Women, and now increasingly men, often seek alternative ways of removing hair beyond a razor and shaving cream. According to Palm Beach, Fla., dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Beer, lasers offer the best option.
“Laser hair reduction is probably the most advantageous because usually you get about an 80 percent reduction after a few treatments, and that’s thought to be durable — so for multiple years,” he tells Newsmax Health. “So that tends to be the most cost-effective and the most efficient.”
Laser hair reduction procedures work by using light energy to kill the hair root. While they decrease hair growth, they don’t eliminate every last hair, and several visits are required depending on the type of laser used and the area of hair to be removed, he says. However, the time saved on waxing and shaving make up for the treatment costs, he reasons.
While women use lasers to get rid of facial hair, more men are opting for such treatments to thin out hairy areas, such as the back, chest, and upper arms.
Dr. Beer also recommends electrolysis, which uses extremely thin needles to deliver electrical shocks to the hair follicle and kill hair-producing cells.
“Electrolysis is nice because it focuses on specific hairs and can get rid of a few little hairs if they’re different colors,” Dr. Beer says. “So laser’s great for darker hairs, but if you have hairs that are light or white, then we would recommend electrolysis.”
Both methods can be considered permanent, he says.
“Basically, any modality that gets rid of the root of the hair follicle and sterilizes the matrix portion [of it which forms the hair shaft] will prevent hair from regrowing,” he says.
If shaving some parts of your body is still going to be part of your routine, keep these tips from the American Academy of Dermatology in mind: Shave in the direction that hair grows, and use a new razor blade or disposable razor every five to seven shaves to keep irritation at a minimum.
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