Different methods of hair removal
There are various methods of hair removal – permanent, semi-permanent and temporary. It should be noted that ‘permanent’ hair removal involves several or more treatments on a regular basis in order to see required results. There are four main methods of removing hair:
1. Epilation – This involves removal of the entire hair follicle from root to shaft away from the surface of the skin. These methods are temporary.
2. Depilation – This involves removing the part of the hair above the skin’s surface. These methods are temporary.
3. Electrolysis – This destroys the hairs’ roots with an electric current. This is a permanent method of getting rid of unwanted hair.
4. Laser hair removal – Laser therapy is the most recent development in hair removal. It is seen as the most effective approach to long-term hair removal. It retards the re-growth of hair and leads to permanent removal of hair.
Now we will look at the more popular and effective ways at removing hair in terms of their pros, cons and prices.
• Removal for over three to four weeks;
• Fast treatment;
• Can be done anywhere on the face or body;
• Removes dead surface skin cells at the same time;
• Wax is heated to a comfortable temperature;
• Eventually reduces the amount of hair regrowth.
• In some cases hair grows back after 2 weeks;
• Can be uncomfortable, especially if skin is not stretched enough
during the procedure.
Hot Wax £12-£55
• Has thicker consistency and is therefore less painful;
• Does not involve the use of strips;
• Very good for getting rid of thicker hairs;
• In smaller areas it is less painful than warm wax;
• Reduces the amount of hair regrowth.
• Hotter temperature;
• Can only be used on smaller areas of hair growth;
• Procedure takes longer to complete.
There are two types of electrolysis:
1. The blend. This involves the client holding a bar which transmits an electrochemical current that enables effective removal of the hair follicle from the base of the root.
2. Diathermy. This involves a direct current being applied into the base of the hair follicle using a disposable needle.
The blend treatment is better for black skin and darker Asian skin with curly hair. Electrolysis and diathermy are good for Caucasian and Asian skin.
• Visible results after first treatment;
• Hair is absent for longer periods of time thus being more permanent;
• If a client has a hormonal imbalance then treatment should cease until a doctor’s note is provided to support the continuation of
• Any area of the face may be treated.
• Client will be required to return for consecutive treatments every two weeks;
• Treats small areas only, larger areas may be very time consuming;
• Can be quite painful on the facial area;
• Clients cannot pluck or wax in between treatments; only trimming is permissible.
Laser hair removal
There are three types of lasers that I’ve had experience with which I’m able to recommend:
1. Soft light laser £50-£250 – Nd-YAG laser. The skin is waxed prior to treatment and a thin carbon layer is applied to the surface of the skin to enable the laser to penetrate into the hair follicles.
• Waxing and plucking is permissible in between treatments;
• Very good results after 4+ treatments;
• Both small and large areas may be treated i.e. face and body;
• Between 6 to 12 treatments are required for visible longstanding results depending on the area being treated.
• Clients cannot go under hot, direct sunlight or sunbathe for up to 48 hours;
• The treatment can be very messy due to the application of carbon prior to application of laser;
• Can be very uncomfortable in sensitive areas;
• Cannot be used near the eye area.
2. Light-Heat-Energy £40-£220 – (also known as LHE or Spa touch) Prior to treatment the hair is trimmed to 3 millimetres. Then a flash of simultaneous heat and light is applied directly onto the skin. The heat targets and destroys the root of the hair follicles immediately.
• Treats 1-2 inches at a time;
• Clean and easy;
• No messy gels or creams are required during the treatment;
• Very mild erythema (redness of skin) in comparison to some of the other lasers;
• Re-growth is much sparser and is often noted after each treatment.
• Client cannot wax or pluck hairs in between treatments;
• Requires a 2-4 week wait before client can return for the next treatment;
• No sun beds, tanning, or contact with hot direct sunlight for up to 6 weeks prior to or after any treatment;
• Cannot be used on clients using the medication RetinA or RoAccutane;
• If you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, you cannot be treated;
• Cannot be used on very dark skin.
3. Intense Pulse light (also known as IPL) £40-£230 – The IPL emits high-energy pulses of light directly at the hair roots and destroys them preventing the hair from growing. This is very similar to LHE except IPL is less uncomfortable. The advantages and disadvantages of IPL are similar to LHE.
In my professional opinion, I would recommend electrolysis for removal of hair on the face, and laser (SpaTouch being my preference) for any other part of the body, especially legs and underarms. Shaving and hair removal creams should be avoided as they encourage hair re-growth and are not beneficial to the skin.
Faiza is a freelance beauty therapist and skin care consultant with over nine years experience, having worked at Selfridges & Co., at a laser clinic in Charing Cross and a skin care clinic in Fleet Street. She runs her own salon on the Strand in Central London and has been running her own business from home for 3 years.