Dealing with unwanted hair

PHOTO: Dealing with unwanted hair

Many women struggle with the issue of hair removal.

There are two reasons for wanting to get rid of hair - fashion and embarrassment.

Living in the tropics and wearing fashionable clothes demands smooth, blemish-free and hairless underarms, legs, forearms and bikini line.

In the case of hirsutism, it is an embarrassing condition where women can have a moustache and/or a beard. Some women have hair on the nipples, chest, tummy and buttocks. Hirsutism is due to either having excessive levels of male hormones or oversensitivity to them.

Let's not forget the men, who also want to remove unwanted hair to look good. Common requests are for hair removal on the back, chest, beard, nostrils and earlobes. Indian men usually have heavy beard growth and laser helps to reduce the density so that shaving is a breeze. There are many methods of removing unwanted hair - shaving, tweezing, waxing, depilatory creams, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and laser treatments.

Except for laser treatments, all others have temporary results. The problem with shaving is quick regrowth and increased thickness of hair when it grows back. Shaving and waxing cause ingrown hair resulting in lumps, increased darkening of skin due to friction or heat.

Some develop itch and acne after shaving or waxing resulting in scarring.

Laser is the best solution for hair removal. The results are permanent unless there is a hormonal issue. It also treats ingrown hair.

There is no irritation or increased pigmentation.

Specific lasers like the Diode or Nd-Yag lasers are safe on tanned skin. Hirsute women should have only laser treatment as all others will not be effective due to the strong hormonal influence.

IPL is NOT a laser. The energy is not so specific, so the results are slow and there is increased risk of burns. Laser treatment can be done only in a doctor's surgery whereas IPL can be done in beauty parlours.

Advancement in technology has produced new lasers like the Lightsheer that make hair removal a breeze, by being painless and getting the job done a lot quicker.

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