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The Permanent Hair Removal Myth

Posted Dec 19 2010 1:01am

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AA asks…What hair removal techniques, if any, work? (ie, is electrolysis permanent, does laser hair removal last and are there repercussions for skin -e.g, hardening, discoloration?

The Right Brain researches:

The Beauty Brains usually specialize in helping you take care of the hair you love. But since AA asked so nicely, in this post we’ll give you some tips on how to get rid of the hair you don’t want.

Hair removal can be either a temporary or permanent process. (Ok, maybe semi-permanent is more accurate.) Temporary measures include both depilation (getting rid of the hair above the surface of the skin) and epilation (removing the whole hair, including the part below the skin). The effects of depilation can last from several hours to several days; epilation, on the other hand, can last several weeks. You already know how to depilate and epilate: you shave, you tweeze, you wax, you thread you know the drill.

“Permanent” methods of hair removal are a bit trickier. These methods are far from perfect because they rely on destroying the tissues that regulate hair growth while leaving the neighboring tissues unharmed. And trust us, that ain’t easy! Nonetheless, some success has been achieved using electrolysis and prescription oral medications. X-rays have been used as well but this method is banned in the United States.

Less success has been achieved using scary sounding methods like Electric Tweezers (doesn’t that sound like the name of a band?), Transdermal Electrolysis, Transcutaneous hair removal, Photoepilators, and Microwaves. From where we sit, electrolysis looks like your best bet, but even it has issues. Our favorite site for hair removal info, Hairfacts.com does a great job of laying out the disadvantages so we quote:

Disadvantages: Can be expensive. Can be painful. Can be tedious. Can be difficult for large amounts of hair. If done improperly, it can result in: partial to full regrowth lasting skin damage spread of infection Regulation varies by state, so inadequate controls exist to ensure competent practitioners. Regrowth rates have not been accurately established and cannot be predicted due to numerous variables. Some consumers do not respond to treatment.

Permanently getting rid of body hair is not so easy! Be careful where you choose to go for ANY kind of permanent hair removal.

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