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Getting to the roots

Although several ways to remove unwanted hair are available, only two methods are considered permanent by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration: electrolysis and galvanic tweezers. To be considered permanent, 40% of the targeted hair must be destroyed during the course of treatment. Because the hair grows in cycles, several treat­ments over a period of 9—18 months are required to de­stroy all unwanted hair. The length of time between treatments also will vary. In these methods, which can be used on any area of the body except the eyelash, nose and ears, a slight electrical, radio or galvanic current de­stroys the hair roots, ending future hair growth.

There also are several methods of temporary hair removal:

Body sugaring. The basic procedure can remove your unwanted hair from the root using a natural honey-like combination of water, sugar and lemon with no addi­tives, chemicals or preservatives. The sugar dissolves in water and is odor-free. The amber-colored paste—almost the consistency of syrup—is warm and goes on your skin smoothly. Similar to waxing, sugaring can be done on any part of the body, including the legs, bikini area, arms, underarms, back, eyebrows and upper lip. It also exfoliates the top layer of skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Each session lasts about 25—30 minutes, depend­ing on the area being treated.

Laser. Nurses, medical assistants and skin care profes­sionals working with physicians can now be trained in this method of hair removal. Energy is absorbed selec­tively by the melanin surrounding the follicle, and the heated pigment disables the follicle and vaporizes the hair beneath the surface. Most clients report high satisfac­tion with the treatment, with some experiencing only minimal re-growth over several months. However, long-term research on permanency is incomplete, and practi­tioners only can claim long-lasting results. While this method is considered safe, a physician’s examination be­fore treatment will ensure no medical conditions exist, such as skin melanoma, which could complicate the treat­ment. Laser hair removal can be used anywhere on the body except the eyebrows, because of their proximity to the eyes. Its best use is for large, densely haired parts of the body—the legs, arms, back and bikini line.

Threading. Threading originated in the Middle East and has been used for centuries. The process requires a two-foot length of regular cotton sewing thread, which is twisted around the hair to remove it by the roots. It doesn’t irritate the skin or cause wrinkling, and the sessions are short. Threading is safe for the face area, including the up­per lip, chin, eyebrows, cheeks and sideburns.

Waxing. Waxing has become increasingly popular in spas over the last few years. Different types of wax and a variety of techniques can be used for hair re­moval, depending on the client and the part of the body to be treated.

Hard wax is a no-strip, peel-off wax, and is applied with a spatula in small patches on the skin in the direc­tion of hair growth. It won’t bum, but hardens as it cools. The wax is then removed in the opposite direc­tion. Because it is thick, cloth strips are not needed. Hard wax is effective for the face, underarms and bikini line—areas where clients don’t want to let hair grow too long before having it removed. It is not suitable for use on large areas such as the legs, because it is easier to work with in smaller pieces.

Soft wax is the most popular type of wax in the U.S. It has the consistency of thick honey at room tempera­ture, and is warmed and spread onto the skin in a very thin glaze in the direction of hair growth. A piece of cot­ton or a muslin strip is laid over the wax to bond with it, then pulled off in the opposite direction, with hair ad­hering to the wax.

Check with your skin care professional about each of the methods available and discuss which type best suits your needs for hair removal.

The importance of skin

Skin has the ability to touch and feel solid matter. The sense of touch grasps the material world and all its physical bodies. Each layer of the skin is specialized to receive different vibrations from the central nervous sys­tem, making it the “mother of all sensory organs.”

Calcium does the body good

Americans are facing a serious shortage of calcium, say experts from the University of Colorado and Creighton University. Nutrition professors told attendees at a cal­cium nutrition meeting that three out of four Americans do not get enough calcium, starting in childhood. This is an important finding since the benefits of calcium may extend beyond the bones to include lowering blood pressure and preventing colon cancer, experts say.


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Skin Anatomy and Physiology Acne Ingredients Cosmetics
Dictionary of Skin Care Terms Skin Care Advice Skin Problems
The Sun & Your Skin Skin Care News  


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