Hair Removal 101

Simple fact or a cruel joke, but as men age, they get less hair where they want it and more hair where they don’t. Excessive, patchy or ill-placed body hair can be the bane of any man; fortunately today’s average guy can add hair removal to his regular grooming routine. De-foresting options abound, the most popular of them are listed below:

Shaving

A centuries old process common to virtually every man on earth, hair removal is immediate, but grows back almost as quickly.

  • Pros: Inexpensive, convenient and non-invasive
  • Cons: Very short-term; razor burn, subject to ingrown hairs and bleeding

    at the shaky hand of the fearful
  • Waxing

    Hot wax is spread on, capturing the hair, when cool it is removed with a yank of a fabric strip. Cold wax or hard wax does not require the fabric strip and is best on shorter, thinner hair in smaller sensitive areas. Waxing is fast, efficient, immediate and provides longer term results than shaving.

  • Pros: Quick and cheap; lasts longer than shaving (3-4 weeks)
  • Cons: Messy, painful, also rashes or acne breakouts may occur
  • Electrolysis

    An electrical current is emitted from a probe that is inserted into every hair follicle to permanently destroy the root. Electrolysis is the most effective process for removal of unwanted hair. Look for a certified and very experienced Electrologist when considering this option.

  • Pros: Permanent
  • Cons: Painful, expensive, time-consuming and results totally dependent

    on the skill of your Electrologist
  • Laser Hair Removal

    Lasers destroy hair follicles by targeting the melanin within. The light beam passes through skin into the hair while energy is transformed into heat disabling the hair follicle. This Procedure should only be performed by a licensed plastic surgeon, or dermatologist. Maintenance visits may be required.

  • Pros: Effective, faster and less painful than electrolysis; last 3-6 months
  • Cons: Expensive, potential burning or scarring, and once again must be

    performed by a highly experienced professional
  • Intense Pulsed Light

    This next generation of technology promises better results than lasers by using concentrated bursts of wide-spectrum, multidirectional light. The manufacturers claim it is suitable for a wide range of skin types and hair colors.

  • Pros: Effective; faster and more precise than lasers; near permanent
  • Cons: Very expensive, new technology, not available everywhere
  • Chemical Depilatories

    If you can’t stand the thought of yanking your hair out by the roots, shocking or burning out your hair follicles, then depilatory creams and foams offer an alternative. Hair-removal creams are composed of acids that actually dissolve hair just below the surface, but the strong chemicals can irritate skin, especially if you leave the stuff on too long.

  • Pros: Quick, easy and cheap; not painful like waxing
  • Cons: Unpleasant odor to some; may cause skin irritation
  • Sugaring

    An ancient method of hair removal that originated in Egypt; sugaring is an alternative to waxing for highly sensitive skin. A sugar paste is applied at body temperature and removed with cotton strips or directly with the hands.

  • Pros: All-natural, gentler on skin than waxing
  • Cons: Not effective on men’s beards
  • Threading

    Another ancient hair-removal method still used widely throughout the Middle East to remove unwanted facial hair. 100% cotton thread is used to entwine the hair, which is lifted from the follicle. The practice, while not as common as other methods in the U.S., is effective and precise.

  • Pros: Great for those allergic to wax
  • Cons: Time-consuming and moderately painful removing more than

    a single strand of hair
  • Epilators

    Early models used coils of wire that grabbed indiscriminately, and as subtly as a tractor. Newer models like the Silk-Epil use rows of tiny tweezers, which cause (relatively) less pain, and at least one model actually includes an ice-pack attachment to numb your targeted body parts.

  • Pros: Cleaner and quicker than shaving or waxing, can last for weeks
  • Cons: Can produce irritated skin, ingrown hairs and the sight of grown

    men crying
  • Only you can decide which process works best for you!

    © August 2005 Jolene Schwartz


    Source by Jolene Schwartz