What You Need To Know About Hair Removal

Hair removal is the process of removing body hair—whether facial hair, underarms, arms, legs, back, legs and even pubic hair. It is also known as epilation or depilation. Since hair typically grows all over the body and even becomes thicken during puberty, a man or a woman usually chooses to have them removed by professionals. Of course, there are also those who use methods that can be done by the individual self.

There are various forms of hair removal and they are being practiced for a variety of reasons including cultural, sexual, medical and religious. The methods of hair removal, on the other hand, vary depending on the culture and the lifestyle of a person. The most common form of hair removal though is shaving since it is also the cheapest and the easiest.

Each culture dictates differently when it comes to removing bodily hair or letting them grow. Some cultures dictate that a woman especially should be free of all body hair. But there are also cultures, in China for example, wherein women are encouraged to let their underarm hair grow. In one province in China, women let their armpit hair grow and do not even care if other people see it. Western cultures, however, mostly direct that women should remove body hair. Western men also sometimes undergo the painful process of removing hair from their face and body.

Although culture is the most common reason for hair removal, there are also other considerations why a person would choose to have hair removed from his/her face and body. Some of these reasons are medical, religious, male-to-female gender reassignment, military, sports and punishment.

There are two methods of hair removal—depilation and epilation. Depilation is the process wherein the hair above the surface of the skin is removed. Its most common form is shaving or trimming. Another kind of depilation is chemical depilatories. Epilation, on the other hand, refers to the removal of the entire hair, including the root. Methods for this are waxing, sugaring, epilation devices, lasers, threading, intense pulse light or electrology and plucking.

Methods of hair removal

Shaving is perhaps the easiest, fastest and cheapest way of removing hair from the face or from the body. It is usually pain-free, except if you accidentally cut a part of your skin. It is done by using a razor and a shaving cream, lotion or oil. The parts of the body that men and women always shave are the legs and the underarms. For women, don’t shave the upper lip and lower lip since stubble develops quickly when hair is cut off above the skin surface. Some women also prefer to shave their bikini area although it is highly recommended that one should wax it.

Waxing means that a sticky substance will be applied to your skin. Once the sticky substance is spread on your skin, a strip of cloth will be put on top of that skin and will be yanked off. The sticky substance binds the hair to that cloth, so that it will automatically be yanked off the roots as well when someone pulls the cloth off. Waxing works on all parts of the body, especially on the legs, the bikini area and the face. Another option will be sugaring, which is a mixture of lemon juice, sugar and water. Waxing will be very painful the first few tries, but will be a lot less painful as the hair grows thinner. Waxing and sugaring lasts about three to six weeks before the hair grows again.Brazil waxing or honey waxing is off course one of the fastest trends around the world for people seeking a painless method.

Laser hair removal is a more expensive form of removing hair from the face and the body. It isn’t for everybody though since it works best for those with dark hair and light skin because the laser is supposed to target the melanin (found in dark hair). Laser hair removal is less painful than waxing, but more painful than plucking. It is, however, recommended that one should choose a professional who was trained in the process of laser hair removal. Some people found that their hair grew again after laser treatment while others noticed an 80-percent reduction in hair growth.

Tweezing or plucking the hair works best on the eyebrows since the hair has to be long enough for the tweezer to pluck out. One should invest in good tweezers because the cheap ones can be hard to manage. Before plucking out the hair from your eyebrow, you should have it waxed or threaded first so that you can follow the “map” laid out by the technician.

Threading is an ancient Middle Eastern hair removal technique that has become popular again in the past years. Some people prefer threading than waxing. Threading refers to a technician using a doubled-up strand of cotton thread that they twist around individual hairs. Once they have twisted the hair in the cotton thread, they will then pull the hair from the root. Best spots or threading would usually be the eyebrow, the upper and the lower lip. This method is fairly cheap and also not at all time-consuming.

Electrolysis guarantees that the hair will be removed almost permanently. A licensed electrologist inserts a sterile needle into every hair follicle and kills that particular follicle. It is a tedious process and generally takes more time than laser hair removal. It is also more painful than the laser method. But compared with other techniques of hair removal, electrolysis has the reputation of more success stories.

There are many “doubtful methods” of hair removal such as electric tweezers, transdermal electrolysis, transcutaneous hair removal, photoepilators, microwave hair removal, foods and dietary supplements and non-prescription topical preparations. There have been studies in the past year that showed these so-called hair removal methods as ineffective. There are also no proofs that these methods have ever worked for anyone.

Advantages and disadvantages of hair removal

Although there are plenty of advantages to hair removal since it makes one look more hygienic and neater, there can also be several disadvantages to removing face and body hair especially for those who have very sensitive skin. Removing hair from the face or from any part of the body can cause skin issues like inflammation, minor burns, lesions, scarring and increase in the rate growth of the hair. It can also cause thickness of hair, ingrown hairs, bumps and infected hair follicles.

Most of these are pretty harmless and definitely not permanent. They can also cause only minor damages and can be temporary at best. However, there are some side effects that can cause lasting and harmful effects to your skin. So before trying on a new method, one should be very careful to make sure that they are investing on a good aesthetician or technician. You should also not scrimp on hair removal techniques. Sure, a discounted price is okay, but you should be wary when one is offering waxing or laser hair removal for dirt-cheap prices.

Hair removal on your own

For most people, hair removal would entail going to a waxing salon and having professionals pluck or wax their hair. But for cheap, easy and fast way of removing face and body hair, do-it-your-own kits may be the most practical way of removing hair. Of course, there are some tips and techniques that one should take into consideration before doing hair removal by yourself.

Most hair wax removal kits would tell you that you can do the waxing by yourself, and they’re probably correct. Waxing can be quite easy especially if you are used to the pain anymore. However, if you are a first timer, it might be quite difficult for you to do it at home. Also, there are hard-to-reach areas that can only be managed by professional aestheticians.

Some of the areas that can be hard for you to reach would be the underarms, the bikini area and the back. Let seasoned and trained aestheticians wax these delicate areas since wrongly removing the hair from them may cause you undue pain and stress. You also got to have the proper angle when plucking out hair from a particular part of your body. The eyebrows are also an area that you should not wax or thread on your own. Unless you are a professional, it is highly recommended that you go to the salon to have your eyebrows shaped. In fact, even professionals prefer letting other people wax or thread their eyebrows.

There are, of course, instances that allow you to remove your own face or body hair. You can save money and time if you can manage to remove the hair from your upper lip, face, arms and even your legs. However, you would need to remember a few things before embarking on removing your hair alone. You should know the areas of your body wherein wax is not allowed. You should also be wary of your allergies to certain chemicals.

When buying a do-it-yourself waxing kit, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely. Remember that not following it may cause you more pain than necessary. It might even cause you to have skin irritant problems. You should also practice waxing on another person (who will allow you to do the procedure) before you proceed with removing hair from your own body. This will allow you to get to know how to spread the wax, for example, and pluck the hair using the sticky cloth. Of course, you should also let the hair you are about to wax grow more than ¼ inch because wax cannot get a stubble off your skin.

It is also essential that a person who wants to wax on his/her own know that the skin to be waxed should be thoroughly cleansed. Oil, makeup and dirt should be removed before applying the wax. Speaking of wax, you should apply it first on your inner wrist to know if you can take that kind of heat or not. Pouring the wax on your skin without testing it may cause you undue pain and torn skin. Make sure to test the wax’s temperature first before spreading it on the area to be waxed.

Another frequent mistake of a person who waxes by himself/herself is going through the same area again when some hairs were missed. Once you have already waxed a particular area, you should definitely stay away from it. Waxing it again may irritate your skin, cause burns or bruises and possibly tear a part of your skin.

The same caution should be taken when plucking hair using a tweezer. If you are confident that you will not be causing more harm than beauty on your eyebrows, you may take the chance to pluck it on your own. Just make sure that you follow the pattern of your eyebrows and don’t try to make another of your own especially if you are not trained to do so. You might only end up with no eyebrows at all. Waxing your eyebrows on your own is not recommended though since you may make a mistake and end up waxing your whole brows.

It is recommended that you watch instructional videos before you wax or pluck your hair off your face or your body. These videos will help you understand the do’s and don’t’s in removing hair on your own. There are tips and techniques that you should follow, and there are also precautionary measures that you should take.

Although removing hair on your own is neither dangerous to your health nor harmful to others, doing it all wrong may only push you to seek damage control. In turn, you may even spend more time and money than what you have saved by not going to professional salons. Whether you are having your hair removed by professionals or you are removing it by yourself, you should always be careful since a misstep can easily damage that area you are waxing or plucking hair from. Read up all you can about the method you want, and make sure that you are doing all the necessary steps before and after the procedures.

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