We have many options when it comes to removing unwanted, unsightly body hair.
Whether it’s for the beach, a bikini contest, your new swimsuit, sport or just the aesthetic benefits, here are the best options to perfect your look by ridding your body of unsightly hair, wherever it may be…
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It’s fast and oh-so-easy, but it’s also the most temporary hair removal solution. Shaving cuts the hair shaft at the surface of the skin, which means it grows back quicker.
If you don’t use a sharp razor it can also lead to irritated skin and ingrown hairs, especially for those with sensitive skin.
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Lasers use the principle of selective photothermolysis to eliminate hair and its potential regrowth without damaging the surrounding skin.
During a laser hair removal treatment, light passes through the skin and is absorbed by the melanin in the hair shaft. This absorption raises the temperature of the hair follicle and the subsequent heat destroys the cells responsible for regrowth.
The attributes of the light (wavelength, pulse duration and power) are chosen to ensure that only hair cells are damaged and not the rest of the skin. Women who opt to go for laser hair removal will have fewer ingrown hairs to deal with. When hair does grow back after a laser treatment, it’s also a lot lighter and softer.
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Wax on, wax off
Waxing, which is arguably one of the more painful hair removal methods, involves spreading hot wax on a desired area, followed by a strip of cloth or muslin. The area is then rubbed vigorously and the cloth is pulled off in one fast swooping movement. This technique pulls the hairs out of the follicle, removing it all the way down to the root. Hair that grows back after waxing is softer, lighter in colour and finer.
Tweezing works on the same principle as waxing, as plucking removes the hair from the follicle, all the way down to the root. Tweezing does, however, cause red, irritated skin and ingrown hairs, and can take a long time for areas where there is heavy hair growth.
However, plucking offers the most control, making it ideal for the removal of individual hairs or the shaping of specific areas.
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Lather it up
Most hair removal creams are made in such a way that they get close to the root of the hair and remove it completely, which means the hair will take longer to grow back.
Hair removal creams are also ideal as they not only remove the hair but also exfoliate your skin at the same time. In addition, hair removal creams don’t dry the skin’s surface during the removal process as they contain ingredients that help renew the skin and increase hydration levels.
During electrolysis, a needle is inserted under the skin and an electric current is passed trough the hair follicle, effectively damaging it.
Over time, this damage will cause the hair to grow back weaker and slower each time. This approach offers long-lasting results, but multiple sessions may be required.
This procedure can also be expensive and is very painful. There’s also a risk of scarring and infection.
The best advice when it comes to hair removal is to carry out a trial test first. Try the product or method out on a small area to double check there are no adverse reactions or allergies before tackling larger or more sensitive areas.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.