Expert Health Articles

Hair Removal Techniques

Mary Beth Brown, APRN

Beyond MedSpa

Unwanted hair growth or growth of hair in unusual areas can be challenging to our self-esteem and occur in anyone. Unwanted hair can be a problem throughout the lifespan, starting around puberty with teens who may have unwanted hair growth related to hormones, through the depletion of estrogen (menopause) for women and the depletion of testosterone for men. Risk factors for unwanted hair also include medical diagnoses such as adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing’s syndrome and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Other causes can include medication side effects, age, family history and ethnic background. If one were to experience a sudden onset of hair growth in unwanted areas, this should be evaluated medically first. Afterward, there are options to fit the needs of each individual to remove unwanted hair.

Waxing provides temporary relief from unwanted hair. Waxing leaves the skin soft, smooth and hair free for approximately three to six weeks before regrowth occurs. Depilatory creams can be used at home and weaken the hair just below the skin surface so that it can be wiped away. These modalities may cause injury to sensitive skin or to those using certain medication, such as retinols or isotretinoin. Waxing is sometimes best left to professional estheticians for safe, effective and most cosmetically pleasing results.

Sugaring is a natural hair-removal technique. It does not require paper strips like waxing does. Instead, technicians use a special paste, typically made without chemicals. Using their hands, the aesthetician smooths the paste onto the skin in the opposite direction of the hair growth and lets it sit for a few seconds. The paste cools and gets slightly harder. Then it’s flicked off in the direction of hair growth. This is recommended every three to four weeks.

Dermaplaning is an exfoliate technique used by a trained professional that uses the edge of a scalpel held at an angle to exfoliate skin and to remove fine surface hairs. This service is typically recommended at intervals of three to four weeks.

Laser hair removal is one of the most popular, effective options to treat unwanted hair for both men and women because it provides a permanent reduction or eradication of the unwanted hair. This is a safe and effective treatment that targets highly concentrated light at the pigment in hair follicles. This in turn causes damage and inhibits further hair growth in the treated area. All body parts can be treated, but the most common areas for women include the upper lip, chin, legs, arms, under arms and bikini area. For men, the most commonly treated areas are the chest, back, neck, upper arms, abdomen and ears. A series of treatments are typically recommended for best hair reduction or removal.

Unwanted hair growth or growth of hair in unusual areas can be bothersome to people of all ages. These effective treatment options are available to remove the unwanted hair and help you to look and feel like your best self. Speak with the providers at your local MedSpa to see which method is best for you.