Monday, November 23, 2009

The Top 10 Hair Removal Methods - Which Is Right For You?

Do you have unwanted body hair? Are you trying to choose between hair removal methods? This guide contains all you need to decide. It details several popular as well as not-so-common methods of getting rid of unwanted hair, including shaving, plucking, waxing, sugar waxing, bleaching, threading, depilatories, electrolysis, laser, and Vaniqa.

Shaving

Shaving is a temporary hair removal method. It is inexpensive, but for most people the hair has started to grow back by the following day. To prevent stubble, you must shave once or twice daily. Razors come in all varieties. They can be made of cheap plastic with a single blade which can be bought for a quarter, or a high quality electric version costing $50 or more.

Plucking

Another common hair removal method is plucking, or tweezing, the hair. While this method is time consuming, as you can only pluck one hair at a time, it is useful for smaller areas, such as an extra eyebrow hair or two. However, it can be painful, especially around the eyes, and can cause irritation and ingrown hairs. While it is a myth that by plucking a hair out by its root you are causing two to grow in its place, many women do not pluck their hair for this very reason. But investing in a $2 pair of tweezers is a lifesaver when you want to look perfect for that special occasion.

Waxing

For larger areas, many people prefer to use hot wax. The wax is applied to the skin with a piece of paper or cloth covering it. After the wax cools, the strip is ripped away, taking the hair with it. While this method is fast, it can also be painful. In addition, waxing removes the top layer of skin, and can cause rashes and redness. However, once you become good at the technique, it is an easy and inexpensive way to quickly get rid of unwanted hair at home. Kits can be purchased for $20-$40. You can also have your skin waxed by a professional. Depending on the area you are having waxed, this can cost from $20 to around $150.

Sugar Waxing

Sugar waxing is similar in method to traditional waxing, except that the "wax" is a sticky sugary paste. Sugaring is even less expensive, as home kits can be bought for as little as $10.

Bleaching

Rather than removing the hair, some women prefer to lighten it. This is especially common for women with facial hair. Bleaching is completely pain-free, and can be done at home. Most women do not have any skin reactions to the bleach; however, as with a hair dye, be sure to test first on a small, inconspicuous part of your skin, just in case the bleach does change your skin color or cause irritation.

Threading

Threading, also known as khite, is commonly practiced in the Middle East but much less well-known in the west. It is performed using a cotton thread. The thread is twisted, catching the hair, and is then pulled to remove it. The results are similar to plucking, but many more hairs can be removed at one time. Always use cotton so the fibers themselves do not irritate the skin.

Depilatories

Depilatories are creams that dissolve hair, allowing it to be wiped away. For some people, depilatories last no longer than shaving, while others are hair-free for several days. The process is not always painless, but is definitely less painful than waxing. The creams can be bought for a few dollars at any drug store.

Electrolysis

Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal method. A needle is placed in a hair follicle and electric current is delivered to the follicle. This damages the hair, and it does not return. This method works well for small localized areas of hair, but can be time consuming and costly for large patches, as each hair must be done individually. Also, if the needle is not inserted just right, the hair may need to be retreated, and often an area must be treated three to four times before the hair is permanently removed. While the needle should not puncture the skin, electrolysis can be painful. It is recommended that electrolysis be done by a professional; home treatment methods are difficult and generally unsuccessful.

Laser

Laser hair removal is another permanent hair removal method. It is a more recent method, and data as to its long-term effectiveness is still being gathered. Light from a laser is pointed at a small area of skin. The energy from the light is absorbed by the dark hair pigment, heating and damaging the follicle. This method does not work for white or grey hair or for people with dark skin and light hair. Because this method does not require each hair to be treated individually, this method is much quicker and less expensive for larger areas such as the legs as compared to electrolysis. If you are interested in laser hair removal, find a reputable professional. Laser hair removal can cause permanent skin damage if not performed properly. It can be painful, but as more research continues to be gathered, its looking more and more like a viable option for many people. The only place laser hair removal should not be performed is around the eyes, as it could cause permanent eye damage.

Vaniqa

Vaniqa is a cream designed specifically to target facial hair in women. It is intended to slow the growth of this hair, and is designed to be used with other nonpermanent methods of hair removal. It is available by prescription only, and has been shown to be effective in almost 60% of the patients in the trial. It is currently only for use by women over 12.

Remember when your mother always told you that you didn't really want to start shaving? But you insisted that you would want to continue for the rest of your life. However, for many women, unwanted hair causes major stress and discomfort everyday. You should now be able to more easily choose between the many hair removal methods and choose the one that is right for you.