is pulled off on its own, a practitioner can remove hairs from your upper lip, cheeks, brows and chin with ease. But this popular practice isn't for everyone.
"Waxing can cause irritation because the skin can be sensitive to the products being applied to the surface," warns Michelle Yagoda, M.D., a cosmetic surgeon based in New York. "And inexact technique may result in incomplete extraction of the hair follicle and breakage of the hair shaft, so the skin surrounding the hair shaft can then become inflamed." If the retained hair follicle becomes entrapped, it can lead to ingrown hairs. Always read reviews online prior to visiting a new waxing boutique. Your skin will thank you.
While shaving may be less commonly used on the face than the aforementioned options, it's the way many women choose to remove their facial hair. But wait — what about that old wives' tale about hair coming back thicker if you shave?
"It's just a myth that your hair will grow coarser and more densely after shaving," explains Dr. Krishnan. "The follicle gets cut in half so it feels pricklier, but it's not any thicker."
If you feel most comfortable with a razor, just be sure to take precautions so you can get the smoothest, least irritated finish.