Some Basic Facts about Methods Used for Hair Removal
Firstly, it must be said that the practice of hair removal is nothing new and has long been practiced among most human cultures for a variety of reasons, including religious, cultural and medical. In fact, it appears likely that the practice may have begun sometime during the New Stone Age. The methods applied for this purpose have evolved over the years, but shaving still remains the most common. In male subjects, the focus is primarily upon facial hair, while among women, it is the arms and legs that most frequently require attention. In such cases, the process can often be uncomfortable and its effects are only temporary.
Today, most beauty salons and medical aesthetic centres offer some form of hair removal services and these fall into one of two main categories. Of these, depilation involves removing only that portion of the hair that protrudes above the surface of the skin and thus includes shaving. In addition to this physical action, certain depilatory creams and powder preparations exert a chemical effect that ruptures chemical bonds to remove superficial strands.
For a more permanent effect, the process chosen must also remove that portion which is located beneath the skin, in order to inhibit regrowth. This process is known as epilation and includes simple procedures, such as waxing, sugaring and threading, or simply plucking out the individual hairs with tweezers. Since all of these methods exert a pulling effect, they are invariably accompanied by a considerable amount of discomfort, which some subjects tend to tolerate better than others.
More sophisticated methods have since been developed and, today, commercial hair removal services make use of advanced technologies such as electrolysis, intense pulsed light, high-energy light-emitting diodes and lasers. Of these, it is the latter that, since its introduction in the mid-1990s, has grown to become the most popular option. Some 20 years in the development, the procedure has gained the acceptance of dermatologists worldwide and is now the most widely practiced epilation procedure in use at clinics and medical aesthetic centres, including our chain in South Africa.
Laser energy, delivered as a narrow beam by a compact hand-held unit is conducted via the melanin pigment in the hair to the follicle, which is destroyed and thus will not regrow. Since your hair grows in cycles, each of these must be treated independently to ensure complete epilation and this will normally require between 6 and 8 treatments. The process is painless and requires no recovery time.
For maximum effect, our hair removal services are conducted using the Alexandrite laser, which has been proven to be over 130 times more effective than a standard diode laser.