Hair Removal Methods: Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Part II
Hair Removal Methods: Advantages and Disadvantages of Each: Part II
When trying to get rid of unwanted body hair, you have many options. From professional to DIY, we’ll cover the various methods for removing hair and discuss the pros and cons of each. In Part I: we learned about electrolysis, depilatory creams, and shaving. In part II we will learn about waxing, tweezing, threading, and hair removal medication.
Waxing is a form of physical hair removal which uses either warm or cold wax, which is applied over the skin where there is unwanted body hair. The wax adheres to the unwanted body hair, and removes that hair by the follicle when the wax is stripped away from the skin.
Another form of waxing that is surging in popularity is sugar waxing. This hair removal method works much like traditional waxing but uses a sticky sugary concoction, which has the consistency of warm caramel, to remove unwanted body hair. The biggest advantage sugar waxing has over traditional waxing is the clean up. Traditional wax is sometimes difficult to remove from the skin, while the sugary substance is water soluble and can be easily washed off.
Advantages of Waxing Hair Removal
Waxing removes hair at its root, so it produces longer lasting results than shaving, or depilatory creams. Waxing can also remove a large patch of hair at a time, unlike tweezing or electrolysis which removes hair a single strand at a time. Waxing is most commonly used to remove hair from the legs, the bikini area, the armpits, and any other part of the body that has unwanted coarse, dark hair.*
Disadvantages of Waxing Hair Removal
Like threading and tweezing, waxing requires some hair growth, about a quarter of an inch, for the wax to adhere to. Also, since the hair is being ripped out by its root, waxing may be more painful than other hair removal methods.
Threading is a form of physical hair removal which involves a skilled practitioner, who threads unwanted hairs from the eyebrow into a mini lasso using a cotton string. Once the hairs are caught in the thread, the practitioner removes the hair with a twisting motion. This method of hair removal pulls the hair out from the root, removing the entire hair follicle, producing results that typically last between 2 and 6 weeks. *
Advantages of Threading
Threading has numerous advantages: because threading uses a disposable string, it is far more sanitary than other methods of hair removal. Threading is also praised for its preciseness. This form of hair removal is also very fast compared to traditional eyebrow tweezing. Threading is not limited to certain skin types, making it ideal for individuals who cannot wax or undergo laser hair removal because their skin is too sensitive. As with all hair removal methods that pull the hair out by the follicle, repeated threading can damage the follicle, producing long lasting results.*
Disadvantages of Threading:
The biggest challenge presented with threading is finding a skilled practitioner. Threading is an art form that is passed down from generation to generation, so unless you are living in a populated city, it may be hard to find an expert threader. Threading also requires some hair growth, at least 1/16th of inch. Threading is limited to the facial area.
Tweezing, also referred to as plucking, is a method of physical hair removal that is commonly used to remove facial hair, especially from the eyebrows. Tweezing involves removing individual hairs, one by one, by grasping each hair with a type of forceps, then physically pulling out the hair from the root of the hair follicle. Tweezing is most commonly used to shape and maintain the eyebrows, and is ideal for removing single stray hairs that grow on the face.*
Advantages of Tweezing:
Tweezing is fairly inexpensive, and can be done at home, or done by a professional in a salon setting. Because tweezing pulls hair out of the hair follicle, results last longer than when shaving, with some individuals needing to re-tweeze every couple of weeks. Tweezing offers precise control for the person removing the hair, and is ideal for removing stray hairs from the face. Despite popular misconceptions, tweezing does not cause hair to grow back thicker or a different texture or color.*
Disadvantages of Tweezing:
Because tweezing requires each hair to be manually removed, one by one, it is not an ideal form of hair removal for large areas of hair. Even when tweezing small areas of hair, such as the eyebrows, the process can become tedious and time consuming. Tweezing is not painless. Some individuals feel a sting with every hair that is pulled out of its follicle. Tweezing can also cause scarring, pitting, and ingrown hairs. Lastly, like waxing, tweezing requires some hair growth in order to grasp the hair to remove it.
HAIR REMOVAL MEDICATION
In rare cases, when an individual does not respond to other methods of hair removal, or if the individual is experiencing uncommon rates of hair growth, medications that inhibit or decrease hair growth may be prescribed by a doctor. Once such medication is called Spironolactone, which reduces unwanted hair growth, without effecting the hair growth on the scalp.
There is also a prescription cream, called Vaniqa, which is available to women who are experiencing unwanted facial hair growth. This cream only slows the rate of facial hair growth, it does not remove the facial hair.*
Advantages of Hair Removal Medication:
Prescription hair growth inhibiting medications can help individuals who are not good candidates for other methods of hair removal, or do not respond to those other methods of hair removal. These medications are FDA approved to be safe and effective.*
Disadvantages of Hair Removal Medication:
These hair removal, and hair growth reducing medications require a prescription from a doctor. Also, results are temporary, and hair will begin to regrow as soon as the medications are stopped. Medications for unwanted hair growth also require daily dosing. While taking a pill, or applying cream twice daily is not labor intensive, it is a recurring chore, unlike laser hair removal, which requires a series of one hour appointments, spaced out every six weeks.