Hair Removal: Hair? Only On My Head Please

August 19, 2010

Smooth It Out-Hair Removal

For whatever reason, Western culture seems to dictate that smooth is better than hairy. Kids, from adolescence onward, attack any hair on their bodies with a vengeance, as though having hair on their limbs will attract some deadly thing - and it doesn't stop there. Those adolescents go on to be hair-phobic adults. Well, maybe not hair-phobic, but certainly not inclined to have hair anywhere but on their heads. Whether it is hair on the face, armpits, legs, bikini line, or other body parts, young and not-so-young men and women are bent on ridding themselves of it.

The methods used to remove unwanted hair are many and varied. Most of the methods deal with the hair for a period of time then it grows back, but there are some options that get rid of hair permanently. You can choose a single method, or try combining them to see which one(s) work best for you. Of course, time, cost, skin type, and area in question are all part of the equation as well.

Hair 101-How To Remove Hair

In order to be effective in the removal of hair, you need to know a little bit about how hair grows. Once you have the foundational information, you will know better how to stop it from growing or from coming back quickly after you have gotten rid of it. So, now for a little biology. Each hair is contained in a unit called a pilosebaceous unit which consists of a hair shaft, hair follicle, sebaceous gland, and erector pili muscle. There are three stages to hair growth and shedding and these stages are on a continuous cycle. The first in the cycle is the anagen or growth phase, the transitional state, or the second phase is called catagen, and the resting phase which is also the last phase is telogen. Depending upon hormones, genetics, and the area of the body the hair is growing in, there will be a variable amount of time spent in each phase. Hair that is new, in the first phase of anagen is more susceptible to injury than hair in the last phase of telogen. These phases are important to know when choosing the method of hair removal.

First Came Shaving

The most basic and temporary method of hair removal is shaving. It lasts for only a day or so and then it has to be done again because it does not deal with the root of the hair, but cuts the shaft off at the skin line. New hair growing in appears to be thicker because the shaft is blunt. To avoid rashes and burns from the razor, shaving should be done with a moisturizer of some sort on the skin, such as water, shaving cream, conditioner or body wash.

Then Things Became More Permanent For Hair Removal

Physically removing the hair lasts a lot longer because the hair is pulled out of the follicle and must grow to the surface of the skin again before it is noticed. After repeatedly pulling the hair out of the follicles, in time the follicles may close up meaning there will be no more hair growth.

Waxing is one of the more popular methods of hair removal where large quantities of hair can be taken out at one time. Warm wax is spread on the body surface in the direction of the hair growth. The hair becomes imbedded in the wax which cools trapping the hair. The hair is pulled out by quickly pulling the wax off in the opposite direction to the hair growth, pulling the hair out of the follicles.

Sugar waxing is very similar to warm wax but a thick sugary goo, similar to caramel is spread on the hair in the direction of growth. The sugar dries with the hair embedded in it. A cloth strip is placed on top of the sugar and patted onto it, then pulled off quickly in the opposite direction to the hair growth.

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