Our hair is often something that we take for granted, it’s there when we want it, and when we don’t – we can remove it. These tiny features of our bodies are a lot more than meets the eye however, as they are a complete and complex system, and this needs to be kept in mind when we think of different hair removal methods.
How Hair Removal Works
Looking at the diagram, we can imagine exactly what happens when we use different hair removal methods.
When we shave, the blade cuts the hair just above the skin, but leaves the rest of the hair healthy and ready to keep growing. This is why it can take only hours for stubble to become visible, and a matter of days for the hairs to have returned.
Similarly to shaving, the creams dissolve the hairs at about the level of the skin’s surface, but don’t affect the root. This means that with this method, the hairs will return after up to four days. The added advantage with creams is that it does sink into the follicle a certain amount, so the hair breaks off lower than with shaving, and doesn’t leave such a clean sharp edge.
Waxing is a form of depilation, which means that the hair is completely removed. So referring back to the diagram, the entire hair right down to the bulb is removed. This means that the follicle has to grow a complete new hair from scratch, giving you up to four weeks in between removals.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) works in a completely different way once again. IPL uses a series of flashes of high intensity light, which actually causes damage to the entire system. This prevents the complex network in the hair follicle from being able to regrow a hair when it is removed. This change can actually be permanent, with people using Veet’s Infini’Silk Pro IPL system noticing a 54% reduction after only three months of use.
Just by thinking about this simplified diagram, we can understand why some hair removal methods work better for some people than others. If you’re tired of your hair removal routine, then consider something that affects the entire hair and root system, rather than just removes what is visible.