Showing off that sequined dress at your holiday cocktail party might be the highlight of your season… if it wasn’t for that pesky leg hair. If you’re concerned about dark, thick, or obvious hair, don’t be. Thanks to advances in technology, you’ve got plenty of hair removal options these days.
An age-old standby with some more recent improvements, cosmetic waxing is a great option for those who want to get rid of hair quickly and don’t mind a little pain in the process. Waxing involves removing hair from the root.
A technician spreads a sticky, heated wax (usually resin-based) over the skin’s surface in the direction of the hair growth. Then, he or she applies a strip of waxing paper or cloth to the wax, and tears it off in the opposite direction of hair growth. This pulls the hair up by the follicle.
Waxing is very inexpensive, very quick, and requires less patience than plucking hairs out one by one. Redness often occurs immediately following the treatment but clears up quickly. Waxing can be used for hair removal on many different parts of the body, including arms, legs, face, stomach, back, and pubic area. But results won’t last forever. You’ll need to come back once the hair grows in again — which can range from 2 to 8 weeks.
An increasingly popular cosmetic treatment for hair removal is dermaplaning. This treatment is specifically designed to remove the vellus hair (commonly known as “peach fuzz”) from the face. It’s considered a manual exfoliation method.
Dermaplaning requires a technician to stroke a sterile blade across the skin with precision, removing two to three weeks’ worth of dead skin cells as well as the vellus hair. This treatment is a favored option among those who want the skin on their faces to look brighter and younger.
Dermaplaning is a little pricier than waxing, but results are instant and it requires no downtime. Makeup will lay on your face more smoothly and fine lines and wrinkles are diminished. This method is only used on the face, so if you need hair removal elsewhere, you should consider a different option.
Laser hair removal has completely changed the cosmetic treatment game. Also known as electrolysis, laser treatments safely inhibit future hair growth by damaging each follicle. It’s a great option for people with light skin and dark hair because it targets melanin, but may not work as effectively on those with darker skin.
During a laser hair removal treatment, a technician applies a cooling spray or gel to the affected area. Then, pulses of intense, direct light are emitted from a laser, damaging hair follicles to prevent further growth. Some redness can occur during and after the treatment, but pain is rare and can be prevented with a topical anesthetic.
Not all follicles in an area can be disabled during one treatment, so laser hair removal involves a series of treatments. And since hair grows in through different cycles, these treatments are usually spaced around six weeks apart. Because of this, laser hair removal is more of a time investment as well as a financial one. It can take a year or more to fully disable all hair follicles in an area but once they’re treated, the results are permanent. You may need to come back once every year or two for a maintenance appointment if desired. Typically, laser treatments are best for hair removal in smaller, more targeted areas.
If you’re in the greater New York City area and looking to get rid of some unwanted hair, contact Vanguard Dermatology. Our board-certified specialists can have your skin looking silky smooth and hairless in no time!