There are many hair removal methods, however, some are permanent and others are only temporary. Below, I have discussed these temporary methods as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
By far the most common hair removal method. Cheap, quick, minimal side effects for most, but not long-lasting.
- A sharpened metal blade cuts hair off at the skin’s surface.
- Inexpensive, fast, usually painless, very safe, can be done at home, available almost anywhere.
- Effect lasts a short time– anywhere from a few hours to several days. Dark-haired users may have visible "shadow" of dark hair under skin. Often requires daily use. Can cause skin irritation and cuts. For some, it causes ingrown hairs (esp. in women’s bikini area and African-American men’s facial hair). Blades require frequent replacement.
Common, but some consumers find the caustic ingredients cause skin irritation or even chemical burns.
- A chemical dissolves hair at the skin’s surface.
- Inexpensive, fast, sometimes painless, can be done at home, available almost anywhere.
- Effect lasts a short time– anywhere from a few hours to several days. Dark-haired users may have visible "shadow" of dark hair under skin as it only removes the hair on the surface. Often requires use every two or three days. Can cause skin irritation and cuts. Can be a severe skin and eye irritant
- Metal forceps used manually to pull hairs out by the root, one or a few at a time.
- Very useful for eyebrows or stray hairs on face.
- Should not be used for nose hairs. Always trim nose hairs to avoid potnetially dangerous infections.
- Can be painful.
- Difficult for large areas.
- May cause ingrown hairs.
- May cause pitting or scarring.
- Requires use of mirror.
- Some areas are difficult to do yourself.
Care must be taken when shaping brows: one or two hairs can make a big difference in the shape of the brow.
- Hot wax is applied to the skin, and a strip of cloth or paper is pressed into the preparation. The strip is then quickly pulled away, taking hairs with it.
- Can be done at home
- Hairs can break off at or below surface
- Can be messy
- Consistency is difficult to get correct
- One must be careful to avoid infecting skin
Called khite in Arabic and fatlah in Egyptian, it’s a less common method in the West for removing hair at the root, used primarily on facial hair. Rows of stray hairs are yanked out with twists of cotton thread.
- The practitioner holds one end of the cotton thread in his or her teeth and the other in the left hand. The middle is looped through the index and middle fingers of the right hand. The practitioner then uses the loop to trap a series of unwanted hairs and pull them from the skin. There are also devices made that can hold the thread during the procedure.
- Inexpensive, fast, neat, considered less painful than plucking for many. Good for eyebrows and facial hair. Like plucking, results can last up to two to four weeks.
- It is often difficult to find a professional practitioner outside large cities.
- It can be painful and cause itching afterwards.
- Side effects can include folliculitis, a bacterial infection in the hair follicles, skin reddening or puffiness, and changes in skin pigment, so make sure that the person doing the treading uses a disinectant wipe to sterilize the area before, during and after the procedure.