Modern beauty standards can be overwhelming at times. After all, nobody asked to have hair on our arms, shoulders, back, and upper lip. Yet here we are! Thankfully, there have never been more options for individuals who seek to safely and effectively remove unwanted body hair. There are quick and easy options, inexpensive options, more permanent options, and temporary fixes. The key to understanding which body hair removal method will work best for you is to match your individual needs to the available treatment methods. With this in mind, today we will review a handful of the most popular modern options for body hair removal.
**Note, as of the writing of this article, SCALE 2020 has not been postponed or canceled. We are carefully monitoring ongoing events including recommendations/guidance from the U.S. CDC and the World Health Organization.**
Shaving and/or Waxing Body Hair
Pros of shaving/waxing: Shaving is probably the cheapest and easiest hair removal option. The majority of modern adults shave in one way or another, whether that be shaving our mustaches or shaving unwanted body hair. Waxing is also relatively inexpensive, with in-home kits letting individuals wax their trouble areas. Unlike shaving, waxing removes the hair at the root and the resulting hair removal lasts longer.
Drawbacks of shaving/waxing: of all the options we are exploring today, shaving and waxing are the least effective for long-term hair removal. Those of us who shave know just how fast hair can grow back. Waxing is not much different, although hair follicles do take longer to sprout new hairs after waxing.
Laser Hair Removal
Pros of laser hair removal: Laser hair removal is safe, speedy, and effective. Another key benefit of opting for laser hair removal is that the procedures are extremely precise and predictable. Cosmetic surgeons can select highly specific areas of the body and remove all body hair, only dark body hair, or literally go follicle by follicle. Laser hair removal results are permanent for most patients after a certain number of sessions (typically between three and seven).
Drawbacks of laser hair removal: Compared to shaving and waxing, laser hair removal is considerably more costly. It is not uncommon for a full course of laser hair removal sessions to cost over $1,000. Of course, this can be offset by the permanence of the results. Laser hair removal is also a cosmetic procedure that does carry certain risks and potential discomfort/downtime. Recovery generally takes 1-2 days and has been described as similar to a sunburn. Laser hair removal is not FDA-approved for permanent hair removal.
Electrolysis Hair Removal
Pros of electrolysis hair removal: Electrolysis hair removal is very similar to laser hair removal in terms of underlying methodology (namely, disrupting hair growth). Electrolysis hair removal is FDA-approved for permanent hair removal. Another key benefit of electrolysis is its effectiveness on virtually all areas of the body, eyebrows included.
Drawbacks of electrolysis hair removal: Because electrolysis hair removal is a cosmetic procedure, improper actions by the cosmetic surgeon such as using unsterile needles or other mistakes could potentially lead to rare but serious health complications. Electrolysis can also cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to achieve complete results.
Depilatory Creams for Hair Removal
The key benefits of depilatory creams are their relatively low costs and ease of use. Many users also report that these creams offer a kind of chemical exfoliation of the skin in addition to merely removing unwanted body hair.
Drawbacks of depilatory creams for hair removal: Depilatory creams are less effective than waxing because they do not remove hair beneath the skin’s surface. Depilatory creams are more akin to shaving in terms of overall effectiveness. Users also report that these creams can have an unpleasant odor and “feel” during and after use. Depilatory creams are a convenient yet ultimately less effective option when compared to other body hair removal methods.
SCALE 2020 for More on Cosmetic Hair Removal Procedures
To learn more about beauty trends, beauty theory, non-invasive procedures, laser tech, and much more, join us from July 22-25, 2020 for our annual Music City Scale Conference! SCALE is the premier multidisciplinary meeting for aesthetic medicine, surgery and dermatology in the United States. Join other industry professionals to discuss industry trends, emerging technologies, and much more.
What started as a small gathering amongst colleagues 14 years ago has turned into the biggest party of the year within the field of aesthetic dermatology. Join us alongside hundreds of attendees and industry vendors to find out what you’ve been missing!
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