Hair removal is a billion dollar industry! Men and women have been removing hair since ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians shaved both their head and bodies for cleanliness and fashion. Head and body lice was an issue at that time and removing all hair helped with the problem. Wigs were considered more fashionable than real hair and smooth hair free skin was a social status.
Hair removal was part of the Roman soldier battle preparations. The soldiers would shave their heads bald to prevent their enemies from being able to pull their hair. Not unlike our UFC fighters of today!
Move ahead a few centuries and you see hairlessness becoming a necessity. Thong underwear and tiny bikinis have made natural female pubic hair public enemy number one! Work out gear worn at the gym today is meant for a smooth hair free body. Hairy underarms is on a female has become unsightly!
Men have joined in the hairless movement. Back hair has been a big no,no for many years. Now however, so are chest hair and a bikini line. Where is the Malboro Man we used to see in the commercials? That rugged he- man with blue eyes sitting atop his trusty steed with the open shirt and chest hair? Probably at the spa getting his eyebrows waxed and a manicure.
There are many ways of temporary hair removal which include plucking, razors, waxing, sugaring and threading. For permanent solutions there are only two methods… electrolysis and laser hair removal. Electrolysis is the only modality approved by the FDA and Health Canada for permanent hair removal, while laser has been approved as permanent hair reduction.
Did you know it took scientists 40 years to design a laser hair removal system that worked? From the year 1957 to 1997! The first systems did more damage to the skin than the hair. Luckily technology has improved and today the biggest concern is poorly trained technicians and laser systems that have not been maintained.
All hair removal methods have an “ouch factor”. All methods have risks. The more advanced the technology, the bigger the risks. No matter what is advertised, lasers do not work on light colored hair or white hairs. And, darker skin types cannot be treated on all lasers.
If hair removal is on your “want list”, make sure to choose experience and reputation over cheap and risky. Know what technology is being used if going the laser route. Don’t believe in guarantees or that a “painless laser” will keep hair away permanently. Remember, “Buyer beware.”
In the age old standard of beauty, one thing remains the same, flawless skin is hairless skin!
By Joyce M. Palmer