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I’ve never been shy about talking about my facial hair. I grew up in an Italian-American household with a mom that once held me down to shape my eyebrows before a school dance. I was using Nair on my top lip by middle school, plucking my own eyebrows in high school, and getting my face threaded or waxed raw days before prom. To put it bluntly, I have a noticeable amount of hair on my cheeks and chin and yes, I can practically grow a mustache.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen more of it pop up on my cheeks and chin — rogue dark hairs that somehow grow to a centimeter long overnight. I wanted to find an easier way to remove a bulk of it all at once that didn’t involve leaving a salon looking like someone slapped me across the face. That’s where the R.E.M Spring Facial Hair Remover comes in.
I had seen this spring-like tool floating around the internet for a while before finally taking the plunge. It’s supposed to grab multiple hairs and pull them out at once in a (mostly) painless twist. The package warned of a “tingling” feeling on the skin. I’m gonna call bullshit on the tingling sensation it advertised. It hurts. No hair removal (that doesn’t involve chemicals, lasers, or shots of vodka) is truly painless. I’ve plucked, threaded, and waxed, and I’d say this falls squarely between threading and plucking. It’s a quick pain that doesn’t result in overly red skin like plucking, but it’s a spread out pain as it pulls out large swaths of hair at once like threading.
The motion of actually getting the hair out is sort of tough to get the hang of, but I can see myself getting better fairly quickly. The spring has two cone-shaped handles that you are supposed to twist back and forth while running the spring up and down your skin. It catches the hair between the coils and pulls it out with a quick twist. I went over spots multiple times to get the bulk of the hair out and then went back over with a tweezer to grab any strays.
The act of making an appointment to get hair ripped out of your face by a stranger is just not my cup of tea. Shaving leads to stubble and the smell of Nair gives me flashbacks to low-rise bootcut jeans, raccoon-like eyeliner, and cystic acne. If you’re looking for an at-home alternative to remove any facial hair you may not want, this is a good one. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and takes up barely any space in a medicine cabinet. It even comes with its own carrying case. And, not gonna lie, it’s also pretty satisfying to look down after running it across your cheeks to see a veritable forest of hair sticking out of it.