Hair removal is the practice of removing body hair, and describes the methods used to achieve that result.
The desire to remove excess or dark hair usually begins in adolescence and seems to continue until the day we die. Whether it is hair on the face, armpits, legs, bikini line, or other body parts, many women and men are intent upon having the hair on their scalp be the only visible hair on their bodies.
Depilation is the removal of the part of the hair above the surface of the skin. The most common form of depilation is shaving or trimming. Another option is the use of chemical depilatories, which work by breaking the disulfide bonds that link the protein chains that give hair its strength, making the hair disintegrate.
Epilation is the removal of the entire hair, including the part below the skin. Methods include waxing, sugaring, epilation devices, lasers,threading, intense pulsed light or electrology. Hair is also sometimes removed by plucking with tweezers.
There are many options available to remove unwanted hair, but few options to get rid of hair permanently. Each person should chose a method or combination of methods that works best for them depending on cost, time available, skin type, and the desired hair-free area.
Hair Removal with Electrolysis (permanent hair removal for most)
Electrolysis involves inserting a fine needle into the hair follicle and applying an electrical current to the follicle root. This procedure actually burns the hair root theoretically preventing it from producing more hair. Each hair follicle must be treated individually and may take several treatments to destroy the follicle.
Hair Removal with Laser (permanent hair reduction for some)
Hair removal is a common application of laser technology, but it is not permanent and not for everyone. Lasers work by emitting light at various wavelengths, energy output, and pulse widths. Most lasers used for hair removal target melanin and are therefore designed to burn structures that contain melanin. It makes sense that laser hair removal works best for light-skinned people with dark hair. Laser treatments for hair removal must be repeated. At this time it appears that laser treatment, while not causing permanent destruction of all hair follicles, does retard the regrowth of new hair.
Hair Removal with Vaniqa (lasting hair inhibition for many)
Vaniqa is a prescription-only topical cream that has been FDA-approved for reducing and inhibiting the growth of unwanted facial hair. Vaniqa works by inhibiting an enzyme that is needed for cell reproduction and other cell functions necessary for hair growth. Vaniqa is applied twice a day to areas of unwanted facial hair. Noticeable results are usually observed after 4-8 weeks of therapy. Application must be continued for as long as inhibition of hair growth is desired. Vaniqa continues to reduce facial hair growth for up to 8 weeks after discontinuing treatment.