People usually follow the trend and look for a popular hair removal method to deal with their unwanted hair. However, popularity is not the basis of effectiveness and efficiency as it can just be over-advertised and there are many claims of treatment results that may be unreliable.
The best way is to do your own research and browse online reviews, blogs and forums so that you have enough information before making an appointment for a hair removal treatment. Knowing about the pros and cons of different hair removal methods will also help you to decide which may be the best for you.
There are two general types of hair removal methods – temporary hair removal and permanent hair reduction.
Temporary hair removal refers to the methods that are easy, fast and can be done at home or in a salon. It normally lasts for several hours to several days.
Temporary Hair Removal Methods:
Shaving is the fastest and cheapest method. It’s done using a shaver or a razor to remove the hair in the skin surface. Proper shaving is done by shaving the hair on the same direction of the hair growth and not doing it back & forth.
Pros: It is least expensive, quick and easy to do among all other methods. Most importantly, it is non-damaging to the hair follicles as it’s just a method of cutting the hair on the upper layer of the skin.
Cons: The result is short-lasting and it needs to be done more often as soon as the hair grows obviously in the skin. Possible risk of having razor burns, ingrown hairs, skin shadows & nicks.
Threading is done by trapping a portion of unwanted hair with a twisted cotton thread and pulling it off from the skin. It’s usually done in the eyebrows and other facial hairs.
Pros: The result is neat and may last longer than shaving, generally up to two to three weeks. The procedure is also fast and affordable.
Cons: Unlike shaving this method can’t be done at home as you need a trained beautician to do it for you. For sensitive skin, puffiness and redness in the skin may appear during or after the treatment. Possible risk of having bacterial infection in the hair follicles.
This method uses either hot or cold wax to apply into the skin. Thin wax also known as soft wax, is applied into large areas of the skin and pulls the hair off the follicle with the use of a cloth/paper strip. While thick wax, which is also known as hard wax, is applied on small areas of the skin that can easily remove the hair without the need of a cloth/paper strip.
Pros: The effects can last longer as the hair will be pulled off from the root (hair follicles) compared to shaving which can only cut hair in the skin surface.
Cons: This treatment is known to be painful compare to other temporary hair removal options and it is also time-consuming. Furthermore, it can cause ingrown hairs and pigmentation around the follicles.
The procedure is similar to waxing but the difference is that it uses natural ingredients which are mixed together and applied into the skin. With the right consistency and technique, sugaring can remove the hair from the root and it can last up to six weeks.
Pros: Perfect for people who loves to use organic or natural products as this is made of lemon juice, sugar, honey and water. It is less painful than wax since it doesn’t stick to the skin and it can be easily removed by water. It’s also less prone to skin irritation.
Cons: It’s difficult to get the right consistency and it needs at least ¼ inch of hair growth. Possible risk of having irritation and redness for sensitive skin.
Permanent hair reduction refers to the methods that involve advanced hair removal treatments which can only be done by a specialized physician. It requires a series of treatments but it lasts far longer than temporary hair removal.
PERMANENT HAIR REDUCTION METHODS
- ELECTROLYSIS HAIR REMOVAL
Electrolysis is a device that uses low-level electricity which will pass into the skin and destroys the hair follicle. The procedure is done by inserting a very fine needle with low level of electrical current into the hair follicles. After the insertion, the hair is removed with tweezers.
Pros: The effect is long lasting and is almost permanent since the hair follicles are destroyed after the treatment.
Cons: The treatment is very tedious and will take a couple of hours as the fine needle is needed to be inserted in each hair follicle. There is also a possible stinging and pricking sensation every time the needle is inserted. If not done properly, there is a possible risk of skin discoloration and redness.
- LASER TREATMENTS
This method uses a concentrated beam of light energy that targets and destroys hundreds of hair follicles in a large area of the skin.
Pros: The result is nearly-permanent when a series of treatment is done. This treatment doesn’t cause skin infections, don’t even leave marks and is applicable for all skin types and tones, from light to darker skin, including tanned people.
Cons: The treatment feels like a rubber band snapping against the skin but cold compress and numbing creams is used to prevent discomfort. This is treatment not appropriate for white hair.
- INTENSE PULSE LIGHT
Intense pulse light or IPL is one of the most popular hair removal methods. It works by delivering light that is absorbed by the pigments of the hair, which disables the growth of the hair follicles. It also delivers light energy to hundreds of hair follicle at a time. It works well with light to medium skin tones and best on darker hair.
Pros: This also gives a permanent hair reduction after a series of treatments.
Cons: This treatment is not effective for gray, red and white hair. People with dark skin color cannot do this treatment as it can burn their skin.
Permanent hair reduction can be a good option to save time and effort. Although, it requires series of treatments but it will at least last far longer than temporary method options. This means that after undergoing for a several treatments, you will then free from the daily regimen of removing your unwanted hair. However, keep in mind that depending on the age, hormones, or genetics of the person there is still a possibility for the hair to re-grow after many years.
There are many other temporary or permanent hair removal methods out there aside from those that are mentioned here. Nevertheless, seeking a specialist is still the best option for you to have better understanding of which of these treatment options will best suit your skin type.
Aesthetic clinic doctors and physicians are now known to be specialist for different hair removal concerns. Consultations are mostly required to be able to properly analyse the skin colour, skin type and skin conditions before recommending a specific device.
- If you would like to be an informed patient, please contact us at +65-6801-4000 or
- Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, 9 Scotts Road Pacific Plaza, Scotts Medical Center #08-07, Singapore – 228210