Dealing with daily shaving, waxing, or plucking is super annoying. Many people look for different hair removal treatment options to avoid dealing with excessive hair growth. Should you consider using chemical hair removal treatments, or will you be able to limit hair problems with natural hair removal? Here are some differences between the two to help you decide which is the best option for your situation.
Chemical Hair Removal
Chemical options to use at-home are brands like Nair, Veet, and Magic Shave. These products can work well to help remove hair, but they only work for a limited amount of time. It is also essential to use the right products as some can burn your skin. These products are applied to the skin as creams, gels, or lotions. Once they have worked, you have to wash them off the surface of your skin. The hair will dissolve and fall away.
Products that contain Keratin usually are those designed to remove hair. Keratin is a complicated chemical to control because it does make your normal hair healthier, but in the wrong dosage, it will damage the hair and cause it to fall out. This is why it is used within many of the chemical treatments.
Natural Hair Removal
If you would like to try a natural hair removal method, there is a method called body sugaring. This method is cheap, and it does remove the hair by the root. The hair may still grow back slightly after the treatment, but it usually is softer. To make a body paste use the following method:
- 2 Cups Sugar
- ¼ Cup Lemon Juice
- ¼ Cup Water
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan on a low level. Do not allow the mixture to boil, and once it reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer, it should be ready. Let the mixture cool before you pour it into a jar where it can be reheated for future use. Rub the mixture onto your skin by using a popsicle stick. Once you have it correctly spread on the skin, use thin cotton clothes to attach it to the sugar on your legs. Let it dry before you rip it off quickly. This will pull the hair out of the follicles, just like waxing does.
For long term hair removal, Waxing is a painful, yet effective process. You apply hot wax to the skin. The wax sticks and seals around the hair, and your hair is pulled out by the root when you quickly remove the wax. Soft wax uses cloth strips to remove the wax and hair, hard wax cools and hardens around the hair (like shrink wrap), and you can remove it without cloth strips.
All of the above methods can cause ingrown hairs and irritation. What you choose depends on your skin type and pain threshold. Those with sensitive skin may find waxing too much. And those who experience quick and thick hair growth, may find that waxing provides a better alternative than shaving every day.
Professional Hair Removal
Another more expensive option is a professional laser hair removal. Laser hair removal becomes commercially available during the mid-1990s, however, it was experimented with for approximately 20 years before that time.
Hair removal works through a process known as selective photothermolysis. This uses wavelengths of light and pulse for a specific duration on a given area that has very minimal effect on the surrounding areas. Lasers heat melanin in a given area that causes hair growth to occur and damages the hair follicle. This is a quick and effective process to remove hair.
However it doesn’t work on everyone. It works best on those with light skin and dark hair. Those with dark skin or light hair will find that the laser can’t “find” the hair because there isn’t enough contrast.
One benefit of using laser hair removal is precision. Lasers can penetrate a given area while leaving other surrounding regions untouched and unharmed. It gets at the root of the problem, not just the surface. Another benefit is the speed of the process. Each pulse of the laser takes approximately only a fraction of a second and can target multiple hairs at once. Areas such as your lip may take only a minute, while your legs could take an hour. Not bad if you ask me! A third benefit is the predictability of it. After about three to five sessions, 90% of patients who undergo laser hair removal have permanent hair loss. No more shaving every couple of days! This, in and of itself, is totally worth the procedures if you want my honest opinion.
Laser hair removal doesn’t happen overnight. You can expect to have six to eight depilatory hair treatments. The damage to the hair follicle slows and eventually stops hair regrowth. However, contrary to popular belief, laser hair removal technology is not permanent. You can expect to go in for a “touch up” every five or six years. And since it’s an incredibly expensive procedure, most people limit it to unwanted facial hair, underarms, and pubic hair.
Since it is a medical procedure, you must prepare your skin for it. Limit the amount you pluck or shave the area you are wanting to get treated starting about six weeks before the scheduled treatment date. You want to do this because the laser focuses on the hair roots, and you want to make sure they are there ready to get treated. Another helpful tip in preparing for treatment is to avoid sun exposure before and after treatment for a little while because it makes the procedure less productive and can cause complications if experienced too close after receiving treatment.
What to Expect?
First, the hair that has grown over the six weeks will be trimmed in preparation for the laser. Then the laser is adjusted for you according to the color, thickness, and location of the hair you want to remove. A cooling gel will be applied to your skin, which helps the laser light penetrate your skin. Next, a practice pulse will be applied to the area, and the technician will watch the area for a few minutes to make sure the settings of the laser are good for your skin. Once the treatment is completed, you will typically be given ice packs or anti-inflammatory cream to apply to the treated area to help minimize any discomfort. Redness is common and should dissipate within 24 hours.
At Home Laser Hair Removal
There are several products that claim to be effective at-home laser hair removal. They are supposed to be especially effective for removing unwanted facial hair. The Tria laser is the only at-home laser approved to remove unwanted pubic hair.