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How to Remove Body Hair – What are Your Options?

Androgenic hair (the technical name for hair that occurs on parts of the body beside the scalp and face) is a major cause of embarrassment and feelings of self-consciousness among many Americans. This is because the unwanted attention that people get when at the beach, gym, or public pool can be disconcerting. Most people with excessive body hair continually seek ways to get rid of it in order to feel better about themselves, while others just appreciate the look and feel of smooth skin.

Factors That Affect the Growth of Body Hair

Although several factors cause the growth of body hair, the main one is high levels of androgens, which include the hormone testosterone and several of its derivatives. This is the reason why body hair is more common in men, but is also experienced by a number of women. Other factors include genetic predisposition and age.

Cultural Perceptions

The consideration of body hair as being excessive is primarily a cultural and cosmetic function that encourages people to keep their bodies clean shaven, since body hair is not harmful from a medical standpoint. A study by L.R. Setty in the Journal of the National Medical Association of America shows that over 37% of males and 12% of females in America had what they considered as “excessive” body hair.

Techniques Used In Hair Removal

There are many options available to get rid of hair. Obviously, all the methods have their individual merits, as well as demerits. Some of the techniques are relatively easy to execute, and one can comfortably perform them at home. Others, however, require a specialist with appropriate equipment. Some methods also provide a temporary solution, so hair grows back soon after removal, but some provide a long-term solution.


The simplest and most common hair removal solution is shaving. This involves the use of shaving cream and some sort of blade or razor. Most people shave off their body hair by themselves in their homes, though some opt for a beauty spa to carry out the procedure. This is, however, a temporary solution and one would have to keep shaving off his or her hair relatively often as it grows back again.


One popular method of body hair removal is waxing. This method uses a resin of wax-like consistency to remove the hair follicles completely from the root. The beautician begins by applying the resin evenly on the target area of the skin. Then, he or she places a strip of cloth or paper over the soft wax. After the wax sets and holds the hair, the beautician yanks the mentioned strip of cloth, pulling out the hair. There is also harder resin that does not require the paper or cloth strip as it hardens enough for the beautician to pull it off by itself. Occasional waxing is a temporary solution, but when done frequently, it stunts the hair’s ability to re-grow. One can perform waxing either at home with commercial waxing kits or can pay for the hair removal solution at a salon or spa.


Sugaring is a procedure that is similar to waxing, but uses gentler solutions from organic materials, and is suitable for persons with hypersensitive skin. Sugaring uses materials such as sugar, lemon, and water.


Laser hair removal works by having a handheld device send a pulse of light onto the skin. This laser light identifies the contrast between light skin and dark hair, and destroys the hair follicles. The weakened hair then falls off naturally within a few days of the procedure. Laser removal is not a permanent hair removal solution, and an individual requires a number of treatments to achieve the best results. This procedure is recommended only for light skinned people who have better contrast between skin color and that of their hair.


Another popular hair removal method, and the only procedure approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a permanent hair removal solution, is electrolysis. It works by applying electric current to each hair follicle using a fine, needle-like electrode. This current destroys the root, removing the hair, and ensuring that it does not grow back. Unlike laser treatment, electrolysis works on all kinds of hair color and skin types. The different types of electrolysis are galvanic, blend and thermolysis.


There are strong, alkaline solutions that one can purchase from most drug stores that remove unwanted and excessive body hair. Commonly known as depilatories, these creams gradually break down the hair follicles into a jelly-like state, making them easy to remove. About five minutes after application, one may wipe off the hair with a warm towel. This method is popular because it removes hair from under skin level leaving the skin very smooth.

Due to the large number of people seeking hair removal, and the accompanying rise in demand for qualified practitioners, there are specialized courses for those seeking to become hair removal experts.  To become a professional, you need to learn from professionals.  If you’re interested in a career in the skin care industry, learn more about the esthetics program at Evergreen Beauty College.

About Sam

Sam has been covering the fashion and beauty industry for over 5 years. Since graduating from the School of Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Sam has almost written exclusively for the web.

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