When the sun finally emerges and you’ve got to bare your bod for the first time in the season, your thoughts will likely turn to hair removal. Whether you’re after something quick, cheap and easy or the more high-tech, longer-lasting options, we’ve got the low-down right here – so you’ll have no excuse for hairy legs!
If you’ve successfully undergone IPL or laser hair reduction, you might wonder (apart from the cost aspect) why anyone still bothers with shaving and other methods that can offer only a temporary solution. The truth is that these new, high-tech procedures don’t work for everyone, and most require several sessions before you see results. So, whether you’re fair of hair or pressed for time, these quick fixes might be your best option.
Shaving is still the easiest and cheapest way to get rid of unwanted body hair – especially handy if you’re in a hurry to be hairless! It’s also good for removing thin, light hair that doesn’t grow back thick and prickly.
Pick up a pack of razors at your nearest Mannings, Watson’s or supermarket.
Though it’s possible to thread unwanted hair from anywhere on the body, nowadays threading is mainly used for facial hair – the eyebrows, upper lip and chin. How is it done? A thin cotton thread specially designed for the job is doubled and twisted, then rolled over areas of unwanted hair to pluck out the hairs from their follicles.
This age-old technique goes back at least as far as the ancient Egyptians; the effect lasts longer than shaving and the hair doesn’t grow out in a prickly stubble – especially welcome news for your nether bits. On the downside, waxing is undeniably painful; but if you get it done monthly, it can in time cause hair to become thinner and sparser. Look for expert waxers with good hygiene standards to make your experience as comfortable as possible.
Gone for good
Though it’s said that manufacturers of light-based hair removal machines aren’t allowed to claim that they can affect permanent hair removal, they are allowed to claim permanent hair reduction, meaning that the hair will be removed to a significant degree. Then there’s electrolysis, an older technology that can claim permanent removal over many sessions of treatment.
When laser was first employed in the 1980s for the removal of birthmarks, a side effect was noticed: it removed hair, too. Specific laser hair removal technology was developed in the mid-1990s and continues to advance. Many beauticians prefer laser to other high-tech forms of hair removal because it results in permanent hair reduction without significant risk to the skin. Laser delivers more intense bursts of energy in each session, and is especially effective on lighter-coloured or stubborn areas of hair growth. A thorough consultation is recommended.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
By heating the hair’s melanin, IPL damages the hair bulb, resulting in permanent hair reduction. IPL is thought to be less painful than traditional laser treatments, though it typically works best on darker hair. You’ll need a number of sessions to achieve permanent reduction, because each follicle needs to be treated at each stage in its growth cycle. Effective on almost any area of the body, it’s especially useful for large areas such as the back or legs.
Apart from the fine, fuzzy vellus hair that covers our bodies, women tend not to sport much facial hair. So, unless you’re earning a living as The Bearded Lady, facial hirsutism can be distressing. Electrolysis is a safe and inexpensive way to remove facial hair permanently, though it does require multiple sittings.
This article first appeared in the Apr/May edition of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!
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