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Removing unwanted body & facial hair with the various means listed here...

In our liberated era of rising hemlines, plunging necklines, shortened sleeves and sometimes-absent garments- hairiness is no mere facial issue; but a whole body problem. Practicing dermatologist Dr. Parul Kolhe (M.B.B.S, D.D.V) gives her views on combating unwanted hair...
First and foremost - too much hair on a woman - esp. the thick variety on the face and body must be properly investigated. You may be having a hormonal problem or if you're in your teens - something known as P.C.O.D (Polycystic Ovarian Disease). Get your Thyroid hormones (T3, T4, and TSH), male hormone (Testosterone, D.H.E.A) and female hormones (FSH and LH) levels assessed by a doctor before you conclude that your hirsute-ism is just physiological.

OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR RIDDING EXCESS HAIR

WAXING
History records ancient Egyptian and Arab civilizations using sugar, honey and lime syrup to strip off body hair and even parlours today, practice this ubiquitous technique of hair removal.

Advantages
It's economical, so I still recommend this method. Secondly, it pulls out hair from the roots, so the regrowth time is reasonably long (4 weeks or more).

Disadvantages
A certain degree of pain (remember Mel Gibson in the movie " What Women Wants"), danger of hot wax burns, unsuitability for delicate skin of face and other areas, unhygienic methods or allergic reaction leading to hair follicle infections, pustules and ugly red livers.

Quick Tips
. Insist on disposal strips (e.g.: - cellophane).
. Find a sensible beautician who doesn't try to boil you alive in bubbling wax.
. Pop a cetzin 10 mg tablet at morning & night the day you wax & slap on lots of ice & 'caladryl' lotion immediately afterwards to avoid hives.
. If they still occur apply "Flucort" lotion twice a day. Pus filled boils however will require a full course of antibiotics.

EPILATORS
This method is less messy than waxing

Advantages
You can do-it- yourself at home and it is also hygienic.

Disadvantages
It is darned sight more painful than waxing and you have to invest in the epilator.

SHAVING

Advantages
This method is painless and easy to do.

Disadvantages
However the results are short-lived as hair is out of the surface & not uprooted. Also regrowth is prickly (ouch! those stubbly legs!) as hair is cut at an angle, not to mention the risk of skin abrasions & nicks.

THREADING
It is suitable almost exclusively for facial hair & eyebrow shaping

CREAM HAIR REMOVERS
They contain thioglycollate that breaks chemical bonds in hair structure, dissolving it. Convenient, but smelly (yuck!),and again the effect is short lived as hair is not uprooted.

ELECTROLYSIS
Professionally it is known as "Derma blend", and the technique uses a needle to reach the hair bulb in each follicle & passes a DC current a short burst of AC current to kill the hair bulb permanently. Quite widely advertised earlier, it's now considered only second best to lasers as it's time consuming (even an expert can remove only 30-40 hairs per hour) & some hair bulbs might still escape & cause regrowth

LASERS
This is the latest, state-of-the-art, perfectly hygienic, painless (I'm almost implying perfect) way to permanent hair removal.

Most commonly a diode caser is used to "shoot" a certain skin area with the laser beam which selectively targets pigment. So the beams automatically cover hair follicles which are the darkest points in the skin.

Obviously then people with very dark skin (with very little contrast-b/w skin & hair) cannot be treated as they may get skin cannot be treated as they may get skin burns. Neither can grey hair (without pigment) be removed.

The price is also steep - about Rs.1500 to 2000 (even more) for an upper lip! About 3-6 sitting are required and if you afford it -it keeps you hair free for years. As of now, a very limited number of outlets in Mumbai offer this facility.

DOES 'PERMANENT HAIR REMOVAL' TECHNOLOGY EXIST?

There is actually no such thing as "permanent" hair removal, as even if ALL existing follicles are destroyed, the skin regenerates new follicles in a few years so a regrowth occurs even after using laser technology or electrolysis.

All said and done, there's a way to suit everyone's pocket and remedies to tackle disadvantages of any method you choose.

Other Useful Sites

Hairchick.com - Hair Removal
Your guide to hair removal

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