By Katie Martlew
We all love a thick and luscious mane right? But thick and luscious hair elsewhere on our bodies? Not so chic! RESCU has taken the guesswork out of hair removal to help you rid of your ‘hair-mare’ ASAP!
Quick fact: Contrary to popular belief, shaving has no effect on hair growth or density and will not cause your hair to grow back thicker. Shaving does, however, change the appearance of the hair by giving it a blunt, squared off edge, which gives the appearance of thicker hair.
Pros: Shaving is the quickest, cheapest and easiest DIY temporary method of hair removal.
Cons: Your boyfriend will be complaining about spiky pegs as quickly as 1-2 days later. Other cons include the possibility of nicks, cuts and painful ingrown hairs caused by close, frequent shaving.
Quick tip: You’ll get a closer shave and have less chance of irritation if you shave in the shower after your skin has been softened up a little by warm water.
What is it? A depilatory cream is a gel or liquid made from a mildly caustic chemical that dissolves hair upon application.
How long they last: Several days to one week.
Pros: Depilatory creams are relatively cheap and easy to use, and results last a little longer than shaving.
Cons: Can be messy, smelly and may cause irritation in sensitive skin. Not suitable for very coarse hair.
Quick tip: Depilatory creams come in different formulas for different body parts, so make sure if you are using one on your face, to use a facial depilatory only. Also, a patch test is recommended before use.
What is it? Applying a sticky wax to the skin surface of unwanted hair, a strip of cloth is then applied and quickly removed, taking the hair root and dead skin cells with it.
How long does it last? Two to six weeks.
Pros: Your skin will be smooth and hair free for longer. Hair re-growth looks lighter and less noticeable than by other methods, such as shaving.
Cons: YE-OUCH! Possibly the biggest and most common drawback would be the pain involved. Some people may also experience inflammation, redness, bruising of the skin and mild to severe rash.
Quick tip: If you are a waxing virgin, leave your first time to a professional before you attempt to DIY.
What is it? An ancient technique of hair removal where a cotton thread is pulled along unwanted hair in a twisting motion, to create a coil or mini lasso- to trap the hair and lift it right out of the follicle.
How long does it last? Initially about a week, however can lead to permanent hair removal over time.
Pros: It’s great for people with trouble brows, as it is very concise in the hair it removes. Hair also grows back less coarse over time and may disappear completely.
Cons: Threading is limited to hair removal on the face only. It can be difficult finding a suitably experienced technician. Also, some hair growth is needed, as hair must be 1/16 of an inch for the thread to wrap around.
Quick Tip: If you have a low pain threshold, apply a warm compress to the area to relax the hair follicle, or ask your technician to apply a numbing spray prior to treatment.
What is it? A thin needle is inserted into each hair follicle, sending a low level electrical current through the hair root to kill the follicle.
How long does it last? Intended to be permanent after several sessions, however some people may experience hair re-growth.
Pros: The possibility of ridding of unwanted hair forever! Amen!
Cons: Electrolysis is expensive, and can be a tedious process as it focuses on one follicle at a time. You may also require around 10-12 visits for permanent results, and in some cases up to 24 visits. Also, the pain is significantly greater than Laser and IPL hair removal and may cause scabs, inflammation or in rare cases- scarring.
Quick tip: Chat to your doctor if you are interested in this treatment as he or she may be able to recommend you a board certified electrologist.
What is it? Lasers work by delivering an intense beam of light that is absorbed by the skin where it then stops hair growth. Lasers work best on dark hair and fair skin- as the laser targets melanin, which is found predominantly in dark hair.
How long does it last? Results vary, however it can permanently reduce around 80% of hair growth after several visits.
Pros: Less evasive than Electrolysis and large areas of skin can be treated at the same time. Any hair that does grow back will be significantly finer.
Cons: Laser hair removal can be painful and expensive i.e. underarms cost around $70 per session and you will need at least 6-8 treatments for best results. Also, it may cause pigmentation issues in darker skinned patients.
Quick tip: Prior to treatment, avoid sun exposure, solariums and fake tan on the area for two to three weeks.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
What is it? A wand is used which centers a wide spectrum ray of light onto the hair. The light dries up all moisture in the hair, and as the hair dries out, it burns and dies. In addition to removing the hair, IPL also stuns the root of the hair causing blood flow to the hair to stop.
How long does it last? IPL is intended to be permanent after around 5-6 treatments. Individual cases may vary, and yearly maintenance may be required.
Pros: IPL is considered to be one of the most advanced and permanent non-evasive hair reduction treatments on the market. It’s a less painful and a much faster process than other methods such as Laser and Electrolysis.
Cons: While typically cheaper than laser hair removal, IPL is still quite pricey. Potential side effects include temporary redness and mild swelling.
Quick Tip: Tanning, waxing, bleaching and tweezing should be avoided up to three weeks before treatment.
The no!no! hair removal device
What is it? no!no! is a new DIY hair removal device that uses new scientific heat-based technology Thermicon, which removes hair and prevents it from growing back. By gliding no!no across the skin, the heated blades painlessly dissolve hair, while the thermodynamic hot blade wire transmits a heated pulse down the hair shaft to the root, destroying the hair.
How long does it last? no!no! is intended to produce both short and long-term results. It’s clinically proven to reduce hair growth by up to 64% in 12 weeks. There have been some reported cases of permanent hair removal.
Pros: Compared to other methods of hair removal, no!no! is relatively cheap, at around $289 for the complete pack. It’s also painless, and unlike laser, can be used on blonde and grey hairs, and all skin types.
Cons: no!no! is limited to use on the legs, arms, underarms, bikini line and back, and cannot be used on the face.
Quick Tip: The complete no!no! pack includes two blades for long hair, one blade for stubble, exfoliating pad, cleaning brush, instructional DVD and carry pouch. The blades will need to be replaced after three hours of use. Be sure to watch the DVD and follow all instructions.