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With all the hair removal options available to us today it is important to know the basics of each, their pros and cons and ultimately which one will work best for your clients.
The basics: Tweezing is pulling out individual hairs one by one from the root.
Pros: Tweezing is great for small areas and lasts between 3 and 8 weeks. It is also good option for removing a stray hair after a treatment such as a wax.
Cons: This is a tedious, time consuming method of hair removal and if the hair breaks it could grow back under the skin causing painful ingrown hairs. Tweezers need to be cleaned with rubbing alcohol between treatments to reduce the risk of infections Bottom line: This is great for eye brows and stray hairs or for cleaning up stray hairs after a treatment.
The basics: The hair is cut off very close to the skin with a razor. A disposable razor or blade is used on wet skin. Then using a soap or shaving cream the hair is cut in the direction of growth. Alternatively an electric shaver can be used on dry skin.
Pros: This is a relatively cheap method of hair removal and can be used for most large parts of the body.
Cons: Shaving is not a long lasting method of hair removal, lasting between 1 and 3 days. It is not advisable for small areas such as eyebrows. Razors need replacing often for hygiene reasons. Ingrown hairs (especially in the bikini area) are also quite common. Razor burn, nicks and cuts are common place with shaving. Bottom line: Great for a classic men’s treatment but otherwise not really a good salon treatment.
The basics: A depilatory wax is applied to the skin; either a hot wax or a strip wax is use. When a strip wax is used it is removed using a strip, hot wax is removed once it has dried slightly in a quick single motion. Pre and post waxing oils should always be applied when waxing to prepare the skin for the treatment and prevent any redness, rashes or ingrown hairs after the treatment.
Pros: Absolutely any part of the body can be waxed as different types of waxes are designed for hair removal on different parts of the body. Hot waxes are for smaller areas and strip wax for large areas. A wax also lasts a relatively long time, any between 3 and 8 weeks. Good quality professional waxes are design to soften and nurture the skin during a wax. Hairs grow back softer after waxing.
Cons: Training is required to provide a professional waxing treatment. One would also need the appropriate equipment and wax. The bottom line: Waxing is the most popular salon treatment available. It can be used effectively on any part of the body and when a good wax range is used it can be highly beneficial for the skin.
The basics: The root of the hair is destroyed using a strong beam of light.
Pros: It can be used on any part of the body and nearest form of permanent hair removal available after multiple sessions.
Cons: It won’t work on white hair and doesn’t work well on blonde hair. It takes between 6 and 12 treatments before the client sees results and the client will need a touch up every 6 to 12 months. There are also possible side effects such as swelling, redness, burning and scarring. It is also a very expensive method of hair removal. Extensive training is required for this treatment and certain license or registrations are also required. The step up costs are also high. The bottom line: Training and certification is essential for salons looking to offer this treatment. It also is a costly treatment to do however it can result in permanent hair removal after several sessions.
The basics: Chemical substances in the cream remove the hair by breaking down the structure of the hair.
Pros: These products are relatively cheap and work quite quickly. This method of hair removal can be done at home.
Cons: The same chemicals that dissolve the hair also affect the skin. This leaves the skin with a nasty glossy look and feel. Rashes and burns are common with these products. Hairs start to reappear after just a week. These creams are also infamous for their unpleasant smell. Bottom line: Due to the smell, availability for home use and effect on sensitive skins this is not a great option for a salon treatment.
The basics: This form of hair removal is very similar to waxing. A sugar, water, lemon or honey concoction is made into a pliable paste that can be used like a strip or hot wax.
Pros: It is inexpensive to make and can remove very short hairs. As it is made from natural ingredients it is great for sensitive skins.
Cons: This method of hair removal can be quite painful and is not a popular salon treatment so it is difficult to find salons that offer it. Bottom line: As an alternative treatment this is an interesting one to offer. It is almost as effective as waxing but really good for sensitive skins.
The basics: A strand of knotted cotton tread is used to remove the hairs. This is done by twisting the strand around the individual hairs and pulling them out from the root.
Pros: It is a great method of hair removal for small areas.
Cons: It is not an option for large areas and can be very painful for people with large hair follicles Bottom line: This treatment is great for shaping eyebrow but not a good option for large areas. Training is also required to do this effectively, however it is a cost effective treatment.
The basics: An Epilating device looks a lot like an electric razor only instead of cutting the hair it pulls it out.
Pros: It lasts between 3 and 8 weeks and can be done at home.
Cons: This is quite a painful form of hair removal and can leave little welts behind on the skin. Epilating devices can also be costly. Bottom line: These are suitable for home use but not good for a salon treatment.
The Basics: A fine needle shaped electrode is used to apply an electrical current to the hair follicle to destroy the hair producing cells.
Pros: Great for small areas and can permanently remove hairs after multiple sessions.
Cons: Electrolysis treats each hair follicle individually so it is time consuming and expensive. If this method of hair removal is not done properly it can leave scarring and skin discolouration. Treatments can be very uncomfortable and cause a stinging sensation. This type of treatment can only be done by a certified professional. Bottom line: Electrolysis can provide permanent hair removal after several sessions. Treatments must be done by a certified professional and the equipment can be costly.