Unwanted hair on the chin, upper lip, legs, fingers, back, cheeks, toes, etc., are common. Caused by various factors ranging from genetics, higher levels of certain hormones to certain medications, there are several ways to get rid of unwanted hair. Some methods lead to permanent hair removal whereas some methods provide relief for a few months or longer periods of time. These methods are suitable for all males and females but not for removing hair from every part of the body.
Hair Removal Options
Laser Hair Removal
It is an effective way of removing unwanted hair for a longer duration, say for many years. Hair growth starts with the hair follicle. Moreover, hair stands have a unique growth cycle involving resting, shedding and growing. Hair may re-grow when hair follicles not damaged properly. Laser hair removal works by using laser light by targeting the pigment of hairs. From shaft of the hair, the light usually travels down into the hair follicles and destroys them. Due to this, there are no chances of hair re-growth. The treatment is effective only for dark hair.
In order to get the best results, people need to take multiple sessions for laser hair removal. Ideally, the area of hair removal determines the number of sessions a person requires. The time period usually varies from four to six sessions taking at an interval of 4-8 weeks. The skin irritation and redness are some of the common side-effects of this technique. However, both the symptoms usually go away after a few hours.
Usually, hair removal by laser technique lasts for several years but does not guarantee permanent hair removal. When hair re-grows, it is lighter in color and finer in texture. This treatment is most suitable for removing hair from upper lip, bikini line, armpits, etc. For assured results, people should visit the reputed clinic or salon for seeking the treatment.
Electrolysis is an advanced hair removal treatment where shortwave radio frequencies target hair follicles directly through fine needles. This permanent hair removal treatment aims at destroying hair follicles to inhibit the growth of new hair. In Electrolysis, there are two hair removal methods: Thermolytic and Galvanic. The former method destroys hair follicles with heat whereas the latter removes hair chemically.
The total duration of the first session of the treatment lasts for 45 minutes to 1 hour, whereas “touch-up” sessions end up in a 15-20 minute time frame. The treatment is quite expensive and demands initial consultation from licensed Electrologists or dermatologists. Like laser hair removal, multiple sessions are mandatory for seeking the best results.
Electrolysis works wonder for removing hair from any part of the body and shows excellent results with all skin types. Pain and redness followed by skin irritation are some of the common side-effects that go away on their own.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
Works in a similar fashion as laser hair removal, the method uses more wavelengths for killing hair roots. The treatment is painful and expensive as well. The target area along with hair thickness determines the number of hair removal sessions. For instance, 8 sessions are required for removing hair from bikini lines whereas armpits take around 5-6 sessions. However, people start experiencing a drastic reduction in hair growth from the first session onwards. The permanent hair removal treatment, IPL, shows the best result on dark hair.
Shaving and Waxing
Shaving is ideal to get rid of unwanted hair from arms, legs, etc. Many males even adopt this method for removing hair from the pubic region but it results in hair re-growth after a short period of time. Waxing is a common and cheap way of removing hair at home or at a salon. It is a little pain and may not remove all hair completely. Many women prefer this method of hair removal for upper lips and bikini area.
If you cannot afford the cost of advanced permanent hair removal methods like laser hair removal and electrolysis, you can rely upon prescription creams as well. Depending upon the skin condition, the thickness of hair and area of hair removal, dermatologist recommend certain creams which may need to apply two times in a day for a month for getting the best results. These creams work by ceasing the production of those enzymes, which stimulate hair growth. The prescription creams have some side-effects like rashes, acne breakouts, etc., but they are not life-threatening in nature. Another important fact is not all creams work in all areas of the body. Thus, it is prudent to disclose the area of hair removal to a dermatologist before purchasing any prescription cream.
Plucking or Tweezing
It is a painful yet good option for removing a few hair strands. Commonly used for removing hair from eyebrows or face, this method actually removes hair from the root. The hair re-grows in two-eight weeks’ time depending upon the cycle of hair growth of an individual. This method is not ideal for larger areas as it may lead to scarring. Though it is inexpensive, a person needs to take this treatment more frequently.
If none of the treatment results in permanent hair removal, seek healthcare professional’s advice. He may recommend certain drugs that result in inhibiting hair growth. FDA approves many of these medications for slowing down hair growth. Ideal to use both by males and females, a person needs to administer the dosages twice in a day. However, hair re-growth starts taking place as soon as a person stops using it.
There are some natural methods as well of removing unwanted hair from various parts of the body, but none of them show permanent removal. So, it is easy to conclude that electrolysis and IPL are two methods of permanent hair removal. Laser hair removal shows effective results for a longer duration. All these methods are expensive and require multiple touch-up sessions. Prefer taking these treatments from a certified dermatologist or health care professional for getting the best result. Depending upon the treatment chosen and area of hair removal, the numbers of touch-up sessions vary from one treatment to another. Some other methods like waxing, shaving, prescription creams, etc., are inexpensive but results in hair re-growth after a specific time period.