What are the options for hair removal?

hair removal

Body hair, though unavoidable, can be removed if you wish. Many clinics even claim permanent hair removal, which is a hoax. However, some treatments like laser hair removal can slow down hair growth for a prolonged time. 

Body hair generally grows to its full length in a month, and the hair on the head grows about four to six inches in a year. Also, contrary to popular belief, men have faster hair growth in comparison to women. The hair growth rate for each person is dependent on various factors such as nutrition, genetics, medications, and overall health. 

Shaving or trimming removes the hair at the surface, but it grows back very quickly. So, to remove body hair for an extended period, one must remove the hair with the follicle.  

Here are a few options for long-term hair removal.

  •  Electrolysis

This procedure can not be done at home and can only be done by a licensed dermatologist or electrologist. In the process, needles charged with shortwave radiofrequency are placed into hair follicles. The aim is to stop hair regrowth by damaging the hair follicles with shortwave radiofrequency. 

Electrolysis is a semi-permanent solution for hair removal because you need multiple follow-ups, or your hair will grow back.

This works on any skin type and causes minor short-term side effects such as pain, redness, and skin irritation. 

  • Laser Treatments

Like electrolysis treatments, laser hair removal also stops hair growth by using high heat lasers that directly target the hair follicles and reduce hair growth.

Except for the eye area, one can get laser treatment anywhere on the body. The treatment is most effective for people with dark hair color and a lighter skin tone.

Remember, one requires multiple follow-up sessions across weeks, depending on the hair growth. The treatment is often ineffective for people with darker skin tones, and it may even cause temporary changes in skin pigmentation. Otherwise, the most common side effects are redness and skin irritation that only lasts a few days.

  • Prescription Creams

While electrolysis and laser treatment are effective in delaying hair growth for months, they are not affordable. So, another option is to seek your dermatologist’s advice and use a hair removal cream instead. 

Eflornithine is a common type of hair removal cream which many brands sell under various names. The cream hinders the production of the enzymes that are responsible for hair growth to prolong the process. Your dermatologist will guide you on how to apply the cream and the frequency. The effects of prescription creams might last six to eight weeks.

  • Professional tweezing and waxing

It is not a full-body treatment, as it can only be done to a specific area at a time by a certified aesthetician. Under such treatments, the hair is directly removed from the roots. It is a more cost-effective option, but you will need to wax frequently as the hair keeps growing back. 

Tweezing can be mildly painful at times but can be done anywhere on the body. On the other hand, waxing should not be done around sensitive areas. 

There’s nothing wrong with having body hair. It’s completely natural. But, if, for any reason, you don’t like it, consider laser hair removal as your best option.