All of Your Hair Removal Options from Tweezing to Electrolysis
Hair - we either want it thicker and longer, or we want it gone. We spend lots of time and money trying to get the hair on our heads cut, styled, and colored to our liking and desire thick and healthy locks but when it comes to the hair on the rest of our bodies, we go through hell and back to remove it. It all seems a bit confusing doesn’t it? I'm not here to get into whether you should care about having hair on your body or whether removing it is the right or wrong thing to do. The fact is, the vast majority of people around the world practice some kind of hair removal regime and I'm just chiming in on what your many hair removal options are so that you can decide whether any of them are right for you.
Writing this blog made me realize how many types of hair removal are available, and how overwhelming it can be to decide what to do. The truth is, most of the time removing hair is expensive, time-consuming and painful and yet most women won't walk out the door during summer without freshly shaven legs. The good news is - if you're tired of plucking, and shaving and waxing - there are much more permanent options available. Imagine that - never having to shave again? Let's take a deeper look at how to become happily hairless forever after...
Best for: Small areas on the face and a good option if you only have a few hairs you want to remove.
How long it last: 3-6 weeks
Pros: Removes hair from the root so therefore lasts a relatively long time before regrowth.
Cons: Can be quite painful when removing hair from the root and not a good option for removing hair from larger areas like the legs.
Best for: Works anywhere on your body
How long it lasts: 1-3 days
Pros: Easily accessible, affordable in the short-term and if you have a good quality razor, should be painless.
Cons: Does not last for long, cost of buying razors adds up over time, takes up a significant amount of time for something you need to do every 1-3 days.
Best for: can be used anywhere on your body including face, legs, bikini area and underarms.
How long it lasts: 3-6 weeks
Pros: Lasts much longer than shaving and over time thins out the hair that does grow back.
Cons: Really painful, can cause ingrown hairs and redness.
4. Dipilatory Creams
How it works: These products use chemicals that dissolve the hair shaft.
Best for: Legs, underarm and bikini area. Make sure to buy products specifically sold for the face and only use the creams for the region intended.
How long it lasts: From 4 days up to 1 week
Pros: Application should be quick, easy and painless plus it lasts significantly longer than shaving.
Cons: Dipilatory creams work by dissolving the hair follicle but if left on too long will burn and dissolve the skin! Make sure to follow the instructions and remove the cream if you feel any kind of burning sensation. For those with sensitive skin or allergies, test a little bit of the cream on a small area on your arm to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction to it.
5. Laser Hair Removal
How it works: Laser hair removal works by sending a laser beam or light pulse to destroy the hair bulb. Best for: Can target anywhere on the body. Only works on people who have dark hair and light skin as the laser targets pigment and will not recognize blonde hair or distinguish between darker skin and dark hair.
How long it lasts: This is one of the most permanent solutions for hair removal. It does take repeated treatments (from 6-12 depending on the area) and you may have to return every 6-12 months for touchups.
Pros: The most permanent hair removal option out there.
Cons: Treatments can be quite expensive but in the long term, you will probably save money if you account for the money you will save on buying razors and shaving products over a lifetime. Takes time and commitment to showing up at all of the appointments. Only effective for those with light skin and dark hair so not for everyone.
6. Electrolysis Hair Removal
How it works: A trained technician places a tiny needle inside each hair follicle to destroy the root with an electric current. Electrolysys is the only permanent hair removal option that has been approved by the FDA. Electrolysis works by actually destroying the root of the hair, which will make it impossible for the hair to regrow.
Best for: Because it targets each hair individually, electrolysis takes a very long time so is best for small areas like the upper lip or chin.
How long it lasts: Results are permanent after multiple treatments.
Pros: Permanent results. A good option for people with light skin and light hair who can’t get laser hair removal treatments.
Cons: Possible redness, swelling and scarring. Not ideal for large areas of the body as it takes a long time.
As you can see, there are a lot of hair removal options available. It's for you to decide if any of them are right for you!
Until next time,
Dr. Alexes Hazen