What is the Best Hair Removal Method? Experts Weigh In.
When used as hair-removal methods, there are many methods out there both on the market and available professionally. But which is the best method? What do the experts say? Are we wasting our time and money on razors and waxes? What is the cheapest and easiest route to the goal we all one --- hairless smooth skin that we can be confident in? When we compare at home hair removal techniques, which one is the best?
We put together what leading experts in skin and hair removal treatments had to say about different types of hair removal methods, and why they think IPL technology is one of the best methods currently out there for its convenience, affordability, and effectiveness.
Shaving simply gets rid of hair at the surface, which is why it grows back so quickly. Tweezing removes the hair as well as its root, which helps slow down regrowth. But even with tweezing, the hair will likely grow back in a couple of weeks.
If you’re looking for longer-term hair removal solutions, it may be time to consider other hair removal techniques. The following methods are ranked by their ability to remove hair for the longest amount of time.
IPL Technology (Intense Pulse Light)
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light technology and refer to at-home hair removal devices that emit pulses of light to the roots of our hair. IPL makes hair stop in its growth stage, and gradually decreases the re-emergence of all hair and its roots -- leaving skin smoother and hair-free for longer periods of time.
After the first four treatments, the average result is 8 whole weeks of hair-free smoothness. IPL is the hottest new technology in hair removal treatments, and has been widely praised as the ultimate replacement to shaving, plucking, wax treatments, and epilators.
It is proven to be effective and safe to use for people with a wide variety of hair and skin types, including naturally dark blonde, brown and black hair and on a variety of skin tones.
However, people with gray or very light blonde hair, or with very dark skin tones are not recommended to use the IPL method of hair removal. The IPL system is effective only when there is a contrast between the hair color and the skin color, and can leave burns or other issues on the skin if these precautions are not followed.
To see positive results quickly, use your IPL device once every two weeks for the first four treatments. After that, you should schedule to check and if necessary, have minor touch ups every 4-8 weeks.
Electrolysis involves the use of shortwave radio frequencies distributed through fine needles placed directly into your hair follicles. The intention is to destroy the hair follicle so that it doesn’t stimulate new hair growth. This procedure needs to be done by a dermatologist or a certified electrologist.
Unlike other hair removal options, electrolysis is considered a permanent solution by the
Most people need follow-up sessions every week or two. Depending on the length of the session, the cost is typically around $35 to $100 per session.
Electrolysis can be done anywhere on the body, and works for most skin types. The most common side effect is pain and redness from skin irritation. Rare but serious side effects include scarring and infection from the needles, as well as keloids (an overgrowth of scar tissue).
Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal is another longer-term hair removal option. Like electrolysis, this treatment targets the hair follicle. It works by damaging the follicle with high-heat lasers to stop new hair from growing.
Laser hair removal can be done anywhere on the body, with the exception of the eye area. The treatment tends to work best in people with light skin tones who have dark hair.
Like electrolysis, laser hair removal requires multiple sessions for best results. Depending on the area of hair removal, you may need about four to six treatments spaced four to eight weeks apart. It can cost up to $250 a session. That means you should expect to pay at least $1,000 to $1,500 to see good results from this!
In most cases, hair removal lasts several months, and in some cases it might last for years. When hair grows back, it’s often finer and lighter in color. However, laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal.
The most common side effect is skin irritation and redness, but this usually goes away after a few hours. This treatment can also cause temporary pigment changes, especially with darker skin tones. More serious side effects include blistering and scarring, but this is rare.
If you don’t like the idea or the cost of electrolysis or laser hair removal, you may want to talk to your dermatologist about prescription creams.
One type in particular is called eflornithine (Vaniqa), which you apply twice a day for one month. It works by inhibiting the production of enzymes that stimulate hair growth.
According to a study on this treatment, the results can last up to eight weeks, after which you can start the process over again. A month’s treatment costs about $50.
Eflornithine works only for facial hair, and is better suited to women. Some side effects may include burning, rashes, and acne breakouts from follicle disruption.
Professional tweezing and waxing
An option for smaller areas of your body is professional tweezing and waxing done by a certified aesthetician. When hair is removed this way, it’s pulled directly out of the root. Depending on how fast your hair grows, results may last from two to eight weeks.
This is a less expensive option than laser hair removal or electrolysis, but you may need to repeat the treatment more often.
While tweezing can be done on any area of the body, waxing shouldn’t be done around the genitals, nipples, ears, or eyelashes. You should also avoid applying wax over varicose veins, moles, or warts, or on skin that’s chapped or sunburned.
The most common side effects of both professional tweezing and waxing include mild rashes and irritation, but this is usually temporary.
This treatment consists of an over-the-counter gel or cream that you put on your skin. It works by weakening a protein in your hair called keratin. This causes the hair to fall out and be easily wiped away.
Depilation doesn’t target the hair follicle, so the results may only last for about two weeks. However, it’s an inexpensive option that you can do at home.
Make sure you use the right type of cream for the area where you want to remove hair. Some creams are formulated for the face, and others for the body or pubic area. Side effects of this treatment can include chemical burns, rashes, and blisters.
So which one would you choose? Each woman has her different needs and what they feel comfortable with. Which methods have you tried? Which method have you wanted to try? What are your concerns or experiences with these methods? Let us know in the comments below!