Body hair is perfectly natural, and there’s no medical need to remove it if it doesn’t bother you. Of course, some of us simply prefer the feeling of smooth skin, while for others, getting rid of it can boost self-esteem. Many men, for example, admit to dodging the pool or gym due to unwanted body hair.
Whether it’s a source of embarrassment or has simply become an uncomfortable source of ingrown hairs, there are ways to get rid of body hair that don’t involve taking a razor to it every day. Here are some methods that deliver lasting results.
Waxing is the process of using hot wax and thin strips of special paper to extract unwanted body hair from the root. This method is an alternative to shaving for anyone who’s seeking results that last a bit longer. Hair regrowth rates can vary for everyone, but in general, you can go three to four weeks between sessions.
With that in mind, depending on the size of the area being waxed and the location, these treatments can get expensive – and uncomfortable. Plus, your body hair will need to be at least a quarter-inch long before you can have it waxed again, which isn’t ideal if you’re looking to avoid hair altogether.
Depilatory creams don’t remove hair at the root like waxing does. Instead, these solutions make your hair structurally unstable. While results last a bit longer than shaving, we do have some cautions if you’re considering depilatories.
For one, many people complain that they smell like rotten eggs. Another more serious concern is that they can cause serious burns if left on too long. And if you have sensitive skin or any skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, or eczema, you’ll absolutely want to avoid the chemicals in these products.
Laser Hair Removal
For many people, laser hair removal is the most attractive option for long-term results. When performed by a medical professional, laser hair removal is safe and effective. The process works by directing a light beam strategically to destroy your hair follicle without affecting surrounding skin. The procedure can be performed virtually anywhere you have unwanted hair, including your upper lip, bikini line, back, chest, underarms, neck, ears, and face.
While there’s an upfront cost to consider, laser hair removal permanently eliminates unwanted hair. That means you’ll no longer have to invest in razors, shaving creams, wax appointments, or other hair removal methods. If you’re looking for the longest-lasting results, this option could be right for you.
Electrolysis is another permanent hair removal technique. This process uses a thin needle to send an electrical current into the skin to destroy hair growth cells. While electrolysis is well-tolerated by some people, many find it more painful than laser hair removal. Some at-home electrolysis devices have entered the market in recent years, but due to the risk of injury and scarring, it’s best to go to a professional any time you’re considering permanent hair removal.
Intense Pulsed Light
Intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal is similar to laser hair removal, the main difference being the type of light used. Both target your hair’s root to prohibit new growth. In general, laser hair removal tends to deliver greater speed and accuracy because it emits a single wavelength to focus precisely on the target area, versus IPL which delivers varying wavelengths. Laser hair removal will therefore get you results in fewer sessions than IPL, and it tends to work better for people with darker skin tones, too.
If you’re considering laser hair removal, turn to Olansky Dermatology. We use the non-invasive, FDA-approved Cynosure Elite system to effectively remove hair for men and women of all skin types. To take advantage of this hair removal treatment, schedule an appointment online or by calling 404-355-5484.