How to Remove Hair Permanently

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Removing unwanted body hair can help you feel more comfortable with your body.
Removing unwanted body hair can help you feel more comfortable with your body. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Unwanted body hair is a common problem for both men and women. Men may be embarrassed by excess back or chest hair while women may be plagued by unwanted arm or facial hair. Two effective ways to remove body hair is through electrolysis and laser treatments. While electrolysis is the only treatment deemed permanent by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, laser hair removal is permanent in most cases. During electrolysis, a fine needle or probe is inserted into each hair follicle where heat and chemical energy is used to destroy the follicle. With laser hair removal, lasers scan the body to look for hair follicles. When a follicle is detected the heat of the laser destroys it.

Things You'll Need

  • Moisturizing creams or lotions
  • Sunblock

Electrolysis

Contact a reputable electrologist in your area to set up an appointment. Tell the office what kind of hair you want removed and from what part of your body. Ask how much it will cost to remove it.

Moisturize your skin before your first electrolysis treatment, focusing on and around the immediate areas where the electrolysis will be done. Avoid extended exposure to the sun or chemicals that will dry out your skin.

Make follow-up appointments until all of the unwanted hair is removed. You may need several electrolysis sessions depending on how much hair you want removed, the thickness of the hair and where on your body the hair is located. Continue to moisturize your skin before and after each electrolysis session.

Laser Hair Removal

Contact a reputable dermatologist in your area to set up an appointment. Tell the office what kind of hair you want removed and from what part of your body. Ask how much the treatment will cost and book an appointment for a consultation or for your first treatment.

Avoid tanning and sunless tanning products for up to six weeks before your first laser hair removal treatment. Apply sunscreen to exposed skin before going outdoors and use lotions and creams to keep your skin moisturized. Keeping your skin supple will help prevent irritation and other side effects caused by the laser treatments.

Attend your first laser hair removal treatment. The length of each treatment depends on the size of the area treated and how thick the hair is in that area. Generally, each laser treatment reduces hair by 10 to 25 percent, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Make follow-up appointments until all of the unwanted hair is removed. Follow-up laser treatments generally are scheduled four to eight weeks apart. You may need several laser treatment sessions depending on how much hair you want removed. Continue to moisturize and protect your skin between treatments.

Tips & Warnings

  • Electrolysis generally is more effective for treating smaller areas, such as around eyebrows or chin hairs, since the process can be expensive and time-consuming.
  • Laser hair removal is most effective on people with dark-colored hair since the laser seeks out the melanin (pigment) in the hair follicles.
  • For best results, laser hair removal should be performed only by a licensed practitioner.
  • Redness, irritation and tenderness can occur after each electrolysis treatment.
  • Common side effects from laser hair removal include pain, swelling and redness. Less frequent side effects include blistering, bacterial infections and lightening or darkening of the skin in treated areas.

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