Hair grows in different parts of our bodies such as the head, arms, legs, armpits among other body areas and plays many roles such as insulating the body during cold weathers thus maintaining body heat, protecting the skin against ultra violet rays from the sun and many others. There are cases when there is need to remove hair from certain parts of the bodies and hence there are many methods of hair removal. First, we need to know the two forms of hair removal which are: depilation which is the removal of hair above the skin surface and epilation which is the removal of hair and the part below the skin surface. These two forms of hair removal include various types of hair removal methods such as the use of lasers, electrolysis, shaving, sugaring and waxing, plucking and tweezing, twist – threading and the use of depilatory creams. Each of these methods has its pros and cons, which we will discuss below.
Use Laser light: Laser light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair and the heat generated leads to the hair and the adjacent cells being destroyed. This method is quite expensive and requires only experienced operators otherwise the outcome may be lethal. It can also be painful and may lead to darkening of the skin and thermal burns. For home use, there are laser and light systems which can be used in the absence of an experienced operator.
Electrolysis: It involves the use of a wire which is threaded into a single hair follicle and then electric current is applied. Hair follicles are destroyed by heat generated or sodium hydroxide. This method is painful and slow since each follicle has to be treated individually. Even though, multiple treatment of a follicle aids in achieving permanent destruction.
Shaving: It is the most common and cheapest method and involves the removal of the hair above the skin surface. A sharp razor blade or an electric razors are used to remove hair.
Sugaring and waxing: This method involves the use of molten sugar solution or wax which is applied to a cloth. When these solutions solidify, the cloth is yanked away from the skin thus pulling out the hair hence this method is very painful.
Plucking and tweezing: This method involves pulling hairs out one at a time using instruments such as tweezers. It’s a tedious method and can result in inflammation which will produce dark spots around the areas where the follicles were plucked.
Twist – threading: This is an ancient method where depilation where a skilled person holds a twisted thread in one hand with the other end in the other hand or mouth and hairs trapped in the twisted thread are pulled out. This method is costly and must be done severally.
Depilatory creams: these creams have chemicals which destroy the hair by breaking bonds in the hair proteins. This method may produce irritation.
Prescription medication is also available which inhibits hair growth by inhibiting an enzyme located in the hair follicle necessary for hair growth. Once the medication is over, the enzyme starts to grow again. For long lasting results, electrolysis and laser methods should be applied.
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