Which hair removal technique works best with your skin?

It's that dreaded time again. It's time to grit your teeth and head to the salons as masked women work hard to get rid of ugly hairs that have begun to show themselves again.

For many women, this age-long battle has been brewing since the time they hit puberty. Some women have pretty much tried it all - waxing, tweezing, shaving, epilating and the more recent laser technology - but are still struggling to achieve the one with the best results.

This is despite hair removal remaining largely a cosmetic indication for many women as they prefer to feel prettier or sexier hairless.

YourHealth approached Dr Yeak Hwee Lee, Medical Director of the Singapore Aesthetic Centre to help shed some light on this hairy situation. Perhaps, by the end of this article, you'll be able to decide which type will best suit you.

Dr Yeak clarified that hair removal is not entirely cosmetic for some. She revealed that hair removal can solve medical issues in some patients.

She said: "Some patients do experience problems such as the inflammation or infection of one or more hair follicles (pseudofolliculitits barbae) which stems from excess hair growth.

Dr Yeak says it all ultimately comes down to a woman's budget when choosing a method of hair removal.

While temporary Do-it-yourself ones are cheaper, a woman would have to repeat the procedures every two to three days. These include shaving, depilatory creams, epilating and threading or waxing at salons.

"Certain temporary methods like waxing may achieve hair removal for up to four weeks but may be costlier," she added.

Permanent hair reductions via lasers (3D hair removal) or Intense pulsed light (IPL) maybe more be effective and long lasting way of hair removal. But of course, these come at heftier price.

Here's a quick click-through to help you decide which type suits you best:

Temporary hair removal methods

Temporary hair removal methods


Brazilian waxing

Pros:

  • Removes hair from the groin from the roots with results lasting for three to six weeks
  • No bikini bumps
  • Skin will not be prone to razor bumps
  • The hair will grow back in without causing any itching or irritation

Cons:

It may be painful and monthly treatments are necessary

 Waxing

Pros:

  • Waxing done at salons may remove hair for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Repeated treatments may result in finer hair growth.

Cons:

  • A little painful
  • Some skins may be irritated by the wax
  • May experience mild bleeding and/or redness
  • Waxing needs repeated treatment

Epilating

Pros:

  • This method, the motorised tweezing with several hairs at a go, is relatively cheap
  • Easy do-it-yourself method

Cons:

  • May be quite painful initially when there is dense hair growth
  • Epilation in the wrong direction of hair growth may result in ingrown hairs

Buffing

Some women opt for buffing or removing fine hair from the surface of the skin by using a range of abrasives including pumice stones, gloves to small sticks or wands with a sandpaper finish.

Pros:

  • Helps to exfoliate the skin and prevent ingrown hairs
  • Inexpensive
  • Conveniently to use anywhere over your body

Cons:

  • Regrowth of hairs is fairly rapid
  • Can irritate the skin

Threading

Speclialist use a thread to mechanically catch the hairs which are then removed by traction force.

Pros:

  • Relatively cheap
    Very efficient way to remove fine facial hairs and for shaping brows

Cons:

Results last about 2-3 weeks only before hair regrowth occurs

Tweezing

Pros:

  • Cheap do-it-yourself method of  plucking hairs.
  • Good for the occasional stray hair in difficult to treat areas such as the eyelid/eyebrow.

Cons:

  • Time consuming and may be painful.
  • Frequent plucking may result in the skin becoming bumpy and sore.

 

Shaving

Pros:

  • Cheap and easy DIY

Cons:

  • May get cuts and red bumps from shaving or "razor burns" if skin is not adequately lubricated.
  • May also get ingrown hairs if shaving against direction of hair growth.
  • Superficial removal so quick regrowth in one to two days.

Creams

Pros:

  • Hair regrowth is fast because removal is superficial.
  • Cheap and easy DIY method.

Cons:

  • Contain calcium Thioglycolate cream which usually breakdown the keratin in hairs resulting in skin sensitivity in some cases.

Permanent Hair Removal Methods

Ipl hair removal

Hairs is removed by utilising xenon flash lamp which produces intense falshes of white light.

Pros:

  • Ipl hair removal is faster and cheaper than laser.
  • Ideal for fairer skin types with dark hairs which absorb the thermal energy and hence undergo photolysis.
  • Multiple sessions, 7 or 8, may be necessary to achieve permanent hair reduction of up to 70-90 per cent. 
  • Relatively painless and fast procedure, it is a affordable means of permanent hair removal for fairer skin types (skin types 1-3)

Cons:

  • May not be suitable for darker skin types

Laser hair removal

Lasers comprise concentrated beam of one wavelength.

Pros:

  • Nd yag lasers are usually used in Asia and may safely remove hair in darker skin types. Lasers are also better for fine hair removal. A patient may require 7-8 sessions to achieve adequate hair reduction.

Cons:

  • The risks of laser hair removal are laser burns and blister. However in experienced hands these risks should be minimal.
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