The Science of Body Hair
Ever wonder why we grow body hair? Today let us find out why we came to have it. Or, how to remove it if that is your wish.
Every one of us has about 5 million hair follicles on our body. That include hair on our head, underarms, pubic region – pretty much anywhere. Also, each hair follicle is an important part of the human anatomy. Then you might ask: why do we want to get rid of body hair? In fact, we want remove hair so badly that we invented a gazillion of tools. People have tried shavers, tweezers, wax, and even lasers. Let us put it this way – we remove hair because of cultural and social norms.
The origin of body hair
So why do we grow body hair? In short, we need it. At the beginning of human evolution, hair covered the entire body of our ancestors. It was like that because they need it to stay alive.
Body hair protect humans from harsh weather. It covers our body to keep us warm. Moreover, hair is the peripheral defense of our skin. It prevents external influences such as abrasion, moisture, and chemical invasion. Hair helps to keep us healthy. Other primates in the mammal family, such as bonobo and chimpanzee, are covered in hair. So it is quite "abnormal" for us having so little hair.
Then when did we start to lose body hair? About 2 million years ago, at the beginning of Quaternary, we lost most of our body hair. It was the result of an active lifestyle. At that point, our ancestors became good hunters who walk and run a lot. They also started to work in groups.
Due to increased activity and the tropical climate in Africa, body heat build up fast. As a result, our ancestors evolved. More and more sweat glands covered their body as their skin become more naked. Some 1.5 million years later, they lost most of their hair except for a few areas.
Why we grow body hair
In present day, each of us has about 5 million hair follicles on the body. You see it everywhere – the head, limbs, pubic region. Wether you like it or not, they were already there at our births. Besides, you will not get more follicles as you grow older.
The physiology of hair is not the same as follicles. Your hair cycles as it grows, but its distribution changes over your lifespan. For instance, pubescent teenagers started to grow more hair around their genitals. Whereas, elderlies grow less hair on their scalp.
There are two kinds of body hair: terminal hair and vellus hair. Terminal hair is darker and thicker, like the hair on your head. But vellus hair is lighter and thinner, and it covers the rest of your body.
However, hormones can transform vellus hair to terminal hair as you aged. They send to signals to your hair follicles via chemical reaction. A classic example is beard on males. After a boy reaches puberty, the follicles on his chin start to grow darker and thicker hair.
Every patch of hair on our body serves a purpose. For example, the hair on our head helps cool off the heat from using brain – like a CPU needs a cooling fan. Moreover, curly hair is better at evaporating sweat than straight hair. You might not notice but three areas do not grow hair at all. These areas are the palms, soles, and the red of the lips. They are hair-free to adapt our lifestyle. It is all thanks to evolution!
The freedom of body hair removal
We started to remove unwanted body hair about 500 hundred years ago. And if you compare it to human history, the practice of hair removal started quite recent. Even though body hair is the manifestation of gender, the public's mindset has shifted.
Phenomenon like the internet and social media changed our preferences towards body hair. People feel a lot of freedom now. Thus, social and cultural norms have weaker influences on hair removal. They can remove unwanted hair in many ways.
Types of hair removal
There are a gazillion ways to remove unwanted hair. Some are more permanent than others. So which is the best hair removal option for you?
Let us begin with shaving. This is because everyone had done it before. Shaving removes the hair above the skin surface, but leaves its root inside the follicle. As a result, you have to shave often to stay hair-free. Also, as you shave more often, your hair tends to grow darker and thicker. That is why it is an outdated method for long-term hair removal. Of course, it works fine for a man who shaves his beard everyday.
An electric tweezer pluck out the hair from follicle, leaving no root. Which means, it will be more painful than shaving if you have sensitive skin. The results will last longer than shaving. But the hair will grow back in a week or so.
Waxing is similar to tweezing. It covers a larger area with sticky coating and removes all hair in one pull. As a result, waxing is more painful than tweezing. The result will not last forever. But it is more convenient than tweezing because it is quicker.
Depilatory cream is different from all methods above. It uses chemicals to dissolve hair and its root. Moreover, the entire process is almost painless because no hair is pulled. You apply the cream twice a day for a coupe of weeks, and the hair will disappear. But it by no means is a permanent solution for hair removal. Besides, the chemical left inside the follicle will cause irritation. And that is a potential health risk for everyone.
Laser hair removal
Laser treatment can produce more permanent result than other methods. It uses low-energy lasers to destroy basal hair cells. But the lasers need a good contrast between hair and skin color for targeting. They use thermal energy to burns out the hair root. The method produces long-term results, but needs many sessions to complete.
In general, laser hair removal works best on lighter skin with darker hair. That is because the laser needs a good contrast between hair and skin color for targeting. But the Nd:YAG laser can distinguish hair from skin, so it also work on African-Americans.
Laser treatment is popular but it is not risk-free. Common side effects include redness, swelling, and change of skin color. In some cases, patients reported blistering and scarring.
Many states enforce laser laws and regulations on the use of laser. But the rule for licensure and certificates vary by state.
The greatest constraints to laser hair removal in the past were first and foremost torment, and besides, it was undependable assuming that you had dull or tanned skin. Anyway with the more current age of diode lasers (which are the best quality level for laser hair removal around the world), the medicines are more agreeable (some might say even effortless), and furthermore ok for brown complexion types.
The strategy is a seriously delicate interaction. Rather than the standard heartbeat strategy for treatment, the new diode lasers utilize a creative moving innovation that treats in a persistent clearing movement. During the treatment, a high energy light emission goes through the skin and is consumed by the color in the hair follicle. The laser energy doesn't go into the skin as an agonizing impact, yet rather warms the hair follicles securely and delicately until they never again produce hair in the treated region.
How protected is laser hair removal
The removal of hair by lasers has been perceived by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a viable and safe treatment. As the laser just annihilates the capacity for hair to develop and doesn't impact the encompassing skin tissues, it is by and large considered an exceptionally protected and famous way for eliminating hair.
The number of meetings are required for successful hair removal
The quantity of medicines relies upon the person as hairs develops distinctively relying upon your age, digestion, chemicals, weight and a few different variables. As an overall aide around 4-6 medicines are needed to accomplish an extremely durable decrease of hair development.
A few meetings are required as the hair might in an alternate development stage. In the dynamic development stage (85% of your hair), which can most recent quite a while, the hair develops consistently and the hair contains melanin. At the point when melanin is presented to the laser, the hair follicle is obliterated which makes this hair development stage ideal for hair removal.
Nonetheless, after the development stage there is the relapse stage (3-4%) during which the hair quits developing, and the resting stage (10-13%) where the hair is preparing to supplanted prior to dropping out. During these 2 last option stages there is not really any melanin present and accordingly the hair will hard to eliminate through laser treatment. As the hair in the treated regions might in various stages it is important to rehash the treatment at different occasions.
On which parts of the body would laser hair removal able to utilized?
You can do laser hair removal on pretty much all aspects of the body, yet the most well-known regions for treatment are the underarms, arms, legs, upper lip and jawline.
Which laser hair removal technique is utilized?
At our tasteful center we like to involve the Soprano XL that involves a special IN-Motion innovation which treats in a consistent clearing movement. Rather than a beat development of treatment where the laser energy goes into the skin as a difficult impact, hair removal through the Soprano XL laser warms the hair follicles securely and delicately until they never again produce hair.
The accentuation is on having an aggravation free and compelling treatment that makes the hair removal process an agreeable one. Certain individuals even depict it like a "hot stone back rub".
Continue reading: Laser Hair Removal at Home - The Ultimate Guide