Getting rid of unwanted hair from your body can sometimes be a very painful process. But knowing the right procedure can help you to avoid unwanted rashes and acne. Everybody has a different skin type, so knowing which hair removal method suits your skin is important.
The different methods of hair removal are:
Shaving: With the help of a razor, you can cut off the tip of the hair shaft which has grown out through the skin. You can get disposable razors, razors with disposable blades, and also electric razors. Men use these razors to shave their faces, and women use them to shave their underarms, legs, and bikini areas. Always use blades with safety guard wires to minimize nicks and cuts on your skin.
Shaving is an inexpensive method. You can do it yourself; all you need is a razor and a shaving gel. But this method can cause burns, cuts, and bumps on your skin, and can be rather uncomfortable. Even ingrown hairs occur, as while shaving the hairs are cut below the level of the skin, so when the hair grows back, it grows within the surrounding tissue and not out of the follicle. The hair curls around and starts growing into the skin, and irritation, redness, and swelling can occur at the hair follicle.
Plucking: With the help of tweezers, you can pull the hair out from its root. You have to stretch the skin tightly, grip the hair close to the base, and then pull it out. Plucking will last for about 3 to 5 weeks. Though this is time consuming, it is inexpensive, as you do not have to go anywhere to get it done. It can be painful, and you may notice temporary red bumps, as the hair follicle gets swollen and irritated.
Depilatories: Depilatories are hair removal creams or liquids. This is an easy method, as depilatories can remove hair from the skin’s surface. They work by reacting with the protein structure of the hair, so the hair dissolves and can be washed or wiped away. It can last up to 2 weeks. They are easily available and are inexpensive. You can use it on your legs, underarms, and bikini areas. It has a bad odor though, and some people can even have an allergic reaction to it, which may cause rashes or inflammation. People with sensitive skin should be careful.
Waxing: In this method, a sticky wax is spread on your skin, and then a cloth strip is applied over the wax and quickly pulled off, taking the hair root and dead skin cells with it. Normally the wax should be warmed, but some can be applied cold. It can be done at a salon or at home. Waxing makes the area smooth and is long lasting. It lasts for about 3 to 5 weeks. The hair regrowth also looks lighter than it does after other methods of hair removal such as shaving. This can be a painful procedure and you may even get bumps and inflammation after waxing, but the result you get is worth the pain. Professional waxing is also expensive compared to other hair removal methods. Diabetic patients and those under acne treatment should avoid this method.
Electrolysis: In this method a professional electrologist would insert a needle into the hair follicle and send an electric current through the hair root to kill it. This gets done over a series of several appointments. It is a long procedure, and even a small area like the upper lip may take a total of 4 to 10 hours, and a larger area such as the bikini line may take 8 to 16 hours. This is a permanent method, but it is expensive and time consuming. The process can be painful, and dry skin, scabs, scarring, and inflammation may result after treatment.
Laser: Here a laser would be directed through your skin to the hair follicle and stop growth. Large areas of skin can be treated at the same time. It can last up to 6 months. This method is best suited for light-skinned people having dark hair, as the melanin in the hair absorbs more of the light; thus making treatment more effective. The treatment can be expensive and may cost up to $500 or more.
Prescription Treatments: Medicinal creams are available by prescription, such as eflornithine for treating facial hair growth. The cream is to be applied twice a day until the hair becomes softer and lighter. Side effects may include skin irritation and acne.
Another method that doctors prescribe is antiandrogen medications to reduce the appearance of unwanted hair. Androgen hormone can be responsible for hair growth in unwanted areas, and antiandrogens can block the androgen production.
It’s your personal choice whether or not you want to remove your body hair. Hair removal would not affect your health in any way, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to remove it if you don’t want to. But if you do wish to get rid of unwanted hair, choose a method that would suit you best. Remember that each person is beautiful in his/her own way, so always respect your body.