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How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Hair

By Maria Llorente

Since time immemorial, we women have always struggled to get rid of the unsightly hair that Nature has given us. Today men have also joined in our struggle, but what can we do to get rid of these undesirable hairs? Would you like some information on the hair-removal methods that exist today? After carefully reading this article, you'll be able to choose the hair-removal technique that best adapts to your needs.

Razor hair removal. Is it OK to shave to get rid of hair?

This method does not remove hairs from the root but shaves them on the surface level of the skin. Today we have new types of feminine shaving razors that adapt perfectly to different body areas and include a lubricating material (generally aloe) at the base, leaving the skin soft and moisturized. What's more, after shaving, you can apply a hair-removal cream that will calm your skin. Undoubtedly, this method of hair removal will not take up much of your time, as all you have to do is apply shaving cream on your skin and shave. However, we only recommend this hair-removal method for going over an area in case of an emergency, as the hair will start to come out stronger, although not in greater quantities, as people say. Even so, sensitive skin products do exist that reduce the risk of allergy to this type of hair removal. As you shave your skin, you are exfoliating it and you can shave anytime, anywhere.

Hair-removing cream: efficient but brief.

Removing hair with cream is a chemical method that has thyoglicolic acid salts as the active ingredient. This acts on the aerial part of the hair, transforming the keratin in a few minutes into a soft, manageable mass that can be easily eliminated with a spatula or simply with water. It's a fast hair-removal method (5 to 8 minutes), pain-free and comfortable. Don't surpass the recommended waiting period for removing the cream, however, because you could get skin blotches. Special creams for sensitive skins also exist. Just as with shaving, your hair is cut but not removed from the root, even though creams are less aggressive on your skin than razors.

The areas at the calves and groin are the most likely to get stubborn, ingrown hair. Veet's subcutaneous anti-hair cream avoids the horizontal growth of this type of hair, which makes hair removal difficult. Its formula includes alpha hydroxyl acids, which soften and finetune the skin so that the hair is less resistant upon its removal. With this hair-removal method, the skin does not run the risk of being cut and it also remains softer during a longer stretch of time, since the hair growth is softer and the epidermis is more moisturized.

At the same time, this hair-removal method does not last long and it's slower than shaving. Previously, some creams irritated the skin and even had an unpleasant smell, but these problems have been solved through calming enrichment actives and by using perfumes with stable coverage power.

Warm or hot wax?

Hot waxing is by now a classic at beauty institutes. However, the appearance of cold waxes is substituting it since it can be harmful if one has varicose veins or circulation problems. Even so, it's the most popular method and has many adherents that prefer it over warm waxing for a number of reasons, among them, that the new warm waxing techniques produce allergies and adverse reactions in sensitive skins.

On the market there is a diversity of types and the difference between them lies in their texture, color and fusion point, although all of them melt at an adequate temperature so as not to produce burns or malpractice. The procedure is the following:

- The area from which the hair is to be removed is disinfected. It's helpful to sprinkle with talcum powder to ease hair extraction and remove any trace of moisture.

- The wax is extended in the direction of the hair growth and with a wood spatula because it's an insulating material.

- Extra care is taken to produce very defined edges so that it will be easier to remove the wax.

- The hair is removed in the direction opposite to the growth, taking care to press on the area, especially in very vascular areas like the groin and underarms.

- One tranquilizing secret is to press a hand to the area alter removing the strip of wax, since this tranquilizes and gives a sense of support.

- After finishing, you have to apply a product with moisturizing agents and skin decongestants. It can be any texture: gel, cream, foam...

Warm wax allows hair to be removed from the root without leaving the skin red and is recommended for women with circulation problems. It requires minimum heating, can even be done in the microwave and is soluble in water; it's easier to remove any excess.

To remove hairs, you can also use ready-to-use wax strips. You don't have to heat them up. All you have to do is rub them between your hands, apply them firmly on your skin and remove them in a sharp, quick movement. They are easy to use anywhere and whenever. Since they have the same temperature as the skin, they are even adequate for people with circulation problems. If you have a lot of hair, this method can be very long and bothersome; what's more, it's painful.

Another alternative: electric hair removal

This is a very efficient hair-removal method that extracts the hair from the roots through a series of small tweezers incorporated in the head of a little electric machine. While the first models were fairly painful, now the new epilators employ systems like a new distribution of the tweezers, massage or cold accessories that have notably reduced any discomfort. They are fast, comfortable and clean. Since they extract the hairs from the root, they are used every four weeks. The hair begins to progressively diminish, so that some qualify this method as semi-permanent. Today they also have accessories like special heads for sensitive areas and for previously softening and exfoliating the skin. This method does not activate a peeling like wax and some hairs tend to develop into a cyst in some areas where the skin is much thicker, as in the calves. It can be somewhat painful if you have a lot of hair. As of today they are not sufficiently advanced to be used in sensitive areas, !

even though some include special devices that shave instead of removing the hair.

Try Phillips new Satin Ice Optima HP 6459, which is an electric epilator with a cold effect that promises to reduce the pain and discomfort that eliminating hair from the root can cause. It has several advantages: a calming ice cartridge in a round and curved shape (for underarms and the bikini line), two speeds, and an exfoliating head that helps prevent ingrown hairs, in addition to a shaving head. Approx. price: 99,99 euros. Or Braun's Silk-"pil Soft Perfection Body Epilation incorporates a new distribution of tweezers, a massage system in four directions and, also, a special head for sensitive areas. Approx. price: 71,90 euros.

Laser: the definite hair-removal system?

It's the revolution that liberates women with hair problems from the ordeal of waxes, razors, epilators Lasting, painless and, apparently, secure.

Laser hair removal destroys the pilus follicle and the hair matrix through a laser discharged upon the area to be treated. It produces a highly concentrated ray of light. The color of the light produced by a concrete laser is key in its effect on the hair follicles. The melanin (a pigment present in all types of hair) absorbs the wave longitude, receiving heat until the matrix and the pilus follicle are destroyed, thus avoiding any future hair growth.

It's too early to know if this hair-removal technique is truly definite. In Spain, it hasn't been used for more than three years, and while the women who"ve used laser hair removal may not have hairs at this point, we don't know whether hair growth will resume in five or 10 years. What is true is that at first they were recommending three to four sessions and now the average is around eight with intervals of two to three months, although that always depends on the type of hair and the area to be treated.

In general, a minimum of six sessions is needed, depending on each person, the area, etc. You have to keep in mind that during the first session the only hairs that are removed are the ones that are in the growth phase at that point (80 percent). After four weeks, a second session is applied to treat between 15 and 30 percent of the "dormant hair. In the other sessions, the remaining hairs are eliminated. But beware: Patience is needed to suppress the successive hairs that will continue to surface during the next four to six months. The sessions can last between a few minutes and an hour. It depends on the area that's being treated.

The biggest difficulty for laser is that not only does the hair contain melanin but also the skin, which can cause hipopigmentation blotches (white) on the darkest skins. The eyebrows are an area that are not recommended because of their proximity to the eyes (they require special protection).

The sensation is similar to a burn, but since it's done quickly, it's well tolerated. (The underarms are treated in eight minutes altogether.) People with darker skin feel a slight tingling or itching. For very ample areas or areas sensitive to pain, it's recommended that an anesthetic cream be applied two hours before the treatment. Immediately after the laser hair removal, the treated area can get red or slightly inflamed, but these symptoms disappear in a short period of time.

Immediately after a laser session, the skin's appearance varies in each patient depending on the extent of the treatment. The skin can get red or swell, but it shortly returns to its normal appearance. In some cases a slight burn similar to a hot oil splatter is produced and some problems of hiperpigmentation or hipopigmentation (blotches) may appear.

Laser hair removal must be done through a doctor because the European Union has this laser classified as type AA. That means that it is not invasive but aggressive, and any treatment of this type cannot be applied by non-medical personnel.

Let's talk about prices, approximately and depending on which center:

Underarms: approx. 480 Euros. Full legs: approx. 1200 Euros.. Upper lip: approx 360 Euros.

The hair-removal results are the following:

1. Between 80 and 90 percent of the hairs are eliminated.

2. Ten to 20 percent of the hair remains, but it's much finer and sparse, so that aesthetically it's less important. Possibility of a touching-up session in one to two years. Laser is a form of energy with visible light (many patients associate the word laser to carcenogenic but that's not the case). With each session 20 to 30 percent of the hair is eliminated, but the results (bald areas and finer hair) start to be noticed starting with the third or fourth session.

Laser effect: To slow down and debilitate, progressively, the hair that continues growing.

Precautions: If in doubt about tanned skin, it's always best to test a specific area of the skin. We use 2 or 3 different energies and the reaction of the skin is evaluated in 24-40 hours.

About The Author
Maria Llorente is a qualified Make Up Artist and Beauty expert.

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