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Hair Removal (cont.)

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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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/13/2016


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