Removing body hair is time-consuming, expensive, and painful. Everyone has a plan in mind. Whether it is the Bikini line or pubic region. Is permanent hair removal possible?
Most hair removal methods are not permanent. This might sound disappointing for many beauty fans. But let us first clarify why calling it "permanent" is misleading.
Why hair removal is not permanent?
You can remove hair by shaving, plucking, tweezing - you name it. But these methods only stops hair growth for the current cycle or a few more. Hair will regrow in the future, but the color is lighter. Hair texture also becomes finer. The result is long-term hair reduction at most.
The length of hair growth cycle varies by location, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. For example, body hair reaches full length in about four weeks. Whereas, beard grows as fast as 0.01 inch a day, but complete growing in 2-4 months. No matter how you removed your hair, it will not disappear forever.
What are popular hair removal options?
People use physical, chemical or a combination of both. For instance, shaving removes hair on top of the skin. It only remove a part of the hair, so you have to shave often. Then, tweezers pluck hair from its root, but follicle remains active. So hair will grow back in a couple of weeks.
Modern engineering improved medical and cosmetic surgery techniques. Long-term hair removal is now viable. People ranked these options by the longevity of results.
Electrolysis insert a needle to each hair follicle. The needle conducts electrical energy to destroy hair follicle with heat or chemicals. Electrolysis stops hair growth cycle to remove hair.
Although electrolysis is less painful than waxing or threading, but it can hurt. Many people prefer other options because electrolysis covers a small area per treatment.
Right now, electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal solution approved by the FDA. But you will need many sessions to complete the treatment. Each session costs between $40 to $100.
Common side effects of electrolysis include skin redness and irritation. Performing the treatment also requires a certificated technician. Proper trainings reduce the chance of needle infection. In rare occasion, patients reported abnormal scarring.
Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal is another long-term hair removal option. Surgical lasers can target on melanin inside hair follicle under the skin. Laser beam concentrates heat to burn out basal cells. It damages hair follicle to prevent hair growth.
The efficacy of laser hair removal varies by skin type. It works better on lighter skin with darker hair. Because lasers use the contrast between skin and hair improves accuracy. But it is less painful than electrolysis. Patients described it feels like snapped by a rubber band.
Each laser hair removal session also covers a larger area than electrolysis. The average cost per session is about $40. But it will take 4 to 6 sessions to remove hair. So the final price will add up.
Yet, you can buy home lasers to remove hair at home. These lasers are affordable but cover smaller area than the pro models in beauty salons. The good news is you can reuse it with no adding costs. But be sure to wear protective glasses and read the manual first.
The FDA maintains a list of approved laser manufacturers. You can look up your model and see if it shows in the results. The list might not be up-to-date, but it provides helpful information.Continue reading: Laser Hair Removal at Home - The Ultimate Guide
Hair removal creams
If electrolysis and laser hair removal exceeds your beauty budget, try prescription creams. They inhibit enzymes that contributed to hair growth. You will need to see a doctor for prescription creams.
The most common hair removal cream is eflornithine distributed by Vaniqa. You use it twice a day on locations with unwanted hair. After a month, your hair will stop to grow.
The longevity of results are up to two months, according to an article published on American Family Physician. Hair removal creams are more affordable than other options. A month's prescription costs the same as one laser hair removal session.
Here is the caveat: Vaniqa only works for removing female facial hair. Risks of side effect include acne and skin rashes.
Waxing is simple and painful. But it works. You can do it by yourself and as frequent as you want. Or let a certificated aesthetician in a beauty salon do a better job.
Waxing is cost-efficient, but you have to do it more often to stay hair-free. You can use it to remove any hair except eye lashes. Yet the results vary by person, because some people's hair grow faster than others.
Bacteria may invade hair follicle after the hair is removed. Common side effects of waxing include irritation and skin rashes. All are temporary and will disappear in a few days.
Yes, waxing is affordable. Many patients would prefer laser hair removal to waxing because laser treatment is less painful.
Ask a doctor first
You should always consult a medical professional before hair removal. A doctor can help you access your skin profile. Some helpful questions to ask including:
- What hair removal option is the best for me?
- What is the average cost?
- How many hair removal sessions do I need?
- How long is the treatment?
- What are the common side effects?
- How should I prepare for the treatment?
- What should I do after the treatment?
- How painful it might be?
- When should I expect to see some results?
Remember, most hair removal options are not permanent. Some of them might produce long-term results, but they will not last forever. Speak with your doctor or dermatologist to find out the best hair removal option for you.