Have you ever noticed how Italian and Greek sculptures don’t have any hair on them at all. I recently found out that the reason for this is because back in the days men as well as women would get all of the hair on their bodies waxed off. While men eventually had enough of being tortured by having their thick hair pulled out of their bodies (until recently that is), women not only continued the traditions, but have also come up with new and improved ways to get the hair off. Some of the hair removal methods that I want to discuss are painful and some aren’t. If you want to know for sure you’ll have to try them out for yourself, but here are the basics on the types of hair removal out there today.
Laser Hair Removal Treatments
Laser is the newest method of all of the hair removal options out there today. While laser is fast and can be done on any part of the body except for the eyebrows (you can go blind), you should be aware of a few important facts before starting it. Perhaps the most common question about laser is, is laser hair removal permanent? The answer is no. Actually this method doesn’t kill the hair at all. It simply puts the hair to sleep so that it doesn’t grow for 2 years. Also, most laser companies say that their machines get rid of 30-70% of the hair so if your technician promises you 100% be sure to get it in writing because although we’ve all heard stories about getting 100% results, the chances are not great.
Another commonly asked question is how does laser work? Well, you go in for a test shot to make sure that you don’t burn and once it’s known that you don’t the technician will start working on you. Before you do any work at all, make sure that you don’t have any makeup, cream or baby oil on your skin and that you’ve shaved. Products may contain alcohol and having hair on your skin will cause you to burn. Depending on the machine she may apply some gel to your skin to help her glide and to cool your skin. While the process is being done you will experience redness, but this will go away within a couple of hours. About 1 week after the treatment, the hairs that were treated may or may not fall out, but you will start noticing that the hair is growing back slower. After the fourth treatment, you will start seeing bald spots and by the seventh treatment you should be done. The hair will be gone for two years and after that the hair that grows back is lighter and thinner so all you have to do is get one treatment every year in order to maintain it.
Now let’s discuss laser hair removal side effects. Right now, there is no proof at all that laser is cancerous, but that’s not to say that it’s completely safe either. If you’re pregnant or taking medication for your skin, you should not do laser. If you get burned while doing laser, go see your dermatologist immediately because while darker burns will heal on their own, the lighter ones require medication. But all this is why you do the test shot. The good points about laser is that it’s fast and can be done on most areas of the body and although it can be painful you can use Emla to help with the pain or take advil before you start the treatment.
Electrolysis Hair Removal
Electrolysis has been around in 1875 by a doctor who was trying to find a way to remove eyelash hairs from the eyelids of his patients. While laser gives you fast results, when doing electrolysis, the technician has to treat one hair at a time and so it’s much more time consuming. So now we have to ask, if you consider electrolysis vs. laser hair removal you may ask why electrolysis? The answer is because electrolysis is the only form of permanent hair removal that there is and it’s completely safe. While getting treatments you may experience some pain and even get brown dots on your skin, but this is temporary. The pain goes away instantly and the brown dots heal in about one week or less.
Electrolysis hair removal may be very time consuming, but the end results are well worth it because you will be hair free permanently at the end of your treatments. If you get some hair growth after several years, it may be because you have 1,000 hair follicles in every square inch of skin and some of the hairs that were not active before are active and growing now.
What’s not to get? You apply some shaving gel onto the area that you want to shave and use a good razor to shave. Duh right? Wrong!! I can’t tell you how many people have complained to me that they have problems with shaving and don’t like to do it because they get huge cuts. As it turns out, these same people used cheap razors rather than good ones and wonder why they get cuts. Ok I get it, we all want to save money here, but think of it like this- isn’t it better to spend the extra $4.00 and have a great razor that doesn’t butcher you than to spend a total of $2.00 and get a razor that keeps cutting you, doesn’t work so well on areas with thick hair and doesn’t last?
I’ve also heard people say that they use baby oil, soap or nothing at all to shave. These aren’t good ideas either because they will all cause you to cut yourself repeatedly. I can’t tell you how important it is to use the proper shaving equipment to get a clean, fast shave. If you need a recommendation, I suggest the Schick Xtreme 3 and any gilette gel.
One more thing that I want to touch on here is that shaving DOES NOT make your hair thicker. It may look like it does because you’re constantly cutting the and causing it to have a flat surface, but the hair is the same size as always.
Now here are the pros and cons of shaving. Pros, it’s fast and cheap. Cons, the hair grows back fast and it’s something that you’ll have to do for the rest of your ife.
Wax Hair Removal
Waxing came into play right after the Stone Age and there are many different types of wax used to get best results on different body parts. It’s important to make sure that you go to someone who has some experience in this field and understands hair because it can be very painful. More importantly, make sure that you go to someone who doesn’t double dip. By this I mean that they use a different stick to put the wax on your skin as the stick that they use on someone else. They should also use the muslin once to remove each patch of hair. If your waxing lady uses a piece of muslin over and over again to take the wax off of you, then she’s slowing down the process and not doing as good of a job because the wax gets cooler and it doesn’t have the ability to pick up hair as well.
Waxing is not a permanent solution to hair removal either. You may have heard stories that people have less hair over a long period of time, but that’s caused by genetics or medication, not by waxing. The reason for this is that wax does not kill the root of the hair in any way. It simply pulls it out.
Pros and cons of waxing: It takes longer for the hair to grow out than it does for shaving and it can be done on any part of the body. However, make sure that you go somewhere clean and the wax is not too hot or you can burn.
Threading Hair Removal
Threading is a great hair removal treatment if you want to remove hair from a small part of your body such as your eyebrows or upper lip. However, it will take a very long time to do if you want to do a big area such as your legs and it may not work on very thick, coarse hairs. A common problem with threading is that the hair grows back quickly so you will have to go for threading often. Another threading problem is that sometimes it’s difficult to control and you may end up with two completely different eyebrows. On the plus side, threading does leave your skin feeling soft .
You can find hair removal creams such as topical creams that are easy to use. However, be sure that you keep an eye on the clock because if you leave the cream on for too long, it may cause you to bleed. Otherwise, these hair removal products are very much like shaving- they work fast, but the hair grows back quickly.
Well that’s about it for me. I’ve tried all of these treatments and think that the best hair removal technique is electrolysis because it’s permanent. However, you have to pick the right one for you.