Hair Removal Methods: Self Care and In-Office
Constantly removing body hair is quite bothersome. Everyone wishes to get a permanent hair removal solution.
However, most such techniques do not provide lifelong solutions.
You can get long-lasting but temporary results. This article discusses the different methods used for removing hair.
Learn how you achieve smoother, hairless skin by using these techniques.
Hair Growth Cycle
There is body hair on several parts of the body.
You may want to remove it by trying different methods.
Though, you can effectively remove hair if you know its growth cycle and when is the best time to remove it.
Knowing this can also help reduce hair growth.
The hair first belongs to the pilosebaceous unit.
This unit consists of a hair follicle, sebaceous gland, hair shaft and erector pili muscle.
A single hair grows inside this unit and that happens in three phases:
- Telogen Phase – also known as resting phase
- Catagen Phase – the transition phase
- Anagen Phase – the hair growth phase
The hair is removed in the anagen phase when it grows approximately 1cm in length every month.
It remains in all three stages are different lengths of time.
This difference arises from hormones, genetics and the body part where the hair grows.
Hence, you will notice that your hair growth is more in some parts (such as the underarm) and less in others (such as the arms).
Body hair grows back to its full length after removing it in about a month.
Though, the growth rate can have its ups and downs.
It can slow down because of age or grow more because of hormonal changes.
Your genetics, medicines and nutrition can also affect the growth rate.
As the hair grows in the follicle, it makes its way up by feeding on blood.
The hair on your skin is dead whereas underneath the skin surface is alive and is lubricated by sebaceous oil glands.
Once it starts growing back, you will want to remove it.
There are several methods to do so. Let’s find out about them below!
Self-Care Hair Removal Methods
The most popular ways to remove your hair include waxing, shaving and laser treatment.
Laser hair removal in Sharjah and electrolysis can give you clear skin for a long while but they don’t count as self-care.
Whereas, hair grows back by waxing and shaving soon. Read more about it below.
Shaving and Plucking
A hassle-free way to get rid of unwanted hair is shaving using razors.
It cuts hair from the surface of the skin without removing it from underneath.
Hence, it is a very temporary method.
Soon the part of the hair underneath will grow back.
Though, there are popular myths that shaving makes the hair grow back thicker, faster and darker.
This is completely untrue!
In fact, the only thing shaving does is that the hair has a blunt tip rather than a tapered one.
Hence, it is more visible than that growing back from waxing.
However, there are chances of getting nicks, cuts, scrapes and ingrown hair.
Therefore, use a razor gently with shaving cream or a body wash to avoid any cuts.
Shaving is a good solution and convenient for removing facial hair and that on arms and legs.
It is a painless method as long as you don’t cut yourself with the blade which can hurt.
Also, you can get it done quickly.
That is why even if hair grows back soon, you just need a few minutes to clean your skin.
Plucking does not work like shaving because it removes hair from underneath the skin surface.
Moreover, plucking and tweezing are very time-consuming.
It is good to remove a few hairs on your face and reshape eyebrows, but it is not ideal for use on larger body parts such as the arms.
Plus, it is quite painful. Though, it is widely used for eyebrow hairs as a laser isn’t the most suitable method for that.
However, be careful as it can cause plucking and tweezing can cause scarring and ingrown.
Besides plucking, threading is in popular use for eyebrow and upper lip hair.
It differs from plucking and tweezing as it removes rows of hair using a thread.
Whereas plucking removes a single hair strand at a time.
Waxing, although is a painful method, removes a lot of hair at once and decreases growth over time.
There are different kinds of wax, homemade sugar wax, Rica wax and wax beads.
All are warmed and spread along the direction of the hair.
Be careful of burns while applying the hot wax to your skin.
Soon the wax cools and the hair sticks to it.
By placing a fabric strip on the treatment area and pulling it off in the opposite direction of the hair, it gets rid of unwanted hair.
It is a good method to remove hair in a large surface area at once, though, it does hurt a lot.
Sugar waxing or sugaring works in a similar manner.
However, it uses a natural sugar product or honey.
The difference is that it is not as messy as other waxes as it is water-soluble.
Therefore, you can easily clean it offers your skin or surfaces after use.
On the other hand, traditional waxes can be messy.
Though waxing removes hair from beneath the skin surface and lasts longer, it also has its cons.
Besides pain, risk of burn and it being messy, waxing can also cause infections.
Though, it is uncommon.
Furthermore, you should not get waxing if you take prescription drugs like Retin A for acne.
Do not use it on varicose veins, sunburns, moles or warts.
It is mostly used on upper lips, underarms and bikini line.
The use of over-the-counter hair removal creams is known as chemical depilation.
As you apply the hair removal cream to your skin, it can weaken the keratin protein in your hair strands.
The creams contain thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide.
The chemical thioglycolate can dissolve the bonds between hair cells and skin.
Hence, the hair shaft weakens and falls off as you wipe the cream.
Though it does not remove from the follicle hence, the hair grows back soon.
That said it is a painless and convenient method for removal.
You should, however, do a patch test before applying it in the target area.
Take some cream and apply it to your elbow or any other small area.
Check if you get any rashes, burns or irritation as these creams are not always safe to use.
Only use the depilatories 48 hours after doing the patch test which did not pose any problems.
Leaving it in place for too long can also cause burns.
Remember, they all have different uses so use them according to the label.
Apply a hydrocortisone cream afterward to soothe any irritation.
Although chemical depilatories have their risks, there is an FDA-approved topical cream for facial hair reduction.
The cream Vaniqa reduces facial hair growth by blocking the enzyme which contributes to cell growth and reproduction leading to hair growth.
Apply it twice for four to eight weeks to see results.
However, this cream works best with laser therapy.
Now that you know the hair removal at-home methods, let’s find out about the cosmetic procedures performed by a dermatologist to remove your unwanted hair.
In-Office Hair Removal Treatments
Only your dermatologist can perform these in-office treatments.
It consists of electrolysis and laser hair removal.
Both these treatments provide more long-lasting results than other cosmetic and self-care methods.
Keep reading below to know them in detail.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser Hair Removal is long-lasting because it manages to destroy or damage the hair follicle.
The high heat soft light lasers damage to follicle enough to disrupt its regrowth.
It works much better in people with light skin compared to those with darker skin types.
Also, it is effective on darker hair rather than lighter ones.
Though, you can get it on any part of the body except near the eyes.
This procedure is not painless.
You will feel a tingling sensation when the laser burns the follicle, however, your doctor will apply an anesthetic cream to numb the target area.
You will require multiple sessions for a single treated area usually around 4 to 6 weeks apart.
It is not a dermatologic surgery but a dermatological procedure that you should perform in-office rather than at home to see long term results.
It is best in removing when your hair growth is in the anagen phase.
Though, it is important to note that laser hair removal is not a permanent solution to unwanted excess hair.
The damaged hair will not grow again however, new growth can come.
Though, it will not come any soon. It can last for months or years.
Whenever the new growth comes it will be much finer and lighter.
It is crucial to go for a qualified and highly trained doctor for your treatment.
Otherwise, there can be side effects like redness, skin irritation or a reaction which increases hair growth instead.
In an electrolysis procedure, the doctor uses a device emitting shortwave radio frequencies through needles in your hair follicles.
The current successfully destroys the follicle inhibiting its growth.
It burns each follicle root individually and that requires several treatments.
There are of two types:
The Thermolytic method utilizes heat and Galvanic uses chemicals. Both destroy the hair follicle.
The FDA approves this as a method to permanently remove hair.
However, you will still need multiple sessions every two weeks apart for some time to witness no more hair growth.
Though it also has its cons and drawbacks.
There is a risk of hyperpigmentation, keloids, infection, hypopigmentation and scarring.
It is also an expensive procedure that requires follow-up sessions for 12 to 18 months.
Plus it is painful.
Another painless method to consider is bleaching which will lighten your body hair and make it less visible.
The medicine Spironolactone can also reduce unwanted hair growth while not harming the hair on the scalp.
These are the various hair removal methods that you can try on your own or get treatment through a doctor.
Choose the most suitable method based on affordability and effectiveness.
However, if you are tired of continuously removing hair then go for in-office procedures which will provide you much long-lasting results.