If you’ve been thinking of undergoing a hair removal procedure and are curious about your hair’s growth cycles, you may want to read our earlier post that covered the three phases in detail. If you’re already up to speed and are eager to know more about our top three choices for getting rid of unwanted hair, then read on.
Of the three most effective methods for eliminating hair long-term, electrolysis has been around the longest … since 1875 to be precise. The procedure works no matter what color hair you have and is considered the only permanent hair removal method available. Electrolysis involves inserting a tiny probe into the hair follicle. When an electric current is introduced, it destroys the hair follicle permanently. The procedure requires multiple sessions, especially if you’re hoping to remove hair from a large area, and some patients find it painful. Your tolerance may be different, but it’s important to be informed in advance.
Lasers arrived on scene in the 1960s and are used for everything from cutting sheet metal to performing microscopic surgical procedures. When used to remove hair, the laser’s light targets the pigment in your hair (aka melanin). When the light converts to heat, the melanin becomes damaged, which “inhibits or delays future hair growth.” These treatments work best if you have light skin and dark hair, but they, too, require multiple treatment sessions spaced over a course of months. Sadly, they aren’t effective for those with white or gray hair. Cost can be prohibitive since a single session can set you back $200+. There’s also the pain factor, which varies widely depending on the area being treated and whether or not you opt for a topical numbing cream.
Last, but not least, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) made its debut in the late 90s. It’s similar to laser hair removal because it also targets the pigment in the hair and inhibits hair growth long-term. Unlike laser removal, the IPL device can treat a larger area at one time. This translates to fewer sessions (but still several) and also lower costs. If you can tolerate the feel of a rubber band snapping against your skin and are a raven-haired beauty, IPL will do the trick. But if your hair is blonde, red, or gray, you’re not a good candidate. Sorry.
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Now, you know the basics. Your pain tolerance (including what you’ll feel when you authorize those payments) and hair color play key roles when deciding which option best suits your needs. All three procedures are well tolerated and safe, so the choice is up to you.
Wishing you a shave-free day,
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