Methods of Hair Removal
Throughout history people have been cutting, styling and removing hair. The presence or absence of hair on certain body parts—for both men and women–plus the hair’s length and style were all indicators of both status and culture.
And hair removal is documented as far back as 30,000 years ago, when prehistoric men and women were removing hair with sharpened seashells and sharks’ teeth.
Here are the best known methods of hair removal that actually work at least to some degree:
Shaving removes hair at the surface of the skin or if you have a razor with several parallel blades, perhaps slightly below the skin. There is no damage to the hair follicle, so hair returns fairly quickly depending on your age, sex, health, and genetic predisposition. Shaving against the grain of the hair—against the direction in which it is growing—can lead to ingrown hairs and infections.
These are chemical creams that remove hair, again, at the surface of the skin with no damage to the underlying follicle. Hair regrows but takes slightly longer. The biggest downsides are that it takes time, you have to do it fairly frequently, like every few weeks, and most of these products have a terrible smell. The products are also typically not as effective on thicker or coarser darker hair.
Plucking is using an instrument to pluck hairs out individually, one at time. When you pluck hairs you (try to) remove much of the root bulb below the skin. Over time—months or years—the individual follicle may be damaged, and you may see that some hairs do not grow back.
Threading is similar to plucking. In threading, a few small threads are rolled back and forth across the skin. Hair is trapped within tightly wound threads and is plucked out, several hairs at a time.
Waxing is another method of mechanically removing hair from below the skin. Wax is heated, spread on a discrete area, then when the wax cools and solidifies, the cosmetician will either rip off the wax quickly in one piece or will apply a small piece of woven fabric to the wax patch, and rip of the wax with the help of the fabric.
Sugaring is a similar technique to waxing that comes to us from the Near East. A gooey sugar solution is applied like wax and then yanked off when it cools and solidifies.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
We talked last time about IPL, which is the use of a multi-wavelength beam of light (not laser) in a hand-held device for hair removal. It does work for hair removal and some other cosmetic and dermatological procedures, but it also has its limitations.
This, dear readers, is our specialty, and what we believe does the best and fastest job of permanent hair removal. We use and prefer the Light Sheer Duet diode laser at a light wavelength of 800nm.
Peer-reviewed research tells us that this particular laser is very effective and well tolerated by patients.
So, now you’ve had a list of the most common current methods of hair removal. There are a bunch of others that we won’t list here either because there is not good evidence that they work or they have some serious safety issues.
Try the Light Sheer Duet diode laser, and come see us for professional results.
If you have any questions about this article or laser hair removal, in general, or you want to make an appointment, please contact us at (778) 927-9000. Simply Flawless Laser is based in Surrey, BC.