Tweezing,threading and waxing threading and waxing essentially removes the hair shafts using mechanical means. Each treatment removes most of the unwanted hair. Although popular, the problems with these methods are pain, the resulting trauma (inflammation) that can cause infection, ingrown hair and scarring. In addition, the results are temporary necessitating ongoing treatments.
Shaving mechanically cuts each hair. For best results, it has to be repeated often as the cut hair continues to grow. It is most commonly used in the underarms, bikini and leg regions although it can be used in most other locations as well. Women view facial shaving particularly undesirable as it can produce roughness when the hair begin to re-grow. Contrary to popular believe, shaving can not make hair darker, bigger or growing faster.
Electrolysis uses electric current to treat each follicle separately. The current has to be applied precisely to the area where the hair is growing from to avoid injury to the surrounding tissues. This injury can result in scarring that in many cases is permanent. In my experience, I have seen more scarring from electrolysis than from any other method. At the same time, electrolysis, when performed by an expert can result in permanent hair reduction.
Depilatory agents dissolve the hair through many different chemical agents. The key is to have an effective agent that dissolve the hairs without causing irritation to the surrounding skin. This is a tricky balance and in most cases some irritation is unavoidable. In most cases, other than unpleasant smell, the side effects are minimal.
IPL and laser devices
IPL and laser devices are very effective in providing permanent hair reduction. Both types of devices work on the similar principle of selective photo-thermo-lysis. This is a big term but it essentially describes the fact that certain wavelengths of light are attracted to certain hair colors. When this attraction occurs, then the IPL or laser energy is deposited in the hair shaft and creates heat. This heat destroys the hair and the small area around it. By doing so, it damages the hair growing apparatus resulting in thinner, lighter hair and, in some cases, no hair at all. It is important to note that the hair has to have color to it otherwise the IPL or laser treatments will not be effective. Because of that, blond or gray hair can not be successfully treated with IPL or laser devices.
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