The best options for removing unwanted hair
The best method for removing body hair is actually based on an individual’s preference. But depending on which option you choose, there are some up and downsides.
Plucking via tweezers/threading: This is a safe and inexpensive option and hair removal can last 6-8 weeks. Downside: It’s uncomfortable, time consuming, and can cause skin irritations or scarring.
Waxing: Just like plucking, waxing results in complete removal of the hair and is inexpensive. It can also last 6-8 weeks. Downside: Waxing is slightly uncomfortable and can cause inflammation, irritation, and scarring.
Chemical (eg, Veet/Nair): Chemical hair removal products dissolve hair so it can be easily wiped or scraped away. Hair removal can last up to 2 weeks. Downside: Creams can cause irritation and tend to produce an offensive smell.
Laser: This option targets melanin (dark pigment) in the shaft which leads to destroying the base of the hair. Hair removal can last at least 3 months. Downside: Laser removal can be expensive, cause swelling, or skin pigment changes.
Electrolysis: An electric current is passed through a needle that is placed in the skin and destroys the hair follicle. This process can ultimately lead to permanent hair removal. Downside: Depending on the skills of the person doin the procedure, this method can cause temporary pain, redness, and swelling.
The real deal with shaving
As shaving is the most popular form of hair removal, it’s worth discussing in more detail. One myth that should be cleared up about shaving is this: it does not cause hair to grow back thicker. If hair does appear thicker to you, it may be because of the angle in which the razor or shaver cut the hair. Make sure you shave in the direction of hair growth to avoid razor bumps. Choose a lubricating shave gel to prevent nicks and cuts and place a cool compress on the skin after shaving to prevent irritation and swelling. Shaving can cause spreading of any existing warts so the best way to prevent this from happening is to use one razor for the area with the wart and use another razor for the rest of the body.
Dr. Mercy Edionwe is a physician specializing in internal medicine. She earned her medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch, and afterwards, completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. During her free time, she loves to write and educate the public on medical issues. She currently resides in Texas. You can follow her on Twitter at @fuchsiamd.
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