Getting rid of unwanted hair is a chore that many of us would want to avoid. And while hair removal is a personal choice, many choose to remove hair to have silky, smooth skin. This is perfectly fine, but the constant need to do so can also be an expensive, time-consuming, or painful process, depending on your preferred method.
If you have tried removing some fuzz on your own, you probably know what happens after a few days or weeks. There could be irritation or bumps in the area or new hair growth that feels coarser or appears darker. This only makes it important to choose a hair removal method with fewer side effects and more permanent results.
Here are the most common hair removal methods ranked from worst to best.
The popularity of shaving is understandable: it’s cheap, quick, and convenient. The sad part is it doesn’t last and can leave the skin bumpy and stubbly. Also, shaving doesn’t actually remove the hair; it just cuts or trims it. After being shaved, the tip of the hair now has a blunt edge, which can make the hair look thicker and feel stiffer.
Another thing that makes shaving the worst method is its short-lived effects. You can see a stubble after just a few days or in some cases, the same day you shaved, depending on your hair’s growth rate. There are also lots of side effects such as cuts, rash, ingrown hairs, and dark spots/skin discoloration, especially with repetitive use.
It is also worth noting that shaving is not actually cheap. The constant buying of razors, shaving creams, and oils, can add up over time. As the results are short-lived, you will have to buy and dispose of razors continuously, which is also not good for the environment.
Find out more about why it’s time to rethink shaving.
5. Hair removal creams
Also available in gel or lotion forms, hair removal creams use chemicals to dissolve or break down hair (keratin) from the skin surface. They weaken the follicles, allowing you to easily wipe and rinse the unwanted hair off. Hair removal creams work quickly and are relatively painless compared to other methods.
On the surface, creams sound like a great hair removal method. Unfortunately, they can be harsh and strong and may cause allergic reactions. There is also the risk of chemical burns, especially if you leave the product longer than the recommended time. Hair regrowth is also rapid, as it doesn’t remove the hair from the root.
You should also know that these creams may not work on some hair types, especially coarse ones. The recommended timeframe for use may not effectively dissolve much thicker or darker hairs, causing some patients to leave the cream longer. It is advisable to steer clear of this method, especially if you have sensitive skin.
This method involves inserting a probe or a very fine needle into the hair follicle and passing an electrical current through it to remove hair and kill the root. Electrolysis damages the hair follicles, which then prevents future hair growth. Its main appeal is that it is the only US FDA-approved for permanent hair removal.
Electrolysis has many advantages: it is suitable for different hair types and colors, is maintenance-free, and doesn’t use harsh chemicals. The sad part is it is time-consuming because each hair is zapped individually. The treatment time will depend on the size and your hair’s density. This means you’ll need several treatments.
Another drawback of electrolysis is that it can be a painful and uncomfortable process. Taking a pain reliever before the procedure and applying ice afterward can help. There is also the risk of discoloration/hyperpigmentation, infection, and scarring if not performed the right way.
With this method, a thin cotton thread is doubled and twisted, and then quickly rolled to pull out the hair. Threading traps the hair and rips it out in the same way as plucking or tweezing, but is a lot faster. It can also last for several weeks, has no risk of burns or swelling, and is a quick hair removal method.
The major drawback is that threading can only be used on smaller areas of the skin like the eyebrows, upper lip, and sides of the face. There are also cases where it can be painful since several hairs are being pulled out at a time. And if done the wrong way, the hair could break and result in ingrown hairs and unevenness.
Compared to shaving and hair removal creams, waxing lasts longer (for about two to six weeks). It involves applying wax to the area, covered by cloth or paper strips that are pulled off to remove hair from the root. Waxing can give you smoother skin and can be done on different areas of the body.
The thing with waxing is that it needs some regrowth (at least a quarter-inch) to be effective. There are also cases where it can be painful, since the hair is being pulled out at the root. Waxing, furthermore, can also lead to ingrown hairs, as well as skin irritation and scars when done incorrectly.
You should also know that waxing removes a portion of the skin’s top layer every time it is performed. It is best to avoid this method if you have psoriasis or other skin disorders. It is also recommended to have a professional perform the method for safe and effective hair removal.
1. Laser hair removal (light-based methods)
What makes laser treatments a great option is that they target and heat the follicles to disable future hair growth. There are no chemicals, as well as cutting or pulling the hair out involved. Many laser treatments are also US FDA-approved for permanent hair reduction. Modern devices can also treat different skin hair and types with fewer side effects.
At Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, we have different laser and light-based treatments that can permanently reduce body hair. These methods remove hairs in the active growth stage (anagen) and you’ll need several sessions to achieve permanent hair reduction or remove about 80% of hair.
- Laser hair removal (Cutera CoolGlide) – uses pulses of light energy to hundreds of hair follicles in a short period. It is safe and effective on all skin types and tones, including those with darker and tanned skin.
- ProWave LX – uses high peak powers with shorter pulse widths for a fast, comfortable, and effective treatment. It can target fine and light hairs and treat different skin types.
- LHE (Touch Elite with LHE) – uses both light and heat energy (LHE) to destroy hair follicles. LHE delivers light and thermal energy to the follicles, which means there is no damage to the skin during the procedure.
- SHR (Super Hair Removal) – uses gentle pulses of energy at a higher frequency to target the pigment and stem cells responsible for hair growth. It can treat all skin hair and types, especially Asian ones. Check out the five reasons to consider SHR.
The main concern with laser hair removal is that it costs more initially. While this is true, they eliminate or reduce the long-term cost associated with hair removal. As it has a more permanent result, you won’t have to spend a lot of time, money, and effort on shaving or waxing. Just be sure to get the procedure from a medical or aesthetic clinic with doctors on-site to perform or supervise the treatment.
Schedule a consultation today
Choose a hair removal method that is effective and longer-lasting. Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics today and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor in Singapore to learn more about our laser treatments and which one is right for you.