Hair removal, medically known as epilation or depilation, is the purposeful removal of unwanted hair. There are different ways hair can be removed but caution should be taken as not all methods are equal. Different methods work for different body areas and hair types. For example removing hair from legs is not the same as eliminating hair from sensitive places such as the face or genital area.
All methods have their pro and cons. The most effective and commonly recommended are discussed below:
1. Hair Removal Cream
Depilatory creams and lotions are one the most practical approaches to getting rid of body hair. Tested by experts, and not containing harsh chemicals, Hair Removal Cream is rated as the most potent and popular solution. It enables one to get rid of unwanted hair and inhibit future growth without causing the side effects commonly seen with over the counter creams.
includes a unique formula that gently dissolves the proteins that make up the hair and, at the same timem weakens the roots to gradually halt future hair production. Regular use over time stops hair growth significantly, which ensures that users are able to experience complete freedom from unwanted hair.
This hair removal cream helps individuals eliminate undesirable hair safely from sensitive locations like the face, under arms or genital area. works for other parts of the body as well that have coarser hair such as the chest, arms and legs. This hair removal cream is the only one of its type that allows people the ability to use the same cream for different types of areas and hair types without skin irritation or discoloration. It’s suitable for men and women who have abnormal hair growth patterns.
Market reports suggest that does not ingrown hairs, bumps, redness and irritation and lives up to its promise of effortless and painless hair removal. It leaves behind healthy, soft and refreshed skin after each application.
Depends upon usage. Larger areas and permanent removal requires more cream which would cost between $40 to $120.
- Its cumbersome to apply to the cream on large areas
- Need to use it for several weeks before significant permanent inhibition is visible
Depilation is removal of hair that is above the skin surface. Shaving or trimming is possibly the most well-known and popular depilation method to getting rid of extraneous hair. A manual or electric razor (shaver) is used to cut the hair to the same level as the skin. It is commonly used by men to remove facial hair and by women to eliminate hair on the legs, groin, and under the arms.
While this method takes some practice, the hair removal process becomes faster and easier as the person gains experience. It’s a good idea to bathe or take a shower for at least two to three minutes before shaving. This allows the hair to hydrate and soften, which makes it easier to cut.
Basic manual razors cost less than a dollar, and regular bath soap can be used as a lathering agent. Electric shavers cost anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on the brand and features. Creams, soaps, and gels specially formulated for shaving are typically priced $5 to $50.
How Long Results Last
Temporary. Because of higher testosterone levels, men can expect to see stubble within 24 hours on their faces and 2 to 3 days in other places. Women will enjoy clean-shaven skin for about 4 to 5 days.
- High risk of nicks and cuts
- Skin irritation due to improper technique or poor quality razor/instruments
- Skin bumps and rashes
- Ingrown hair in places like groin and bikini area (shaving on a regular basis and keeping the skin moisturized will significantly reduce this problem)
- Time consuming
Electrolysis is the process of inserting a fine metal probe into the skin to burn away hair at the follicles. There are three types of electrolysis: Galvanic, thermolysis, and blend. In the Galvanic method, sodium hydroxide forms during the process that kills the hair cells. Thermoslysis heats the hair cells to high temperatures by application of an electric current, which causes them to coagulate and die. The blend method is a combination of the Galvanic and thermolysis techniques
Electrolysis is recognized by the American Medical Association and the FDA to permanently remove hair. Electrolysis is effective for Individuals with white or blond hair for which laser or IPL does not work.
The average cost is $25 to $150 per hour and most people require multiple sessions (up to 4 years worth) to achieve the results they want.
How Long Results Last
Permanent. In some cases, though, it may take several treatments to completely destroy the hair follicles to keep hair from growing back.
- Painful, though topical anesthetics may be used
- Takes a long time (sometimes years) to obtain desired results
- It’s best suited for small areas like the upper lip or chin
- May leave scars on dark skin
4. IPL/Laser Hair Removal
This FDA approved hair removal method is one of the most common cosmetic treatments done today. Removing hair using this method consists of pointing highly concentrated light into the hair shaft which is soaked up by the hair’s dark color. This destroys the hair shaft and cell by heating it up. This treatment can be used to remove hair from a number of areas including the face, chest, underarms, legs, and genitals. Unlike electrolysis, the IPL laser can treat multiple hairs at once, so patients get the same results in less time.
The price varies, ranging from $100 per session for under arm hair to $1,200 per session for hair on the chest and back. People typically need 3 to 4 sessions to obtain the desired results.
How Long Results Last
Laser procedures give permanent results after 6-12 treatments. How long the treatment is required depends solely upon the amount and type of hair. An average of 2 years of consistent treatment is typically required.
- Can cause hyper-pigmentation in people with dark skin
- Risk of skin lightening in treated area
- Painful or burning sensation experienced by some
- Must be done by a licensed practitioner
- It’s best suited for individuals with light skin but dark hair. Its doesn’t works for white hair or blond hair
- Sessions are quite lengthy and relatively expensive
Caution: Laser Treatment
According to a 2006 study published in the Lasers in Medical Science journal, there was no statistical difference between the results obtained using an alexandrite vs. a diode laser. However, it appears that diode laser treatments have a higher risk of causing side effects.
Facial hair removal for women can also be achieved through laser treatment. There are reports of major skin disfigurement caused by laser therapy, which eventually required plastic surgery for correction.
Also, laser treatment cannot be accomplished in one sitting. Patients will have to undergo six to seven sessions to make way for permanent results.
This is another common method of eliminating facial and body hair. A specially-designed wax is layered over the area and a strip of paper or cloth is pressed on top of it which is then pulled quickly in the same direction the hair is growing. This causes the hair to be removed at the root. An alternative method is to apply a thick layer of hot wax over the area and let it harden. The wax and hair is then removed using other complementary tools. Hot waxing is touted as being better for people with sensitive skin.
Do-it-yourself waxing kits are pretty inexpensive, costing around $25 to $50. Professional cosmetologist rates vary depending on the body part, starting at $5 to remove hair from the upper lip to $100 for legs.
How Long Results Lasts
Two to eight weeks, depending on the individual’s biology.
- Very painful
- Redness, swelling and bumps may occur
- Hair foliciles might get infected resulting in pus formation
- Only once per area per session. Waxing the same area twice in a row can cause skin irritation & even bleeding.
- Hair must grow in completely before getting waxed again
6. Epilation Devices
These electrical devices, also known as epilators, work similar to tweezing and waxing. The handheld machines grasp multiple hairs and pull them out from the root. However, it doesn’t destroy the hair cells, so the hair will grow back. The very first epilator was called the Epilady, which came out in 1986. Today, there are numerous devices on the market that eliminate hair in different ways.
Epilation devices start at $250 and can cost as much as $500 depending on features
How Long Results Last
Semi-permanent. With regular use, less and less hair grows in.
- Hair may snap off rather than be pulled out; this can make it look like you have razor stubble
- Must wait until hair grows out completely before device will be effective
This simple technique for removing unwanted hair has been around for centuries. A thin piece of cotton thread is roped around the hair like a lasso and pulls it out of the hair follicle. No chemicals or other devices are used. Because of this, threading is often recommended to pregnant women, people taking medication that limits their use of other hair removal methods, and patients with sensitive skin. This method is fast and can be done at home or in a salon.
Free, if you can master the technique. Otherwise, expect to pay between $6 and $50.
How Long Results Last
Up to 6 weeks.
- Painful, especially if you have an inexperienced technician
- May be difficult to find a technician in some areas
- Hair growth is necessary
- Hairs can break off, giving an unfinished look
- Minor skin inflammation, bumps and infected hair follicles.
8. Prescription Treatments
A doctor may prescribe medication that results in reduced hair growth or elimination altogether. However, they typically only prescribe it to patients with a medical need, such as a woman diagnosed with hirsutism. One such medication is eflornithine, which is a cream that is applied two times a day. After a few weeks, hair grows soft and light.
A doctor may also recommend the prescription drug Vaniqa for hirsutism, which contains eflomithine hydrochloride. This active ingredient prevents hair cells from producing putrescine by using an enzyme called ornithine decarboxylase. The result is the DNA of the hair is stabilized and growth is normalized.
If the excess hair is caused by an underlying medical problem such as menopause or polycystic ovary syndrome, the doctor may prescribe hormone therapy (e.g. birth control bills) to regulate the hormones in the body and stabilize hair growth.
Another type of medication is antiandrogens, which stops hair growth by blocking the action of certain hormones.
The cost of the medication varies. Without health insurance, you can expect to pay up to $100 per 30 day supply.
How Long Results Last
Varies. Results last as long as you take the medication. Stopping the medication can lead to hair coming back.
- Side effects such as acne, skin irritation can develop
- Not good for pregnant women
- Can be expensive if you don’t have health insurance
- Requires a prescription from a doctor