Hair Removal (cont.)
Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Hair removal facts
- What are the different types of hair?
- What are the pros and cons of electrolysis?
- What are the pros and cons of laser hair removal?
- What are the pros and cons of shaving?
- What are the pros and cons of depilatory creams?
- What are the pros and cons of sugaring and waxing?
- What are the pros and cons of plucking and tweezing?
- What are the pros and cons of twist-threading?
- Do any prescription medications or products stop hair growth?
- Which hair-removal method provides the longest lasting results?
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What are the pros and cons of depilatory creams?
Depilatory creams (Nair, Veet) rely on chemical means to destroy the hair shaft by breaking disulfide bonds of the hair proteins. They require a three- to five-minute application to be effective. They produce a softer feel to the severed shaft than does shaving. Chemical depilatories may produce irritation or dermatitis in certain sensitive individuals.
What are the pros and cons of sugaring and waxing?
These are two ancient techniques used to remove hair over larger body surfaces. These methods involve applying a molten solution of sugar-impregnated cloth or wax. After these solutions solidify, they are abruptly yanked away from the skin, pulling out the adherent hairs. It is necessary for the hairs to be long enough to be "grabbed" by the material. These types of procedures can be quite painful. If the solutions are too hot, skin burns can occur.
What are the pros and cons of plucking and tweezing?
Plucking or pulling hairs out one at a time is a very effective but tedious method of depilation. This can result in sufficient inflammation to produce dark spots around plucked follicles. Permanent hair loss can ensue if plucking is performed repeatedly over long periods of time.
What are the pros and cons of twist-threading?
This is an ancient method of depilation popular in the Middle East. A skilled practitioner holds a twisted length of thread in one hand while the other end is held in the mouth or in the other hand. Then hairs are trapped in the twisted thread and pulled out. Although this can be performed by oneself, it probably is more easily accomplished by a technician. It is reasonably costly and must be repeated frequently.
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