Hair Removal – A brief Introduction

Hair Removal

  • Laser Hair Removal – A laser treatment which can result in a permanent reduction in hair growth.
  • Electrolysis – Only permanent hair removal method approved by the FDA.
  • Waxing – Cheap and effective. Waxing pulls hair out from the follicle for long lasting results.
  • Ingrown Hair – One of the most troublesome and painful hair problems. Learn about it here.

scissorsHair grows all over the human body; some places you want it to and some you don’t. Men and women alike are sometimes interested in removing it; mostly for cosmetic reasons. This could be temporarily, permanently or semi permanently.

Essentially there are 3 main way to remove hair professionally at a salon. We look at 3 of these in detail and answer any questions you could possible have about them.

Let’s have a look at some FAQ on hair removal:

What is the Difference Between Laser Hair Removal and Electrolysis?

Laser hair removal is done by heating of skin follicles causing them to get so hot they get damaged. This causes them to make less (or no) hair for a while. It relies on the hair being in the correct stage of growth. So the person taking the treatment may need several sessions. It’s semi permanent hair removal (the hair may grow back), but it’s pretty fast, clean and doesn’t hurt too much.

On the other hand electrolysis involves a needle going directly into your hair follicle followed by an electric shock. This destroys the hair follicle completely. But the process is time-consuming and painful. Only one follicle can be done at a time. However it’s the only 100% permanent way to remove body hair.

What is the Difference Between Waxing and Sugaring?

newsugaringThey are very similar so you can be forgiven for thinking they’re the same. They both pull the hair out at the root using fabric strips and a solution. But the pain does differ quite a bit. The sugaring mixture can contain a variety of things. It obviously contains sugars but can also contain a variety of herbs and other natural ingredients. It forms into a paste like mixture which you put on your skin.

This isn’t the case with waxing. It usually contains man-made chemicals, so there is a chance that some people could have a negative reaction to the waxing solution. The sugaring solution can also be applied hot as well as cold. This is less painful. There’s always the chance that a wax solution will be too hot. This could result in a burn. Waxing, typically speaking, is better at removing hair. But it’s so strong it sometimes removes live skin cells too. Sugaring only removes dead skin cells; it’s slightly better at attaching itself to hair rather than skin.


So waxing is a bit better at removing hair and sugaring is less painful. You need to decide which sounds better for you. At a professional salon the actual results which will be achieved won’t differ too much. Visually the results will be (close to) identical. Remember you hopefully will be provided with something that numbs the skin at a salon to lessen the pain. Note: Sugaring is easier to try at home by making your own solution.

What is the Difference between IPL and Laser Hair Removal?

IPL and laser hair removal are extremely similar. There are some key differences though. IPL stands for intense pulsed light; this isn’t how laser hair removal works. The devices do look the same, and they both use heat to heat the follicles up so much that hair growth is reduced. Both will need the client to take several sessions because of the stages of hair growth.

newiplEssentially IPL isn’t as powerful or intensive as laser hair removal. It also doesn’t have as many features. The Dr performing laser hair removal can customise the treatment – they can tailor the treatment to the skin tone of the patient. This extent of customisation isn’t possible with IPL. IPL uses a lamp which produces different light waves which heat up and destroy the hair follicles. It isn’t as good at treating people with lighter skin.

Also the different light waves sometimes heat up the skin (but not to a dangerous level) where as laser hair removal uses a range which just focuses on the hair follicles.

Which is Best?

So essentially IPL is a less advanced version of laser hair removal. Because laser hair removal is better it’s usually more expensive than IPL treatments. So if you’re on a budget it’s possible you’ll be able to save some money by getting IPL. However you really do need light skin.

You’ll usually only find laser hair removal devices in more high-end or specialist clinics, most other smaller salons or clinics will probably have IPL devices. Sometimes the cost of maintenance and the initial price of laser hair removal systems is too much of an investment if it’s not guaranteed to be used.

Why Wax Rather Than Shave?

Shaving just cuts the hair off at skin level, the hair still extends below the surface of the skin into the root. This means the hair regrows very quickly. However when you wax or use sugaring the hair needs to completely regrow at the root. Additionally the hair is weakened by the process and may regrow lighter and finer.

Although waxing is painful at the time, you have very little chance of sustaining the cuts on your skin. Skin cuts are quite common with shaving as you probably know.

What is the Best Hair Removal Method?

This is very subjective and will depend on the person in question. One of the points you need to consider is the reason for your hair removal. If you’re going to a special occasion like a wedding, or going on holiday then perhaps waxing is the best choice. This is because the event in question may be a once in a while type of thing. So there’s no point investing thousands of dollars. If you’re just sick of the time it takes to shave then maybe you should consider laser hair removal. Shaving has loads of problems – the time it takes, the mess, the cuts…

Which Method To Use For Which Purpose

With laser hair removal you can massively reduce the rate your hair grows at. You shouldn’t need to spend anywhere near as much time on hair removal. The most common area that this would be done on is the legs. Self consciousness about a certain area of your body is another reason. If your upper lip is a little hairier than average waxing may not do the job properly and you may want more of a permanent solution.

This situation may be perfect for electrolysis. It’s not a massive area, so it shouldn’t take too long or cost too much, but you can still get those permanent results. So think about exactly what you want, what your pain tolerance is, and how much you’re willing to spend. Use these points as a rough guideline:

  • Want to look hair free for a special occasion? Waxing is your best bet.
  • Want to save time shaving a part of the body with quite a large surface area? Then laser hair removal would be best.
  • Want to rid a specific (small) area of body hair permanently? Then it’s electrolysis.

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