Unwanted hair on the face and other parts of the body can be a pain for many individuals. Patients may choose to remove unwanted hair at home, though certain hair removal techniques are provided at dermatology offices and spas.
When selecting a hair removal technique, individuals must consider the location of the unwanted hair and how frequently the process may need to be repeated.
As certain techniques may cause more pain than others, sometimes patients consider taking pain medications. They may also need soothing creams after hair removal.
Popular Hair Removal Techniques
Hair removal is an excellent way to deal with unwanted lip hair and other areas of unwanted hair. Of course, hair removal cost is a significant factor, especially with techniques such as laser hair removal and electrolysis.
Patients who have skin conditions or other health concerns may want to ask a doctor or dermatologist about the safest hair removal methods for their needs.
Shaving is one of the oldest methods of removing unwanted hair at home. Individuals may choose to shave with a razor or an electric shaver. Shaved areas generally remain hair-free for one to three days.
Shaving is suitable for removing hair anywhere on the face and body. It is important to wet the skin before shaving, and patients should always apply soap, lotion, or shaving cream to the area as well.
The hair should be shaved in the same direction as it grows to prevent issues such as ingrown hairs. Razors should be replaced once they become dull to reduce the risk of cuts. Some individuals who shave could develop ingrown hairs. These are most common in the bikini area.
Patients should monitor their skin for redness or other signs of infection if they have ingrown hairs. Hair that has been shaved does not become coarse when it grows back.
Waxing provides longer-lasting results than shaving, and it can be performed at home or a spa. This technique involves spreading warm wax on the skin and covering the area with thin strips of cloth.
Once the wax dries, the strips are quickly pulled off the skin, removing the wax and underlying hair. Certain types of wax are suitable for use without cloth strips. Waxing kits designed for home use typically include strips that already have wax applied to them.
Waxing is a suitable hair removal technique for any part of the body. The face, underarms, legs, and bikini area are some of the areas that are most commonly waxed.
Waxing keeps areas free of hair for between three to six weeks. Since hair needs to be at least 0.25 inches long for effective waxing, patients should let their hair grow for a few weeks before using this technique. Occasionally, waxing could result in infection around the patient’s hair follicles.
This is more likely to occur for patients who wax infrequently. Bumps and redness in the waxed area could develop as well, and these side effects are usually minor and temporary.
3. Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is designed to produce long-lasting hair removal. It may be permanent for many patients. This hair removal technique uses lasers to damage hair at the roots, causing it to fall out.
While some laser hair removal devices are sold for home use, experts recommend that patients have this technique performed by a licensed professional. This is to minimize the risk of side effects. Laser hair removal technicians will evaluate each patient’s hair removal goals and recommend a treatment timeline.
Most patients will need to have six to twelve laser sessions to notice results. After these sessions are completed, some individuals might need to attend follow-up laser sessions once or twice a year to maintain the results.
Generally, lasers are less effective on blonde or gray hair, so patients should check with a professional to verify that they are suitable for laser treatment. If lasers are used incorrectly, patients could experience burning on the skin. Some individuals have developed scars. These side effects are quite rare.
However, patients are still advised to choose a laser hair removal center with a physician on staff. Redness and swelling at the treated site are relatively common. These effects usually resolve on their own after the laser session is finished.
4. Depilatory Creams
Depilatory creams are over-the-counter hair removal products intended for home use. They contain chemicals that dissolve the hair’s proteins, which causes the hair to fall out within a few minutes, and it can then be wiped away.
Unlike other hair removal techniques, depilatory creams are considered painless when used as directed. Depilatory creams are most effective when used on the legs, bikini area, and underarms. They work best on thicker hair.
Patients should exfoliate their skin before using these products. Doing so will help prevent ingrown hairs. For the best results, hair needs to be under 0.25 inches long, and patients should apply an even layer of cream to the treatment area.
The cream should only be left on the area for the time listed on the package instructions, as leaving the cream on too long could result in burns. Patients with sensitive skin may want to choose a formula with aloe or green tea. It is recommended that everyone do a patch test before using any depilatory cream.
After using the cream, patients should wait at least twenty-four to forty-eight hours before using it again. Depilatory creams should not be used around the eyes, nose, or mouth. Depilatory creams can provide results that last up to two weeks.
Electrolysis is a professional method of hair removal that must be performed by a trained provider. The provider places a small needle into the hair follicle. The hair is destroyed at the root using an electric current.
Each hair must be treated individually. Thus, this method can be quite time-consuming. It is generally recommended for smaller areas, including the upper lip and the chin. Individuals who want electrolysis will typically need to have sessions every week or two until the hair is gone.
This treatment method may be beneficial for patients with white or blonde hair who have not seen results with laser treatment. Potential side effects of electrolysis include swelling, redness, and scarring.
Patients should ask their provider about all of the benefits and risks before they decide to start treatment.