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The battle to rid the body of unwanted facial, upper lip, chest, back, leg, underarm or back hair can be a time consuming one. Finding the right product or medical technique may take some experimenting, but is usually well worth the effort in terms of comfort, safety and self-esteem.

Genetics play a large part in hair growth in unwanted places. So does hormone levels in pregnancy, or a decrease in estrogen during menopause. Whatever the cause, there are variety of cosmetic options most commonly used including shaving, plucking or waxing. For many, more long-term results with electrolysis or laser hair removal techniques have also proven beneficial.


pink razorA razor and shaving cream is the time tested way to go. Many women advise extra time spent in the shower to soften body hair, then using men's shaving cream (commonly more lubricating than "ladies" formulations) to leave skin soft and smooth. Using a good moisturizer or aloe gel afterwards is also recommended especially after shaving ultra-sensitive areas like bikini lines or underarms.

Creams or lotions

hair removal creamHair removal creams, gels and lotions are usually the quickest method to make unwanted hair disappear. Depending on personal preference, pros and cons are reported for the each of the variety of forms they take — commonly roll-ons, sprays or patches. Side effects can include slight burning or irritation, so shop around to find the product that fits your level of skin sensitivity.


woman waxing legsWaxing, or hot waxing as the name implies brings a level of discomfort that many people may think twice about before considering hair removal. At-home treatments are usually the less painful cold waxing method (although they are not as effective as hot waxing traditionally offered by salons.)

If using a hot wax kit at home, be sure to follow instructions to the letter for best results including applying to a small area of skin to test for allergic reactions. Overall, despite the level of discomfort compared to other methods hot waxing is probably the most effective and long lasting.


Although touted as a permanent hair removal solution, electrolysis may not work for everyone, as is sometimes witnessed by regrowth of hair by people who have used this method.

The "zap and tweeze" technique works by inserting a tiny filament into the hair follicle with a small electrical current applied to cauterize the papilla, or the capillary that feeds hair follicle growth. Once the hair is loosened, it is easily removed with a pair of tweezers. As each hair has to be treated individually, electrolysis can be very time consuming and is usually prescribed only for smaller areas of the body such as upper lip, eyebrows, or underarms.

Side effects may include dry skin, scarring, or inflammation around the treated area. Infections may also occur if the filaments are not properly sterilized, so it is highly recommended that you ask your doctor to refer you to a certified professional before undergoing electrolysis treatment.

Laser hair removal

The "space age" technique touted in the 1960's has since been vastly improved in terms of safety and effectiveness. Today, the technique of using a laser beam to the depth of the hair follicle across the skin is quite common, although not entirely pain free, and not always 100% permanent. Laser beams are drawn to the contrast of light and dark, so laser hair removal has proven more effective for those with contrasting light skin and dark hair.

In most cases, laser hair removal slows hair regrowth. Like electrolysis, it often takes months of treatments to provide permanent results. Known side effects include the skin's sensitivity to sunlight for a day or two after each treatment. As always, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor for a referral to a board certified laser hair removal specialist before undergoing treatment.

also see -> Skin Care & Conditioning Chemical Peels

More about hair removal around the Web:

Hair Facts
- "The #1 hair removal resource online" features a complete guide to electrolysis and laser hair removal, including how to choose a professional hair removal professional, as well as information on temporary methods, insider tips on doubtful methods and reported hair removal scams, related FAQ, glossary.


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