Body hair removal treatments is a huge part of someone's daily life whether that is needing to shave every other day or booking in waxing sessions in their schedule. Although having body hair is completely natural for men and women, many people are concerned with excessive hair growth and are searching for solutions to fix the problem. At minimum, constantly shaving can be troublesome and at maximum it can cause low self esteem as people become insecure about it. This excessive hair growth can be caused by hormone imbalances, being overweight and as a side effect of medication. Especially for woman this could be a result of PCOS or hyperthyroidism which causes the hormone imbalance and the weight gain. So what methods are people seeking to fix the problem?
What are methods of body hair removal?
The most accessible and popular method of hair removal. This treatment uses hot wax to trap the hair in the treatment area and using strips, the hair is pulled out. This treatment pulls the whole hair out from the root completely so no dark spots are formed under the skin the way it is with shaving. This leaves completely smooth skin for 3 to 4 weeks before the hair growth begins. A con to the treatment is that the hair has to be left unshaved for some time before the wax session can be booked again. This creates a period of time where the hair is growing back and the skin is not very smooth.
Laser Hair Removal
This is a treatment that is famous for giving permanent hair removal which can be possible after multiple treatments. However it does slow down the hair regrowth process. The laser is a very strong and concentrated light energy that targets the melanin (the pigment that gives hair and skin colour). The light energy turns to heat when it hits the melanin and damages the hair follicle. The hair regrowth is then slowed down or stopped. For this treatment, an initial course of 6 to 8 treatments is required that are spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart. For each session it is important to shave beforehand to avoid the skin being irritated during the treatment. After this top up sessions may be required after some time to maintain the hairlessness.
Intense Pulse Light
This is a treatment that works very similarly to laser hair removal as it uses light energy to target the melanin and damages the hair follicle. The difference is that the light wavelength it uses are many different type rather than the intense concentrated ones used in laser hair removal. This means the light is scattered in the skin and only some of it is useful for the process of removing hair. This makes the process less efficient and the hair regrowth is usually faster than it is for laser hair removal and even waxing. However after consistent treatment, the regrowth rate slows and less regrowth is seen over all.
Which one is right for you?
Out of the treatments, laser costs the most, followed by electrolysis then waxing and IPL. However with laser it is seen as a cost effective treatment because completing a course of laser hair removal gives semi-permanent results where parts of the treatment area may not have any hair growth at all. Furthermore, the more top up sessions a person does, the more permanent the results get and longer the hairlessness lasts.
IPL and electrolysis can give permanent results after multiple sessions but it would depend on the person's hair texture. If it is thick course hair then many more sessions will be required than if someone had light hair. With waxing it will be a continuous process of getting a wax done every 4 to 6 weeks.
The cost will also depend on the area that someone treats such as a full body costing more than doing just the underarms. If someone has hair that they want to remove in just a couple of areas then laser hair removal can be more affordable whereas full body might add up to a lot.
If someone has really sensitive and acne prone skin then some treatments can irritate their skin further. Treatments like waxing and electrolysis tug on the skin and use heat which can irritate the skin as well as not be good on thin skin. This is more of a factor as the person ages and their skin ages, becoming thin.
In these cases, laser and IPL would be better options because even if they use heat, the skin is immediately cooled. However, laser and IPL work best when the skin is light and the hair is dark because the lasers are able to target the hair strongly. There are lasers that are adjusted to treatment individuals with dark skin and dark hair or light skin and light hair but the best results are with light skin and dark hair.
IPL, electrolysis and laser hair removal have no downtime. The individual can return to their daily activities but it is recommended that they don't take part in intense physical activity for around 24 hours after the session. For waxing, the person will have to clean up afterwards but other than that the downtime is very minimum.