Body Hair: Hair removal, what’s your poison?

Let’s face it guys, everyone’s dream is hairlessness! When I think of body hair, my mind goes straight to those unwanted hairs I cringe at when I look at my body. Ladies, you know what I’m talking. The lustrous armpits, the hairy legs, lets not even get started on what lies in between our legs…the horror.

Well hair is classified into two categories, I know, who would have thought so. They are the Terminal Hair and Velus Hair. Terminal hair is what can be seen growing on our heads, armpits, eye brows and groin area while the Velus hair are the very fine hairs covering most of our body parts.

It’s difficult to talk about body hair and not mention how to get rid of it! Hair can be a tricky fellow. Due to its growth patterns, every hair follicle is at different stages of growth at a time making it impossible to get rid of hair at one time. Therefore requiring various sessions of whatever hair removal method one chooses.
If your goal is hairlessness, there are two options, the rich folk approach requiring laser and the road often traveled by one too many of us consisting of a combination of shaving, use of depilatory creams like Veet, waxing and tweezing…ouch!

We all know that keeping our bodies hairless in all the right places isn’t always smooth sailing—all hair removal methods, whether it’s waxing, shaving, or laser, have the potential for issues like nicks, bumps, ingrown hairs, and the worst of them all …general discomfort.

Let’s take a quick look at the multitude of removal options, and with them, the different levels of pain, commitment, expense, convenience, and perhaps most importantly, longevity.
Waxing
How It Works: Hot (but not too hot!) wax is applied to the desired area and removed in the opposite direction of the hair growth, pulling hairs out from the root.

Best For: Legs, underarms, and bikini areas, and great for those with coarse, darker hair that tends to be stubborn.

Pros: Temporarily removes hair at the root for an average of three weeks of smooth skin, which can range from two to six weeks depending on your hair type and thickness.

Cons: Waxing requires some regrowth in order to be effective, as the wax needs at least a quarter inch of stubble to adhere to. Treatments can be moderately painful, as hair is indeed being ripped out at the root, but it becomes more tolerable over time. Waxing can also result in ingrown hairs.
Shaving
How It Works: Shaving removes hair at the skin’s surface by cutting it off with a razor.

Best For: Legs, underarms, and those with lighter, finer hair.

Pros: Inexpensive, painless, quick, and easy, and shaving creams used can help moisturize the skin, keeping it soft.

Cons: Regrowth happens quickly, and since hair is cut off at the surface, regrown hair is blunt, not tapered, so it can appear thicker. Razor burn, nicks, and cuts are possibilities, and those who shave regularly can also become prone to ingrown hairs.
Depilatory Creams
How It Works: Hair removal creams use chemicals to weaken the hair follicle so you can effectively wipe it away.

Best For: Those who want quick, easy, relatively painless at-home results. Depilatories are most popular for facial hair, bikini lines, and underarms.

Pros: Can be done at home, and removes hair just below the surface of the skin, ensuring slower and less coarse regrowth than shaving.

Cons: Chemicals in these products can irritate sensitive skin, particularly in more delicate areas. These creams are infamous for their odor, and can also lead to ingrown hairs.
Laser Hair Removal
How It Works: Laser penetrates the skin to target the hair follicle and inhibit hair growth. It essentially destroys the follicle, meaning it can achieve permanent removal. Typically, the hair in treated areas falls out within 2-3 weeks.

Best For: Anybody! Professional dermatologists or laser therapists can vary the type of laser used. Laser works by laser targeting the melanin in the hair. The laser needs to be able to lock on to the dark pigment in order to differentiate the dark hair from the skin.

Pros: Great for long-term hair removal in all areas. “It causes no damage to the dermis, so even the most sensitive skin can be treated.

Cons: Laser hair removal can be painful, with most people describing it as a “snapping” sensation against the skin, as well as a sensation of heat from the laser. Also, it requires numerous visits to a dermatologist for best results. “It is important to go to a dermatologist who can offer different lasers which are customized to the patient’s skin color and hair color.
Tips: While it may seem expensive, in the long run, many consider laser removal to be an investment that can pay off. “It is the most effective and cost-effective treatment, considering how much one can spend over a lifetime with options such as waxing or electrolysis.