The 411 on Hair Removal

Many of us have unwanted hair on our bodies and faces. It’s natural, but can also be due to genetics, hormone imbalances, medications, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Whatever the reason, you may be curious about different hair-removal procedures. Let’s break down some hair-removal options and what to expect.

Waxing

When it comes to waxing, you have the option to use an at-home waxing kit or go to a salon that provides waxing services. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following:

  • Be sure the hair on your body being waxed is at the optimal length (one-fourth to three-fourths of an inch long). If it’s longer, trim the hair before waxing.
  • Peach fuzz on your face can also be waxed.
  • Before waxing, make sure to thoroughly clean and dry the area. You will want to remove dirt, dead skin cells, and any products you might have applied to the area.
  • Keep your skin happy post-waxing by applying cold compresses, avoiding hot showers and baths, and using non-comedogenic products.

Threading

Threading originated in Eastern cultures but is now popular worldwide for shaping eyebrows and removing upper-lip hair. While threading is a common hair-removal option, there are possible complications like hyperpigmentation and depigmentation. In most cases, when done by a professional and employing appropriate before-and-after care, threading is an easy way to keep your eyebrows beautifully shaped.

Electrolysis 

Electrolysis is a type of hair removal where a professional electrologist inserts a thin wire into the hair follicle under the skin’s surface. The electrical current from the wire destroys the follicle, making the hair fall out and preventing new hair from growing.  This process takes multiple sessions to achieve desired results. Electrolysis treatment should be done weekly or biweekly and may have to be done for up to 18 months.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is practiced by a variety of professionals, including nurses, plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and, sometimes, primary care providers. The professional will first thoroughly clean the area (some providers offer numbing gel). You, along with staff, will wear protective eye gear. The laser vaporizes the hair, which can feel like small shock pulses or flicking. Depending on the size of the areas, the procedure can take a few minutes to an hour. Afterward, it’s important to follow your provider’s care instructions and avoid sun exposure for as long as they tell you to. You also will not be able to tan before the procedure.

Share your experiences with any of the above hair-removal processes in the comments below!

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