Aesthetics Daily – You can find hair removal services easily in beauty salons or aesthetic clinics. But do you know that hair removal techniques have been found for centuries? The ancient Egyptians had invented several hair removal techniques such as sugaring and tweezing as well as the use of beeswax and razor. Interestingly, these hair removal methods found hundred years ago still exist today.
People remove their hairs for many reasons. Generally, they do it to improve appearance or grooming. Hair removal methods that are often used are those that are effortless to apply of which products are easily found in stores such as shaving, tweezing, and waxing.
As technology advances, people start using hair removal devices with more effective results and minimal side effects. For example, laser hair removal and IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal. These more modern method are cosmetic procedures that are performed by a dermatologist or trained practitioner.
What are the most appropriate hair removal methods? One of considerations for choosing a hair removal method is what are the benefits of it. In addition, a treatment cost is also an important consideration. Then, also think about whether there are any adverse side effects from any existing hair removal methods.
Some hair removal methods are temporary, such as waxing, shaving, and tweezing. While some other methods are more permanent such as electrolysis and laser hair removal.
Methods of Hair Removal
1. Type of hair removal – Shaving
The fastest way to remove annoying hair is by shaving using either an electric shaver or a disposable razor. Both types of razors have built-in blades that can cut hair on the skin surface. To avoid the possibility of injury, you can clean your face and then apply a shaving cream or a layer of soap.
Apart from facial hair, shaving is also useful for removing hair in several parts of the body such as the armpits, upper lips, legs, arms, and the bikini area. Although relatively safe, shaving only makes your body hair free in just a few days. In other words, shaving does not provide long-lasting and permanent results.
Hair that has been removed can grow again in just 1 to 3 days. The side effect of shaving is the appearance of ingrown hairs in the form of small bumps that can cause inflammation. If these bumps are not removed immediately, it can affect person’s appearance.
2. Type of hair removal – Sugaring
Many people think that sugaring is the same as waxing. Both of them have fundamental differences that you need to understand. Sugaring using a paste or gel that does not contain resin while waxing does. Sugaring products are generally water-soluble so you can remove hair from the skin surface easily.
As the name suggests, this hair removal technique involves using real sugar. The sugar is mixed with natural ingredients such as lemon and water. Although almost the same, sugaring is said to be less painful than waxing. The sticky mixture will be attached to the surface of the skin to remove annoying hair.
The unwanted hair can be removed which last up to 3 to 5 weeks before you can repeat it. Everyone has different skin types and conditions. So, make sure that you choose a sugaring product in the form of a paste or gel. One sugaring treatment session offered at beauty salons ranges from $9 to $60 depending on the area being treated.
Sugaring, which has developed since the era of Egyptians and Greecians, can be a great option if you want to remove a lot of hair at once. The sugar paste will be heated prior to application. If the mixture is too hot you will burn your skin. Other possible side effects include irritation, ingrown hairs and folliculitis.
3. Type of hair removal – Plucking / Tweezing
Removing unwanted hair can be done by plucking. Although economical and easy, plucking or tweezing is not a safe hair removal method. There are some places where tweezing should not be done, such as nose hair, ingrown hair, and mole hair. If this is done, it is feared that it will cause infection and irritation.
In addition, there are certain areas with sensitive skin, such as nipples, armpits, pimples,, and intimate organs. Instead, avoid plucking in these areas because it will be painful. One more problem, if the hair is broken and not completely pulled out, it will cause ingrown hair.
Tweezing is done by pulling the hair shaft out of the skin from the root. This way, you can quickly and easily remove hair in a specific area. Even though it has been removed with a sterile tweezer, the hair will be able to grow again at a later time. Pull out the hair very carefully so you don’t injure yourself and accidentally pinch the skin and remove some of the layers.
4. Type of hair removal – Electrolysis
Ectrolysis method for removing hair can be used by anyone regardless of hair type or skin type. Electrolysis is the only type of permanent hair removal approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The main function of electrolysis is to destroy hair growth centers with heat and chemical energy. The parts of the body that hair can be removed include the face, stomach, legs and breasts.
Performed by experienced practitioners, electrolysis uses a small needle with an electric current through the hair. Next, the hair is removed using a tweezer. There are two types of electrolysis, namely galvanic which uses chemicals and thermolytic which uses heat to destroy hair follicles.
The disadvantage of electrolysis is that each hair is targeted one by one, which makes this treatment quite expensive and time consuming. One treatment session is not quite long but must be done repeatedly. In general, there are no permanent side effects but patients may experience temporary skin redness.
Each patient needs multiple sessions because many factors affect hair growth. However, when all sessions are complete the hair will be lost forever.
5. Type of hair removal – Waxing
The method of removing hair with warm wax is widely used in salons and at home. Waxing is an easy way to remove a lot of hair at once over a large area. There are several types of wax that you can choose from, namely hard wax, soft wax, and wax strips that are available in the market. Each type of wax that has its own advantages and disadvantages can be selected according to your needs.
If you want to do waxing at home, the first step you can take is to buy a waxing kit. Next, warm melted wax is applied to the skin in the form of strips. Apply wax in the direction of hair growth. Then, the strip that is attached to the skin is pulled out in the opposite direction. When hair is pulled from the root you will immediately feel pain. Then, the hair follicles which are slightly enlarged due to the heat will cause the whole hair including the roots to be removed.
One of the disadvantages of waxing is that it causes ingrown hair to appear in the treated area. The way to minimize side effects is by exfoliating the skin before treatment. In addition, waxing also has the potential to cause bacterial infections. This can happen if the stick is dipped in the wax more than once. To prevent the spread of infection, use a new stick with every application and every person.
Many women do waxing in around the bikini area and upper lips. Waxing that removes hair from the roots can last for 4 weeks. Before waxing again, let your hair grow back about a quarter of an inch. It is important to remember, you need to prepare a product that can remove wax residue from the skin because wax is not water-soluble.
6. Type of hair removal – Depilatory Creams
Composed of alkaline chemicals, depilatory creams can weaken the keratin in hair and make it a soft jelly that is easy to wash off with a sponge or cloth. Compared to other traditional hair removal techniques such as shaving, plucking, and waxing, the use of this cream is painless.
Depilatory cream is used for large and hard-to-reach areas such as your bikini line. Apart from being in cream form, there are also depilatory in the form of lotions, gels, roll-ons, and aerosols. In general, these products are great for removing fine, thin hair, not very thick and coarse hair.
These hair removal creams work by breaking the chemical bonds that bind the protein structure of the hair called keratin so that the hair is easily removed from the skin. Available in stores, depilatory cream is an option for those who want to remove hair immediately without having to master special skills such as waxing and tweezing.
7. Type of hair removal – Laser Hair Removal
Unlike traditional hair removal methods, laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that uses laser devices that are offered by many beauty clinics or dermatologists. Laser hair removal is safer if it is done by a professional doctor or an experienced, trained practitioner.
If you don’t want to go to the clinic, you can also do this treatment at home using at-home laser hair removal available in the market. However, the side effects will be greater if you do not master the techniques and procedures for using the device properly.
Laser hair removal works by targeting hair follicles and damaging them. Damaged hair follicles can prevent hair growth. There are minor side effects such as redness, changes in skin pigment or skin irritation which may disappear within a few hours. The advantage is that laser hair removal does not cause ingrown hair like waxing and shaving.
Is laser hair removal permanent? Laser hair removal is not permanent but can inhibit hair growth over a long period. The hair may grow back, but not as much as before. To get maximum and permanent results, you need to undergo multiple treatments as your doctor recommends.
8. Type of hair removal – Medication
The use of drugs is recommended by doctors if other hair removal methods have not worked. These drugs work to inhibit the growth of new hair as prescribed by a doctor. One thing you must remember, the use of drugs must be careful and according to the right dose.
There are several types of medicines for hair removal, one of which is Spironolactone. This pill form might slow down and reduce hair growth. However, these pills do not prevent hair growth on the scalp. Its anti-androgen effects can fight hormones that promote excessive hair growth. This medicine should not be used by men because of its anti-androgen properties. In addition, spironolactone is also not recommended for pregnant women.
Apart from pills, another hair removal option is a cream called Vaniqa. Having been approved by the FDA, this cream does not remove hair but can slow down facial hair growth. Vaniqa has not been approved to be effective in other areas.
How to use it is very easy, you just need to apply it to the face area such as upper lips and beneath the chin. Vaniqa needs about 2 – 4 months to take effect. One thing you must remember, this drug can only be used with a doctor’s prescription.