There is a lot of interest in permanent hair removal as many people like to get rid of unsightly and uncomfortable hairs that mar their look. Moreover many love a hairless smooth skin and wouldn’t bother to spend some money to get that. There are a few techniques that can be considered as successful permanent hair removal methods. This article explains these methods.

Effective permanent hair removal methods

Permanent methods are those that prevent the return of hair after removal. They are –

1. Electrolysis

This is by far the most successful permanent hair removal method in use today. Though not comfortable, many endure it to get rid of hair permanently. To be really effective, it has to be applied correctly else the hair will grow again.

An electrode made of a very fine needle is inserted into hair follicle. A large current is then delivered to the hair root which causes a reaction with the water and minerals present in the hair root. This reaction produces Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) which dissolves the root and the matrix inside the follicle. If the procedure is done properly, then in a single session, both the follicle matrix as well as the hair papillae are dissolved leading to permanent loss of hair.

Electrolysis is done is three ways namely – galvanic, thermolysis and blend.

1.1 Galvanic electrolysis – This method uses DC (direct current) and starts a chemical reaction to produce a lye (aqueous solution) of NaOH that dissolves the root and matrix.

1.2 Thermolysis electrolysis – This method uses AC (alternating current) and is also called as the short-wave radio frequency diathermy as it works similar to a microwave oven. The AC generates vibration in the molecules of water causing it to get heated. This burns the hair root and the follicle. Through faster than the Galvanic method, it is less reliable.

1.3 Blend electrolysis – This method blends the above two methods hence the name. The result is heating as well as a chemical reaction that destroys the hair root and the follicle.

Advantages of this method

This method causes permanent loss of hair and works effectively on different types of hair and skin.

Disadvantages of this method

This is a long procedure and costly too. It may need to be repeated in certain areas for a better effect. The effected area of skin may lose color. It is painful.

Permanent Hair Removal

2. Laser

This is not a completely permanent hair removal technique contrary to popular belief. But it is offers a long term solution with a result that the re growing hair will be fairer and shorter in length. If done properly, in select areas the laser hair removal method does cause permanent hair loss and in other areas it can reduce the amount of hair cover.

A pulse of light is directed to the hair follicle which then destroys melanin and the follicle itself. The dark pigment melanin absorbs the light, gets heated and is destroyed. Hence this method is called Selective Photothermolysis (SPTL). The types of lasers used are argon laser, ruby laser, alexandrite laser, Nd:YAG laser and the pulsed diode array laser.

Advantages of this method

There is less pain in the area and different parts of the body can be treated. A proper laser treatment can result in permanent hair removal in select areas.

Disadvantages of this method

Several treatment sessions may be required. The hair can re grow. Loss of pigmentation in the skin can occur. Temporary side effects include swelling, redness and itching in the treated area.

3. Drugs

Some prescription drugs have been used in hair removal but they are not as popular as the two methods mentioned above. They act slower as they block the hormonal receptors and stop the growth of hair. Drugs block testosterone from binding with androgen receptors. Thus the chemical stimuli to the hair follicle for hair growth is stopped preventing hair growth.

The drugs that are used for permanent hair removal are – Flutamide (an anti-androgen), Spironolactone (androgen inhibitor and testosterone metabolizer), Cyproterone Acetate (anti-androgen), Finasteride (type 2, 5 alpha reductase inhibitor, androgen inhibitor), Gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonists – GnRH (ovarian steroid inhibitor) and Ketoconazole (anti-androgen).

Advantages of this method

This is painless. It slowly stunts the hair growth resulting in hair loss.

Disadvantages of this method

Some of these drugs may be prohibited in some countries. The drugs can be expensive. There can be bothersome side effects.

4. Hair removal creams and lotions

There are quite a few creams that with long term use can inhibit hair growth. Some topical ointments retard the growth of hair by blocking the enzyme that promotes the growth of hair. The hair cream seeps into the hair follicle and loosen the hair shafts causing the hair to fall out. Regular use can thin the follicle stopping hair growth.

Advantages of this method

They are painless and are easy to use.

Disadvantages of this method

The creams can be very expensive. They have to be used for a long period before any effect is felt. There can be unknown side effects on the skin and elsewhere.

The cosmetics industry is highly advanced today with an array of creams, lotions and equipments promising permanent hair removal. You should become aware of the advantage and disadvantages of each of these methods to be able to decide the best one for your skin.