The following hair removal techniques can benefit men and women looking for long-term hair removal solutions:
Electrolysis is a United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approved permanent hair removal technique performed by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, or certified electrologists. It involves the use of shortwave radio frequencies delivered through very thin, fine needles placed directly into the hair follicles. The shortwave radio frequencies disable the hair follicle, and it can no longer stimulate new hair growth. Multiple sessions are required every 1-2 weeks to achieve results, and it can result in permanent hair removal. Electrolysis can be done anywhere on the face or body. Since only one follicle is treated at a time, it can be time-consuming to cover larger areas of the body, hence it’s best for the face or smaller areas of the body like the underarms. While consulting a doctor for electrolysis, the individual should grow out their face or body hair fully so the doctor can assess the body hair and design a treatment plan. Electrolysis works well for most skin types. Patients may experience pain, redness, swelling, and irritation. There is also a risk of scarring and infection.
Laser hair removal is a US FDA approved hair removal technique for long-term hair removal, performed by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, or certified laser specialists. The laser works by damaging the follicle with high-heat lasers to stop new hair from growing. The laser can be done anywhere on the face and body, except the under-eye area. The laser works best on people with light skin tones who have dark hair and thick hair. The thicker the hair, the better the effect of the laser. However, several new types of lasers also work on darker skin tones and fine hair-like peach fuzz on the face. Laser hair removal requires multiple sessions (around four to eight sessions, depending on the individual), 4-6 weeks apart for best results. The hair that grows back becomes finer and lighter in color after a few sessions, resulting in permanent hair reduction and long-term hair removal. Laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. Touch-up sessions may be required every year or every 2 years to main the hair-free skin. Without touch up sessions, the hair will most likely grow back slowly but will be very fine and light. Pregnancy and other hormonal disorders can result in faster hair growth, requiring more sessions of touch up sessions. While consulting a doctor for laser hair removal, the individual should grow out their face or body hair fully, so the doctor can assess the body hair and design a treatment plan. Patients may experience discomfort, redness, irritation, and swelling that usually resolves. Temporary pigment changes can occur, especially in people with darker skin tones. Rarely blistering and scarring may occur.
Eflornithine is a medication used in prescription creams under several trade names, such as Vaniqa, in the United States and can be applied over the skin. It works by inhibiting the production of enzymes that stimulate hair growth. It is applied twice a day for a month and the results can last up to 6-8 weeks (can vary with each individual), after which this process would have to be repeated. The individual may shave, wax, or thread alongside as well. Eflornithine works only for facial hair and works better on women. Some side effects may include allergy, irritation, burning, rashes, and acne.
There are no home remedies that can permanently get rid of hair from the face and body. However, there are hair removal techniques that can give good results lasting around 4 weeks. They include:
The results of waxing can last around 3-4 weeks. Waxing can cause pain and discomfort. It usually takes longer to remove hair and is usually done by a professional, which can be expensive. However, several self-waxing strips are also available for people to be able to wax their bodies on their own at home. Waxing can be done all over the body, including the face. Warm, melted wax is applied to the skin in strips and pulled off in the opposite direction of the hair growth. The wax adheres firmly to the hair and heat causes the hair follicles to dilate slightly, resulting in the entire hair, including the root, to be removed. With regular waxing, since the entire hair with the root is removed, the new hair that grows out would become weaker over time and hence become easier and less painful to wax.
Those with overly sensitive skin can develop significant redness, irritation, and swelling after waxing. Waxing may be contraindicated when the individual is undergoing other skin treatments like skin peels, topical medications, or laser treatments; hence, it is advised to consult the doctor regarding the same. There is a risk of developing ingrown hair with regular waxing. This can be minimized by thoroughly exfoliating the skin before waxing to remove dead cells and impurities that can block the hair follicles resulting in ingrown hair. There is also a risk of infection following waxing if proper hygiene practices are not followed. The hair must regrow at least a quarter of an inch before waxing can be repeated, which means a person would have to go through a period of having body hair before they can wax again. However, shaving and depilatory creams may be used as they work with any hair length.
Sugaring is an ancient technique of hair removal, which has now regained popularity. It may be done at home or by a professional. It uses a simple recipe of sugar, lemon juice, and water to create a paste, which can be made at home as well. The paste is applied over the skin and then pulled off in the opposite direction of hair growth. Like waxing, the hair is pulled off from the roots, and results last 3-4 weeks. The hair has to regrow at least a quarter of an inch before sugaring can be repeated. Sugaring is less painful and less damaging to the skin than waxing.
Threading is ideal to remove hair from small areas like the face. It removes the hair by the root. It is very precise, hence ideal to shape the eyebrows. The process is quick, it involves using a thread to pluck out several hairs at once. It is typically done by a professional, but one can learn the technique of threading from a profession or from watching instructional videos online. The results can last 3-6 weeks but can vary depending on the hair growth. Pain, discomfort, and redness are common during threading. Those with extremely sensitive skin may develop significant redness, swelling, and irritation.
Turmeric is a natural spice that is believed to have hair removal properties. It contains natural chemicals that may be able to slow or stop hair growth by weakening the hair roots. The results are slow and not dramatic like shaving or waxing, but it may be used alongside other hair removal techniques for its potential long-term benefits. Turmeric is safe for most people; it also helps reduce pigmentation and inflammation. In addition, it has antimicrobial properties. Turmeric may be applied all over the body every day in the form of turmeric oil (which may be washed off after an hour) or homemade masks. Turmeric may be mixed with lemon, honey, gram flour, milk, or yogurt into a paste, applied over the skin, and allowed to dry. Once the mask dries out, it can be gently scrubbed off.
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WebMD. Electrolysis for Hair Removal. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-electrolysis#1