Almost everybody has hair – and hair grows virtually everywhere. You have hair growing on your head, on your face, in your ears and nostrils, on your arms, legs, shoulders, back, chest, toes, fingers, and your privates … everywhere! Having hair is normal though some people are more hirsute than others. If having a few extra strands bothers you, you can always have these removed. Here are four fairly common hair removal techniques that you can consider if you want to tidy up your hairy bits.
Threading is a hair-removing technique that is commonly practiced in Eastern countries such as Egypt, India, Persia and even China, but is now becoming increasingly popular in Western countries as well. In threading, a cotton thread that is specifically designed for this purpose is doubled, then twisted, and then rolled over the areas of unwanted hair. Threading traps hair in a mini lasso and plucks it out at the follicle level. Threading can, unlike tweezing where hair is pulled out one by one, remove short lines of hair at a time.
Hair removal by threading is considered more precise than waxing yet thought to be gentler on the skin. It does not require the application of any chemical or substance on the skin and the procedure is done very quickly. It must be mentioned, however, that since hair is pulled out from the follicle level, threading can be slightly painful. However, since threaded hair takes up to 6 weeks to grow back, it may just be worth the slight discomfort.
Threading is a hair removing technique that is usually performed on the face (eyebrows, brow line, and lip line) and not on the body.
Waxing is another form of hair removal which removes the hair from the root. Hair that has been waxed off usually takes about two to eight weeks to grow back, although some people feel and see regrowth after only a week. Unlike most hair removal techniques, waxing can be done on any area of the body, from the eyebrows down to your feet.
There are two main waxing methods used to remove unwanted body hair. Strip waxing is when a thin layer of wax is spread over the skin and a cloth or paper strip is pressed on to the top and subsequently ripped off following the direction of hair growth. Hot wax, on the other hand, uses hot wax which is applied thickly on the skin. When the wax has cooled down, the therapist is able to pull the wax off (with the hair embedded in the hardened wax) without the aid of cloth or paper strips. Hot waxing is said to be most beneficial to people who have sensitive skin.
Shaving is probably the cheapest, fastest and least painful way to remove unwanted body hair. Shaving is done usually with a razor although some men choose to shave off their facial hair using other bladed implements such as a shaving knife. Shaving is probably the least gender-biased method of hair removal. Both men and women feel comfortable removing hair, whether on their face, legs, underarms or other body parts, through this method.
Unlike the other forms of hair removal, hair regrowth after shaving can be seen in as little as 1 – 2 days (for men, it can be as short as a few hours). Common skin injuries when shaving is done incorrectly or haphazardly include minor cuts, razor bumps and razor burns.
Plucking / Tweezing
Tweezing or plucking is the process of removing hair by mechanically pulling it from the skin using either tweezers or an epilator (motorised hair plucker). As with the other methods of hair removal, tweezing is done for personal grooming purposes. Plucking has been around for any years – Roman baths used to employ people whose only task is to pluck hair from their clients’ bodies.
Tweezing is usually done to shape the eyebrows and to remove the occasional stray hair on the abdomen, chest, chin or upper lip. The regrowth period of tweezed hair is usually between three to eight weeks. However, hair growing on moles, in the ears or in the nose should not be plucked out using tweezers because this may lead to infection.
Tweezing is a very slow process as such, this is ideal only for small areas or one off hair removal. Tweezing must also be done with care, and ideally, the surface of the skin to be tweezed should be wiped with an antibacterial solution prior to tweezing. Improper tweezing of hair may lead to swelling, ingrown hair growth, pitting, and to some extent, scarring.