Depending on personal preferences and the seasons, there are common areas that people have unwanted hair growth. These often include the upper lip, chin, cheeks, back, legs, fingers, feet, toes, and pubic areas. Many factors affect hair growth and these include nutrition, medications, and genetics. There are no one hundred percent permanent hair removal solutions but there are multiple long and shorter-term options to choose from.
Laser hair removal is one of the longest-lasting methods you will find but this requires at least four or more treatments. A light pulse or laser beam is used to target and destroy the hair bulb. This treatment can be used anywhere on the body except the eye area and works best on lighter skin tones and dark hair. It can be an expensive and painful option with minor side effects such as skin irritation. In rare cases, patients can experience blistering and scarring. Make sure to choose a highly-trained doctor or technician who uses the most up-to-date equipment.
Electrolysis uses shortwave radio frequencies that are transmitted into the hair follicle by tiny needles. This needs to be performed by a dermatologist or certified electrologist. It is considered permanent (or long-term), can be performed anywhere on the body, and works with most skin types. Common side effects are pain and short-term skin irritation.
Medium Term Options
Waxing can be done at home or by a professional in a salon or clinic. It can be done on most areas of the body. Avoid waxing chapped or sunburnt skin, moles, warts, and varicose veins. It is a common choice for the bikini area and upper lip.
Chemical depilation or hair removal creams can be obtained over the counter or by prescription. In most cases, the creams work by using chemicals to dissolve the hair shaft. Be sure to perform an allergy test in case you react to any of the ingredients. Also, make sure you check and follow the directions for use as different creams are intended for different parts of the body. The prescription version from your doctor or dermatologist inhibits the production of the enzymes that stimulate hair growth.
Short Term Options
Shaving and plucking (or tweezing) can be done at home. Shaving is common for legs, arms, and facial hair but is known to cause ingrown hairs. It only gets rid of the hair at the surface so these hairs grow back quickly.
Tweezing removes the hair and its root so this slows down regrowth. It is good for use on a few unwanted hairs but in larger areas can cause ingrown hairs and scarring. A certified aesthetician can also perform this option – it is less expensive but required more often.
Threading is a traditional Indian method that is offered in some salons. The beautician uses strings or cotton thread twisted in various patterns to remove the unwanted hairs. If none of these options is working for you, it may be advised to consult your doctor as you may have underlying conditions such as hyperthyroidism or polycystic ovary syndrome.