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Hair Removal Products

Hair where it ought not be, according to the current dictates of fashion, raises many an eyebrow. So, for cosmetic reasons, millions of women, and a growing number of men, the world over, spend millions of dollars each year on products that promise smooth, silky skin free of unsightly, excessive body hair.

For do-it-yourselfers, a number of home-use hair removal products are available over the counter today. They include shaving creams, foams, and gels; waxes; chemical depilatories; and electrolysis devices. Further, professionals at beauty and skin care salons and in dermatologists' offices provide waxing, electrolysis, and, most recently, laser treatments, as well, for hair removal.

The cost, safety, effectiveness, and ease of use of the various methods, plus the area and amount of hair growth to be treated, are some of the factors to consider in choosing a product.


Depilatories act like a chemical razor blade, and are available in gel, cream, lotion, aerosol, and roll-on forms. They contain a highly alkaline chemical that dissolves the protein structure of the hair, causing it to separate easily from the skin surface. The concentration of the chemical is generally kept as weak as possible to avoid skin irritation, yet strong enough to work in a reasonable amount of time. Hence, it is very

Tweezers and Waxing creams

While depilatories remove hair at the skin's surface, tweezers and waxes, pluck hairs from below the surface. Waxing and tweezing may be more painful than using depilatories, but the results are longer lasting. Since the hair is plucked at the root, new growth is not visible for several weeks after treatment.

Tweezing is not practical for large areas, however, since it is such a slow process. Women normally use tweezers for shaping eyebrows and for removing facial hair.

Waxing also is mostly done to shape eyebrows and remove hair from the chin and upper lip, although many women also have their legs, underarms, and bikini line waxed.

Electrical Epilators

Electric current is used in two types of devices to extract hair: the needle epilator and the tweezers epilator. Needle epilators introduce an extremely fine wire near the hair shaft, under the skin, and into the hair follicle. An electric current is sent down the wire, which destroys the hair root at the bottom of the follicle. The loosened hair is then extracted with tweezers. In this procedure, every hair is treated individually.

Hair removal entered the "laser age:” barely a year ago. It is essentially a standard dermatological instrument similar to others already on the market for treating skin lesions and removing tattoos. With this method, a proprietary topical black-colored solution is applied to the treatment area before the laser is scanned across it. This solution penetrates the hair follicles and the black material in it preferentially absorbs the laser wavelength, which heats and destroys the follicles.

Clinical trials of the laser process have so far shown at least a 30 percent reduction of hair on treated areas in 60 to 70 percent of people treated. However, manufacturers have to limit their claims of laser treatment permanence to results substantiated by the clinical data.

You can expect some side effects whenever a laser is used to treat your skin. They include redness, caused by heating the tissue; possibly some darkening of light-complexioned skin and lightening of dark-complexioned skin; and a risk of some scarring in some patients.

All cosmetic hair removal can be quick and easy or time-consuming and somewhat discomforting. It can also be expensive or cheap. However, for just about anyone who so desires, there are ways and ways to get rid of the hair they don't want.