Hair removal methods- let us compare them (Dermatocare's beauty tips)

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 03/10/18

There is vast information regarding hair removal on the Internet. But we at Dermatocare feel the need of compiling it into a table that helps you to decide which method suits your requirements in terms of how much pain you can bear, money and the time you want to invest and, how clean you want to look and for how long.


 

Hair removal method
Procedure
Area
Side Effects
Pain
Cost
Efficiency
Sessions details
Shaving
Razor manual or electric is used to shave the area. Application of lubricants like conditioner, water, cream, etc. are advisable. Always move razor in the direction of hair.
Any area but preferred for legs and pubic hair.
Ingrown hair due to reverse shaving of coarse hair.
Cuts and nicks if not done carefully.
None unless you cut yourself.
Minimal
Hairs that grow after shaving have thicker ends because hair is cut at the level where shaft is thick. So you get a smooth look but not a smooth feel.
Hair may be visible the next day or later depending on the hair growth and the color difference between the color of your skin and your hair.
You might have to shave daily to maintain the clean look.
Waxing
Wax or its equivalents are applied in the direction of hair and hair is stripped in the opposite direction.
Any area but preferred for legs, arms, pubic line and face.
Redness and bumps are common especially if you have thick hair or sensitive skin. Infections can occur if not done hygienically.
Painful, but people develop resistance to the pain if they get waxing done regularly. Maybe because the hair gets thinner (no evidence).
Affordable
Waxing if done properly gives clean look and feels smooth.
Repeated at interval of 4-6 weeks depending on how clean you want to look, hair growth, and hair coarseness.
Epilators
Epilators tweeze the hair out of the root. For beginners pain on tweezing can prevent them from using epilator efficiently.
Any area but preferred for legs and arms.
Can result in redness, bumps and infection if not cleaned properly.
Painful, but the ones who use epilator frequently feel less discomfort.
One time investment in good epilator.
If done properly, gives smooth and clean look.
Repeated at interval of week depending on how efficiently you remove your hair and the hair growth.
Depilatory creams
The chemical substance in these creams dissolves the keratin bonds in the hair so that the hair is converted into a mass that can be wiped off.
Legs, arms, pubic area. Use on the pubic area is a bit tricky as it can burn the delicate parts if spill over occurs and you should use only the brands meant for genital area.
Few people with sensitive skin might get redness, burning or even blisters and bumps with depilatory creams, so a patch test is highly recommended before using the new product for the first time.
Painless, unless you burn yourself.
Affordable
Results in smoother feel as the cream remove hair closer to skin than shaving, but less smooth than waxing that pulls the hair from roots.
Repeated at the interval of 2-3 weeks depending on the factors highlighted above.
Threading
Hair is pulled from the roots with the help of a thread. The best method to shape the eyebrows.
Face
Can transmit boils, warts etc. so always ask your beautician to use new thread or carry your own.
Painful especially on the upper lips.
Affordable in India, but quite expensive in western countries.
Gives a clean look and the brows can be shaped as desired.
Repeated at the interval of 2-3 weeks.
Plucking
Hair is plucked physically with the help of tweezer.
Eyebrows
Traumatic folliculitis or boil can occur. Do sterilise your tweezers before reusing.
Painful
Affordable; investing on good quality tweezers is recommended.
Givesa clean and smooth look and can be used to maintain brow shape in between sessions of threading.
Can be repeated weekly or earlier to remove the extra hair of your brows.
Electrolysis
A needle is inserted into each hair follicle to burn its root.
Face mostly eyebrows and unwanted hair on the chin. Preferred for white hair.
Can result in temporary redness and bumps that can heal leaving pigmentation and scars.
Painful, so request your aesthetician to numb the area by applying an anesthetic cream which might take an hour.
Expensive
The look is clean and feels smooth if performed correctly without burning the surrounding skin.
Multiple sessions needed the number may vary from 5-20 times depending on the hair density, growth and underlying hormonal stimulus for the new hair growth.
LASER
A LASER beam burns the hair roots and dead hair is expelled in 3-7 days. The new hair that grows is thinner, so LASER is a method of hair reduction and might not work well for very thin hair. So do not go for full body LASER unless you are willing to spend surplus money.
Any area, commonly used for thick hair on the face, nipple, pubic and armpits.
With more efficient systems and qualified doctors, chances of burns, pigmentation and scarring is minimal.
Minimal with cold air/ tip/ anesthetic creams that numb your skin.
Expensive especially if done by a Dermatologist using the latest LASERS, unlike parlors that use inefficient pulse light systems.
For first 3-7 days the dead hair is visible until they are shed. After that the skin feels smooth and silky.
Initial few sessions are usually done at the interval of 4-6 weeks until your hair growth reduces then the sessions may be needed once in 3-6 months.

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