For many of us we spend a lot of time removing unwanted hair from our bodies. There are so many options when it comes to hair removal that we’re almost spoilt for choice. However before we look at the types of hair removal, in beauty therapy we have to take a look at the types of hair we have.
There are 3 distinct types of hair:
Lanugo or Primary, is a fine downy hair that covers the body of the fetus or newborn baby. It is the first hair to be produced by the fetal hair follicles, usually appearing on the fetus at about 5 months gestation.
Vellus or Secondary, is short light-coloured barely noticeable hair that develops on most of the body from childhood, excluding palms of hands, soles of feet and lips. The density of hair varies from person to person. The base of the hair lies close to the skin’s surface, they do not become terminal unless stimulated by topical (waxing/shaving) or systemic (poly-cystic ovaries) conditions.
Terminal or androgenic, develops during and after puberty. They are deeper, longer coarse hairs, that contain pigment (colour) and vary in shape diameter, texture and length.
Hair Removal Methods
It usually the terminal hair that we want to remove from our bodies, there are 2 main methods of hair removal, temporary and permanent.
Shaving to Remove Hair
Shaving is possibly the most common form of removal, it’s easy to do, takes very little time and of course is fairly inexpensive. However, cuts and skin irritation are possible and the results only last for 1 to 3 days. Depilatory creams are another temporary method. They work by dissolving the hair at the skin’s surface, the regrowth can be softer than with shaving but will likely return within a few days. It is also possible that there’s a skin reaction to the chemicals that are contained in the cream.
Longer Lasting Hair Removal
Plucking, threading and epiladay all tend to result in a longer hair free period. However they can all be fairly painful and in the case of plucking very time consuming if doing a large area. Breaking and ingrowing hairs are more common with these methods. In beauty therapy, waxing is by far the most effective and long lasting of the temporary methods. When waxing is performed on a regular basis, the hair regrowth certainly becomes softer and in some cases the hairs never grow back. This method can be quiet painful and is better performed by a qualified person.
To achieve permanent hair removal the options are electrolysis and laser hair removal. Both can be costly but for some people this maybe the best alternative. You can find out more about the permanent removal options in the following articles: