As far as mammals go, humans have it pretty easy. Not only are we at the top of the food chain, we also don’t have fur growing out of our follicles. But the hair we do have can often be a nuisance, compelling us to find expeditious ways to remove it. Whether to tame armpit or leg hair, to groom the bikini area, or to get rid of facial hair, people choose different hair removal methods for a number of reasons, including comfort, convenience and cost.
Likely one of the most common modes of hair removal, shaving works by using either an electronic or disposable razor to cut off hair at the skin level. Razors can range in cost from a couple of bucks to twenty dollars or more, depending on razor type and blades. Shaving is painless as long as you use a good shaving cream or oil on your skin’s surface and can avoid cutting yourself. Although shaving can be a fast fix for getting rid of hair, it’s also a very temporary remedy. Hair that has been shaved typically grows back within one to three days.
As the Brazilian bikini wax has enjoyed widespread popularity in recent years, more women are acquainted with waxing as a hair removal method. Wax is applied to the skin and sticks to hair which must be at least a ¼ inch long for the method to work. The wax is then removed quickly, taking the hair with it.
Unlike shaving, waxing removes hair from the roots, so the results last longer. The procedure is quick but can also be painful. Large amounts of hair can be removed in a relatively short amount of time. When waxing is used as a primary method of hair removal, hair becomes finer over time, and (in theory) less painful.
3. Depilatory Creams
These creams are spread thickly over the skin in order to dissolve hair at the skin level, removing hair for up to three days. Use of depilatory creams is painless, although the creams may have an unpleasant odor as a result of their chemical composition. Depilatory creams tend to be ineffective in removing coarse hair.
By directing an electric current towards the root of the hair follicle, electrolysis can permanently remove hair one strand at a time. Some describe the process as creating a slight stinging sensation. Electrolysis can be effective for any skin type, but depending upon how much hair needs to be removed, it may take between 15 to 30 sessions to get the job done.
5. Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal targets a pulse of laser light at the follicle, permanently disabling hair during its growth phase. The sensation associated with laser hair removal is often described as a rubber band being snapped against the skin.
Unlike electrolysis, laser hair removal can treat multiple hairs simultaneously. Because hair grows in stages, a number of sessions are necessary in order to achieve a permanent, overall reduction in hair. Most people experience optimal results within six to 12 sessions, spaced 10 to 12 weeks apart.
Laser hair removal can be great for men or women, but works best for people with darker hair and lighter skin, although advances in technology have made this method of hair removal accessible to people with a wider range of skin types in recent years. People interested in laser hair removal should consult with a certified, experienced laser hair technician to ensure they get the best results.
Caroll Delo is a board certified laser technician at Simply Smooth Laser Center in Tampa, a niche practice that focuses specifically on laser treatments. Simply Smooth Laser Center offers the most advanced options in laser hair removal, laser skin rejuvenation and laser tattoo removal.