Removal - Answers
Frequently asked questions:
Is there a permanent method of hair removal?
Many believe that electrolysis or laser treatment are the only truly permanent methods of hair removal.
Even then, there are cases of some hair regrowing or stray hairs reappearing.
The word 'permanent' is often used loosely in the promotion of hair removal products. In some cases 'permanent' is used to describe months or just weeks.
What about electrolysis?
With electrolysis very fine needles are inserted into the hair follicle and an electric current is used to disable the hair growth. Each hair has to be treated individually. Repeated visits are often necessary and the cost can run into hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Much discomfort or pain can be associated with the process, depending on the individual. It is best carried out by a professional as there are dangers of skin damage if not done properly.
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What about laser hair removal?
This method uses a laser to disable the hair follicle. Beams of light can treat a number of hairs at the same time. There are claims that the discomfort is less than electrolysis. It can be more expensive than electrolysis and repeated visits are often necessary.
The risk of skin injury is higher on persons with darker skin. Surrounding tissue can be burned and a wider skin area affected. With professional consultations however, the risks can be discussed and minimized.
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What about depilatories?
Depilatories are creams which can be applied to the skin area and removed after 20 minutes or so taking the hair with it.
The results usually last a few days even up to two weeks with some persons.
This method is relatively cheap but needs repeating frequently.
Some persons find the smell released during the process to be a little offensive.
What about shaving?
Shaving is one of the most popular methods of hair removal. Why? Because it is quick, cheap and easy for a person to do by themselves. The main disadvantage is that it doesn't last very long and has to be frequently repeated.
The skin is also more affected by blade shaving as the outer layer of skin is removed along with the hair although this largely consists of cells which are being shed.
Care must be taken to shave carefully to avoid ingrown hairs and skin irritations.
Electric shavers are very convenient although there is some debate over whether it is possible to get as close a shave as with blade shaving.
What about sugaring?
A paste made primarily of sugar is warmed and then applied thinly to the skin in the direction of the hair growth. Reusable cotton strips are then pressed firmly onto the paste and then sharply pulled back thus removing the hair with the paste.
Generally sugaring hair removal lasts between 4 and 6 weeks depending on the level of hair growth. The hair is removed from the root. Repeated treatments can tend to weaken the hair so it becomes easier over time.
What about hair inhibitors?
Hair inhibitors have appeared on the market in recent years made from plant enzymes. They change the nature of the hair follicle so it becomes soft like baby hair. They need to be applied after using waxing or one of the other methods for a few weeks until the hair disappears.
These solutions can inhibit hair growth for many months and are thus quite economical in view of the fewer times the treatment has to be applied.
What about tweezers?
Tweezers are very cheap, ranging anywhere from $3 to $30. This method is very time consuming as each hair must be laboriously removed from the root, one at a time.
There is a risk of ingrown hair, some skin irritation can occur and the hair follicle can also become inflammed. Some say scrubbing the skin with a Loofa (natural) sponge when bathing or showering can stop the development of infected or ingrown hair.
Sometimes the hair grows back thicker and darker. The results can last between 3 to 8 weeks.
Note: RF (Radio Frequency) Tweezers (also called Ultrasonic) and Galvanic Tweezers send an electric current down the hair shaft as it is gripped by the tweezers. Some say the effect is similiar to electrolysis. There are claims and counter claims as to the permanence of these methods. To date it seems there is no significant scientific data to indicate long-term 'permanence'.
There are also precautions involved for pregnant women and anyone using a pacemaker due to low emissions of radiation.
What about waxing?
Waxing uses a wax combination is spread thinly over the skin. A cloth strip is pressed on the top and then ripped off with a quick movement removing the wax along with the hair and dead skin cells leaving the skin smooth.
Generally results last between 3 and 8 weeks. Less hair regrows and it is generally finer. Eventually some hair never regrows.
Which method is best?
It becomes evident that there is no ideal solution to the problem of unwanted body hair. Depending on your need you may decide to go for a permanent solution and pay the large expense involved and take any pain or discomfort than goes with it.
Probably for the majority, one of the less permanent hair removal solutions is more desirable. It all depends whether quickness, convenience, or cost are your main considerations.
For those who particularly like waxing and sugaring, a good variety of waxes and sugaring kits is available here: Waxing & Sugaring
Is it all vanity? Some may think so. However, our self-esteem and sense of well-being are often affected by how we look and how we feel about ourselves. Embarrassing body hair has an impact on that.
Many are prepared to pay the price in time, energy, discomfort and money so as to feel confident as they handle their careers and social lives!
further reading: Over 301 answers, tips, how-to instructions,
covering 9 hair removal methods in a FREE downloadable ebook:
The Complete Hair Removal Guide