Hair Removal

As you browse the aisles of your local drugstore, you may feel a little dizzy. Next to the dozens of products devoted to making the hair on your head thicker or shinier, you’ll see dozens more promising to get rid of unwanted hair. So which hair removal methods work best? And do you need any of them?

Different Types of Hair
Before removing hair, it helps to know about the different types of hair on our bodies. All hair is made of keratin, a hard protein that's also found in your fingernails and toenails. Hair growth begins beneath the surface of your skin at a hair root inside a hair follicle, a small tube in the skin.

You have two types of hair on your body. Vellus hair is soft, fine, and short. Most women have vellus hair on their chest, back, and face. It can be darker and more noticeable in some women than others, especially those with darker complexions. Vellus hair helps the body maintain a steady temperature by providing some insulation.

Terminal hair is coarser, darker, and longer than vellus hair. It's the type of hair that grows on your head. Around puberty, terminal hair starts to grow in the armpits and pubic region. On guys, terminal hair begins to grow on the face and other parts of the body such as the chest, legs, and back. Terminal hair is there to provide cushioning and protection.

In some cases, excess hair growth, called hirsutism (pronounced: hur-soo-tih-zum), may be the result of certain medical conditions. In girls, polycystic ovary syndrome and other hormonal disorders can cause dark, coarse hair to grow on the face, especially the upper lip and chin, as well as on the chest, belly, and back. Some medications, like anabolic steroids, also can cause hirsutism.

Getting Rid of Hair

Shaving
How It Works: Using a razor, a person removes the tip of the hair shaft that has grown out through the skin. Some razors are completely disposable, some have a disposable blade, and some are electric. Guys often shave their faces, and women often shave their underarms, legs, and bikini areas.

Plucking
How It Works: Using tweezers, a person stretches the skin tightly, grips the hair close to the root, and pulls it out.

Depilatories
How They Work: A depilatory is a cream or liquid that removes hair from the skin's surface. They work by reacting with the protein structure of the hair, so the hair dissolves and can be washed or wiped away.

Waxing
How It Works: A sticky wax is spread on the area of skin where the unwanted hair is growing. A cloth strip is then applied over the wax and quickly pulled off, taking the hair root and dead skin cells with it. The wax can be warmed or may be applied cold. Waxing can be done at a salon or at home.

Electrolysis
How It Works: Over a series of several appointments, a professional electrologist inserts a needle into the follicle and sends an electric current through the hair root, killing it. A small area such as the upper lip may take a total of 4 to 10 hours and a larger area such as the bikini line may take 8 to 16 hours.

Laser Hair Removal
How It Works: A laser is directed through the skin to the hair follicle, where it stops growth. It works best on light-skinned people with dark hair because the melanin (colored pigment) in the hair absorbs more of the light, making treatment more effective.

Prescription Treatments
A cream called eflornithine is available by prescription to treat facial hair growth in women. The cream is applied twice a day until the hair becomes softer and lighter — more like vellus hair. Side effects may include skin irritation and acne. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist if you are concerned about hair growth and removal.

Antiandrogen medications are another method that doctors prescribe to reduce the appearance of unwanted hair. Because androgen hormones can be responsible for hair growth in unwanted areas, these medications can reduce hair growth by blocking androgen production. Doctors often prescribe oral contraceptives in conjunction with these medications to enhance their effect, avoid pregnancy (since antiandrogens can be harmful to a developing fetus) and help regularize the menstrual cycle in girls who need it.

Deciding to remove body hair is a personal choice. Getting rid of body hair doesn't make a person healthier, and you shouldn't feel pressured to do so if you don't want to. Some cultures view body hair as beautiful and natural, so do what feels right to you!

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: January 2008

Complete Source: Teens Health

10 comments:

Me! said...

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alaina said...

Having a hairy body is sometimes a problem for some people. And having an unwanted hair on your problem is a big problem to people. That is why some people decide to Remove their hair.
Good thing there's Laser Permanent Hair Removal nowadays! This is the easiest and the fastest way to remove hair. And the plus point is that it doesn't produce any pain.

John said...

There is different way of hair removing like shaving, plucking etc but this method's are pain full and not the permanent solution. Laser hair removing is the best way of remove the unwanted hair from the body.

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Daniela Theresa said...

Probably the best hair removal method is using a hair removal creme. After use hair is removed for a number of weeks. Best of all it's fast and effective, meaning less time in the bathroom.

John said...

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Eline said...

Hair removal using laser, if time and cost factor considered, the best option available.

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Marian Lim said...

there are lots of ways to remove unwanted hairs. but if you have lots of money, better go for permanent hair removal treatment for best results. get bare instantly!

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