For those who are tired of shaving, waxing, and plucking, methods have been developed to eliminate unwanted hair permanently. These systems involve the destruction of the hair’s root or inhibiting the hair’s ability to grow, by using a wide variety of chemicals and energy. Living with unwanted hair can affect your self-image and it can also be an issue of religious beliefs or safety concerns.
Laser Hair Removal
Effective on both large and small areas of the body, laser hair removal in not suitable for all skin and hair types. Lasers use the attraction and refraction of light to destroy the hair follicle. A dark liquid dyes the melanin found in hair follicles. Then, the laser’s light is focused on this area, which increases the amount of heat attracted to the hair follicle. The follicle is then burned and unable to produce a new hair.
There is a number of risks and disadvantages to laser hair removal. Because of the color requirement, the treatment in ineffective for dark skin with black hair or pale skin covered in light colored hair. The laser can also cause small abrasions, heat blisters, or scars and increase the risk of infection. The cost and time involved can vary greatly with laser hair removal because all of the hair is rarely removed in one treatment.
Another common hair removal method, known as electrolysis, uses either thermolysis or galvanic technologies to kill hair follicles. This technique is the perfect application for treating small areas. Larger areas can also be treated, but they will require a much larger portion of time and money to get the same results. The electrologist inserts a tiny needle-like probe into each individual follicle. The hair is then killed and it can be easily plucked out leaving the skin smooth. Although electrolysis is effective for almost everyone, the risks and costs involved are similar to those of laser hair removal.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
With this method, a special wand is used to emit light through a glass prism in a series of short and intense bursts. The light, attracted to the dark color of a hair’s root, is absorbed into the follicle and burned. This hair removal method is also highly beneficial in treating various skin problems such as discoloration, visible blood vessels, and acne.
As with other permanent hair removal methods, the discomfort from this treatment ranges from experiencing a warm feeling to a sharp sting and may require treatments. Side effects such as infections, burns, open cuts, and changes to the color of the skin are also possible. In comparison to the other permanent treatments, this hair removal technique does not need to be performed by a medical specialist. Instead, beauticians and cosmeticians can receive certification and perform IPL treatments in their own salons and hair treatment facilities.
There are a number of drugs available to stop the growth of unwanted hair permanently. A majority of these drugs are available with a prescription from a dermatologist. Creams, applied directly onto the skin, stop hair growth, but still require the hair to be removed. These types of hair removal creams also carry the risk of skin irritation and an increased sensitivity to light.
Oral medications such as cyproterone acetate, spironolactone, and androgen blockers, alter the hormones in the body. These drugs have a strict series of requirements and can have a wide range of side effects. The disadvantages can include problems with blood clotting, weight, and emotional changes.
Unwanted hair can make you feel unattractive or get in the way of daily activities. Removing it will boost your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself. To determine which method you want to use, the area you wish to treat, the type of hair you want to remove, and amount of risk you are willing to take need to be carefully considered. Professionals can be a great resource to help you go through your options and ensure your hair removal experience is as safe and pleasant as possible.