Hair Removal : Getting to the Root of Things
We often take our hair for granted, except the hair on our heads – when that goes, it is disaster. But we are more blasé about the hair on our bodies – we can take it off whenever we want! But these tiny hairs are not just something that just happen to be on the skin – they are part of a comprehensive, complex system in the skin. This must be borne in mind before one thinks of different hair removal methods.
How Hair Removal Works
If you study the diagram above carefully, you can imagine what happens inside the skin when you try a certain hair removal method.
When we run a razor on the skin, the blade cuts the hair just above the surface of the skin, but the rest of the hair under the skin is left intact. It continues to grow at its usual rate and without any reduction in quality. Thus, shaving results in a stubble in just a few hours, and this stubble is soon visible and prickly to the touch.
This method is similar to shaving, but it uses a cream to dissolve the hair at the surface of the skin without impacting the hair’s roots. In this method too, the hair returns in a few days, but there is an advantage: the cream does penetrate the hair follicle, so it breaks off lower into the skin’s surface than shaving. Thus, the hair regrowth does not have a rough top edge, and it is fine to the touch.
Waxing is a form of epilation, and it removes the hair from the root. If you look at the diagram above, you will know that waxing removes the entire hair right down to the bulb. The follicle must then regrow a new hair from scratch, which means that the hair regrowth takes place after a long interval.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) works in a completely different way to other hair removal methods. It uses a series of high intensity light flashes, which damage and weaken the entire hair shaft. This prevents the complex network in the hair follicle from regrowing the hair after removal. This process can actually result in permanent hair removal. The best IPL systems show up to 54% hair growth reduction after just three months of use.
Just by thinking about this simplified diagram above, you can understand why some hair removal methods work better than others. But their efficacy depends on the skin type and quality, which differs from person to person. If you are tired of your body hair growing back frequently, maybe it is time to use a system that goes much deeper rather than simply remove hair that is visible.