Are you getting tired of constantly waxing, shaving, plucking and sees permanent hair removal as a form of redemption? If you think permanent hair removal is going to solve all your hair woes forever, be prepared for the truth though. There is NOTHING that’s really permenant.
“Huh? You mean permanent hair removal is not really permanant?” Yes, you’ve heard it right. A lot of the popular hair removal methods you see in the market nowadays only curb hair growth for a certain period of time. After which, you’d probably have to go through another course of treatment. That’s why most people in the hair removal industry choose to define “permanent” as being able to last at least 12 months without having to shave again.
Hmm… 12 months probably isn’t long enough to ascertain real permanence, isn’t it? But imagine saving loads of time and hassle waxing, shaving and plucking for a full year! Most people would be happy to just stick to one course of treatment every 12 months. I know I would.
Assuming you adopt the industry definition of permanence, you’ll be surprised how limiting your options will be. Not only because there aren’t many techniques that can completely destruct the hair follicle’s ability to regenerate and grow hair clinically. But also due to the fact that people respond differently to different treatments. Some patients may have regrowth in less than a year whereas a minority don’t even respond to the treatment at all! Let’s compare some of the most commonly perceived permanent hair removal products and assess their viability.
Popular Perceived Methods of Permanent Hair Removal
If you’ve been asking “Is electrolysis a permanent type of hair removal?”, the answer is yes! In fact, electrolysis is the ONLY method that’s clinically proven to remove one’s hairs permanently for most people. But only if it’s administered correctly. Or you’ll run the risk of scarring!
This technique makes use of a light ray that penetrates through the skin’s surface to pinpoint a hair follicle without damaging the skin. Heat created via this light ray destroys the hair follicle. Patients have successfully used this method to curb hair growth for periods ranging from three to a year. Though hair will eventually grow back, this is still a relatively great option for people with active lifestyles. Do be aware that several sessions are often required to achieve this effect. Especially if you’re covering a large patch since it’s actually done on a per hair basis. They’re also pretty costly. Some electrologists have known to charge at least $500 for each treatment! So if your budget’s slightly on the tighter side, you may want to consider other alternatives. Some people may also find this method rather painful.
(2) Laser & Flash Lamp
If you’re one of those who wants to know “Is laser hair removal permanent?”, the answer will probably shock you. Contrary to popular belief, laser treatments doesn’t permanently remove your hairs. Instead, it permanently reduces them. Huh? Permanently reduce? What’s the difference?
Clinical testing has proven that laser treatments can lighten the colour and reduce the size of the hair strands. It doesn’t destroy the hair follicle like Electrolysis. What it does is targeting the pigmentation within hair follicles and thereby works best for people with darker hair and lighter skin tones. The good news is newer laser technology seems to have the ability to target dark black hair even in clients with darker or tanned skin tones. Because it covers a relatively larger area in a shorter span of time, laser treatments tend to be more popular than electrolysis nowadays. For example, it only takes about 15 to 30 minutes for the beard area. Compare that with electrolysis!
Flash lamp treatments such as the very popular Intense Pulsed Light (”IPL”) hair removal achieves similar effects as laser except that – it’s relatively cheaper and faster. There has been debates over its effectiveness as opposed to laser but the differences has been pretty minimal. IPL is also used for skin treatments, popularly known as the photorejuvenation procedure.
(3) Oral Prescriptions
Several drugs prescriptions has been known to inhibit the growth of hair. Though they’ve been pretty effective for some consumers, it is still advisable to consult your doctor before resorting to such oral prescriptions. After all, you’ll never know what side effects you may encounter. Some of these common medication includes Finasteride (marketed as Propecia and Proscar), Gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonists, Spironolactone (Aldactone), Flutamide, Ketoconazole.
(4) Prescriptive Topical Creams and Products.
Prescriptive only topical ointment such as Vaniqa has often been mistook with depilatories. But they’re not. Depilatories are usually akaline (sometimes acideic too) concoctions that impacts the hair’s protein structure and rapidly dissolves it so that you can just wipe it away from the skin. Topical ointment on the other hand, slows down the hair growth by restraining an enzyme which is responsible for that.
Such topical ointment are not without its limitations. For starters, they may not work for everyone. And even if they do, you’ll probably have to use it together with shaving and plucking to achieve an optimal effect. In the case of Vaniqa, only unpregnant women above the age 12 are given the go ahead to use it on acne (and broken skin) free face and chin. You need to apply it twice a day and use it for about 1 to 2 months before you’ll see any results. It’ll continues to retard hair growth for about 2 months once you stop using it.
Not really a permanent hair removal method per say but well, it’s still better than shaving, plucking and waxing every other day!