EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HAIR REMOVAL
By: Niwrka P. - Brand Identity Designer | Skincare Professional.
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There are many options for removing body hair, from shaving and waxing to more invasive techniques. You are not alone if you are also on the fence about which method to rely on in the long run.
Sometimes, the choice is not as easy as it appears.
Which method is economically feasible? Which one lasts long? And are permanent solutions
permanent? Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about hair removal.
Can You Remove Hair Permanently?
Here is something you probably did not know about hair removal. No matter the body part in question, it is not possible to remove hair from it permanently. While there are many long-term solutions, none of
them can last forever.
The key is to focus on hair reduction and semi-permanent hair removal techniques simultaneously. So, what are some semi-permanent solutions you can consider?
These options can do wonders to give you the much-desired hair-free and smooth skin.
Check below for a list of curated products to supplement your hair treatment and removal journey, I love these specially FUR because this line is made specifically for this, they took the time to create a fantastic lineup of products with superior quality, and not only that most of their products if not all are versatile. I love a product that can perform several duties.
How Effective Is Laser Hair Removal?
The laser hair removal technique works best for people who do not have blonde hair or light skin.
Since its main objective is to match the chromophore, which is not effective on light skin.
Even though the technique is believed to be a permanent solution, it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for permanent hair removal.
Instead, the approval is limited to using machines that have been effective in hair reduction after consistent treatment sessions. It is important to note that the results heavily rely on your consistency and not just the method alone. Failure to adhere to it will result in hair growth only after a short duration.
While hair growth at some point is still possible, it won't be heavy; this is where the long-term benefits of laser hair removal come in.
Once you follow the entire course of treatment, you will notice how long-lasting the results are.
It is only if your hormone balance changes that noticeable regrowth occurs.
Avoid undergoing the procedure if you have underlying medical conditions and seek professional advice beforehand.
Laser hair removal is versatile in its application, but it cannot be done in the eye area.
The recovery time is short, and you can continue your routine after each session.
Are There Any Side Effects?
As with everything else, laser hair removal also has many side effects. While they are minor and only last for a few days, they can induce discomfort, and some of them include redness and swelling.
Rare side effects include scarring, infections, blistering, and skin darkening or lightening.
The good news is your skin color will sooner or later return to normal. Make sure to rely on a skilled professional with in-depth knowledge about the procedure.
Is Aftercare Required?
In short, yes. If you experience excruciating pain, speak to your professional about using pain relievers.
There are several ways to treat pain following the procedure, from creams to over-the-counter medication.
Home remedies such as using a cold compress on the target area can also help relieve pain.
However, laser hair removal focuses on reducing hair growth and not wholly removing your hair. Hence, follow-up treatments make up a large part of your aftercare.
You will also have to minimize your exposure to the sun after every session. Laser puts you at a heightened risk of sunburn, and the consequences are far from pretty.
As a rule, do not step outside unless you have applied sunscreen. Avoid direct sunlight for a few weeks before you go for the procedure.
You may have to go for follow-up treatments after a certain number of weeks recommended by your professional. This way, your hair growth will decline immensely.
How Effective is Electrolysis?
The technique focuses on heating each hair follicle. While it has the most significant impact on grey hair, it also does wonders for blonde and dark hair. So far, it is one of the most effective methods to get rid of
hair for long periods, in some cases, even for a lifetime.
The downside to this technique is that it does not impart equal results to everyone.
The only way to determine how well it works on a particular body part is by exposing it to the procedure.
However, electrolysis can be painful and discomfort-inducing. While side effects such as tenderness and redness are common, they often go away on their own. It also requires multiple sessions like laser hair
removal, but the effectiveness does not depend on your skin tone or hair color.
On the plus side, electrolysis is slightly more effective than laser since it produces more permanent results. It is also super versatile and ensures that there is no new hair growth at all.
While laser is a bit more limited in its effectiveness, electrolysis works on every part of your body, including your eyebrows.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Slight irritation and redness often accompany some other minor side effects of the procedure. However, swelling is rare.
Even though side effects do not often get severe, the risk remains.
Scars and infection are possible if unsterile needles are used. Hence, it is always recommended that you refer to a board-certified dermatologist.
Is Aftercare Required?
Since electrolysis targets hair follicles, no new hair growth occurs after the procedure. However, consistency is what helps you reap the benefits of it;
this is especially true if the area under treatment is large such as your back. While there is no strict aftercare routine to follow, you must attend follow-up sessions based on your professional's recommendation.
All in all, no maintenance is required since there won't be any hair after the treatment.
How Effective Is Intense Pulsed Light-IPL?
If you choose IPL, you will be subjected to a broad-spectrum, visible, and intense light pulse through a controlled handpiece.
However, the technique only works on the anagen hair growth phase, which is the active growth cycle. The duration varies based on the body part in question. The bikini area and underarms period might last for four to six weeks; for other areas, it may go up to twelve weeks.
Hence, just like a laser, consistency is what you need to reap the benefits of it. A series of treatments will immensely reduce your hair growth. Traditionally, the technique works best on someone with dark hair
and light skin.
Are There Any Side Effects?
The treatment is relatively safer but only if performed by a trained professional. Don't worry if you notice brown spots flaring up on your skin, which tends to go away on its own.
Other rare but possible side effects may include blisters, change of color, infection, bleeding, swelling, and scars. If the side effects don't subside on their own or end up getting worse, consult your dermatologist
Is Aftercare Required?
Aftercare is strictly recommended following the procedure. The first step:
Ice the affected area for a few minutes every hour and follow the same course for at least three hours.
Keep yourself hydrated, as it will immensely reduce the chances of swelling.
Avoid harsh skincare products and only use a gentle cleanser with warm water. Pat your skin using a towel, and don't worry if your skin appears mildly sunburnt. Sometimes, it may even last for a few days after the treatment, but it tends to go away in a couple of hours.
Do not apply makeup before the redness has subsided. Don't exfoliate too soon, as it can increase the length of healing and inflame your skin.
Avoid picking or scratching any areas that may have begun to flake, and do not take hot showers or baths.
Keep your skin protected from any heat source and moisturize it daily but only with soothing products.
Allow your body to rest for at least two days after the treatment, and do not indulge in strenuous workouts.
Temporary Hair Removal Methods
While laser hair removal, electrolysis, and IPL are highly effective hair removal methods, they may not be accessible to the pocket.
Here are some methods to rely on if you are looking for temporary but economic interventions.
Tweezing can be time-consuming. Plucking each hair out of its follicle may induce pain, but the method is relatively effective and helps keep hair from growing for at least a week. Again, it isn't without its downsides.
For one, your hair follicle can become irritated due to frequent tweezing.
Shaving is one of the least time-consuming hair removal methods. You only need a razor to trim the hair from the legs and the bikini area. A common misconception about shaving is that it results in your hair
growing back thicker and darker, it couldn't be far from the truth.
Hair growth largely depends on your hormones and genetics and not shaving.
Tip: Before shaving exfoliate your skin with a mechanical exfoliant, this will decrease the possibility of having ingrown hairs.
While it is a standard temporary hair removal method, it isn't the most popular. Learning how to perform it at home requires excellent skill because one wrong move can cause excruciating pain. For this reason, it is best to choose a licensed esthetician.
There are specific contraindications you should pay attention to if you are planning on waxing your skin; one example of this is:
Avoid waxing if you are taking vitamin A or using retinol.
Waxing is a form of exfoliation.
As a rule of thumb, always use a wooden spatula to spread the wax on a small section of your leg/arm.
Then place a thin piece of muslin cloth all over and pull it off in a single, quick go in the opposite direction of hair growth, keeping the motion parallel to the skin, and apply pressure to the skin to calm the pain.
Waxing is time-consuming and the most long-lasting method among temporary hair removal techniques. You can expect the hair growth to begin after two to three weeks.
Depilatories are particularly useful in removing hair from the face, legs, and bikini area. It works by:
Dissolving your hair protein comes in many formulas, such as lotions and gel creams. You can start by applying a small amount of cream on your chin and upper lip hair.
For the legs, start by applying a small ball-sized amount of cream to the sides, front, and back of the leg.
Depilatory creams often remove hair from a particular site before surgery.
You may want to perform a small patch test on your skin to determine if it reacts to the depilatory cream. If there is an allergic reaction, consult a professional and consider changing the cream or lotion.
Reading the ingredients label before purchasing a product is always a good idea.
However, not every skin responds well to this method. If you have any underlying skin conditions, consult a dermatologist before using the cream for hair removal.
The results typically last for two to three weeks, depending on your hair growth patterns.
Short-Term Vs. Long-Term Hair Removal Methods
It is widely accepted that long-term hair removal methods are effective but often cost an arm and a leg. However, there isn't much truth to it, and this is because methods such as waxing may cost a minimal amount for a single session. Still, the overall cost is much higher since the practice has no end.
On the other hand, interventions such as laser and electrolysis charge a hefty amount but promise long-lasting results. Apart from a few side effects and some discomfort, they ensure that you go back home
with results that last a very long time and sometimes a lifetime.
Getting rid of unwanted hair is a natural urge for many people. However, deeming one method effective over others isn't possible, and this is because everyone's genetic makeup is different.
Some people experience thicker and faster hair growth, while others may have little to no hair on their bodies. It would be best if you did in-depth research about every method before choosing one.
Not everyone's body is designed to handle each intervention stated above.
While practices such as shaving, tweezing, and waxing are safe, laser, electrolysis, and IPL can induce unwanted reactions if not
performed carefully by a trained professional.
Read about the history of hair and its evolution here!
Until Next Time!
Peace, Love & Light!
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Author: Niwrka P.
Content Creator | over a decade of experience in the beauty industry.
Passionate about Design and Esthetics!