Hair removal methods
Many products in the market have proven fraudulent. Many other products exaggerate the results or ease of use.
Temporary removal of hair to the level of the skin lasts several hours to several days and can be achieved by
- Shaving or trimming (manually or with electric shavers)
- Depilatories (creams or "shaving powders" which chemically dissolve hair)
- Friction (rough surfaces used to buff away hair)"Epilation", or removal of the entire hair from the root, lasts several days to several weeks and may be achieved by
- Tweezing (hairs are tweezed, or pulled out, with tweezers or with fingers)
- Waxing (a hot or cold layer is applied and then removed with porous strips)
- Sugaring (similar to waxing, but with a sticky paste)
- Threading (also called fatlah or khite in Arabic, or band in Persian) in which a twisted thread catches hairs as it is rolled across the skin
- Use of Turmeric along with other ingredients like besan powder and milk
- Epilators (mechanical devices that rapidly grasp hairs and pull them out)
- Prescription oral medications
- Drugs that directly attack hair growth or inhibit the development of new hair cells. Hair growth will become less and less until it finally stops; normal depilation/epilation will be performed until that time. Hair growth will return to normal if use of product is discontinued. Products include the prescription drug Vaniqa, with the active ingredient eflornithine hydrochloride inhibiting the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase, preventing new hair cells from producing putrescine for stabilizing their DNA.
Permanent hair removalFor over 130 years, electrology has been in use in the United States. It is approved by the FDA. This technique permanently destroys germ cells responsible for hair growth by way of insertion of a fine probe in the hair follicle and the application of a current adjusted to each hair type and treatment area. Electrology is recognized by the FDA as the only permanent hair removal method.
Laser hair removal technology became widespread in the US and many other countries from the 1990s onwards. It has been approved in the United States by the FDA since 1997. With this technology, light is directed at the hair and is absorbed by dark pigment, resulting in the destruction of the hair follicle. The hair removal becomes permanent after one or more sessions. The number of sessions needed depends upon the amount and type of hair being removed. Equipment for performing laser hair removal at home has become available in recent years.