By Jill Kandora, PA-C
If you are like many people, hair removal is part of your regular grooming regimen. You likely have tried several methods and may even be thinking about permanent solutions. There are many hair removal options. Here are the pros and cons of different methods to make your skin smooth and free of stubble!
Waxing removes hair from the follicle and works well for those with dark or coarse hair.
Pros: As compared to shaving, hair reappears slower since the hair is removed from the follicle. You can expect to have smooth skin for 3-6 weeks.
Cons: Minor discomfort and possible redness and bumps over treated skin. Hair needs to be a ¼ inch long for waxing; therefore there may be necessary hair growth time in between treatments.
Depilatory creams remove hair by breaking down proteins associated with hair. Using a warm washcloth, the cream is removed along with the unwanted hair.
Pros: It’s a quick treatment and can be done at home. Most depilatory creams are inexpensive.
Cons: Results will last longer than shaving, but not as long as waxing. Also, be careful not to leave a depilatory cream on for too long as it could damage the skin.
At-Home Light Devices
A hand-held laser device sends out pulsed light on the skin to seek out darkly pigmented hair follicles and impairs the hair follicle.
Pros: Treatments can be done at home and little to no hair growth is needed for treatments.
Cons: Blisters and burns can occur if used incorrectly. At-home devices require frequent and diligent use to yield results. There are many devices on the market, so be sure to consult with you dermatologist before using an at-home device.
Laser Hair Reduction
The laser emits a wave length that penetrates each hair strand to the root, damaging the follicle and preventing it from producing new hair. Several treatments at 4-6 weeks apart are often needed.
Pros: Permanent solution to unwanted hair. Targeting the pigment at the base of the follicle, this treatment works best on those with dark hair and light skin.
Cons: Minor swelling or redness. Costs must be considered and it is not suitable for all skin types.
Electrolysis uses fine needles injected into the individual hair shaft to destroy the hair producing cells.
Pros: Permanent option best for those with lighter colored hair who are not candidates for laser treatment.
Cons: Treatments take a long time and are best for small areas like the upper lip or chin.
Consulting with a Dermatology Specialist can ensure that you achieve the best results possible for your personal hair removal goals.