A Publication of WTVP

From brow designs to Brazilians, many individuals are interested in removing hair, temporarily or permanently. There are a variety of home and professional methods available to remove undesired hair. It is important to understand each method when choosing which one is right for you.


Tweezers remove individual hair follicles by extracting the hair from the skin. People often tweeze or pluck their eyebrows, lips and chins. Anything larger than these facial areas would take too long to pluck individually.
The benefit of plucking is that hair is removed from the base or root of the hair follicle. Therefore, it takes longer to grow back to the surface of your skin. Depending on an individual’s hair growth cycle, one can find that this solution can last two or more weeks.

Chemical Depilatories

Depilatory products are applied to the desired area and left on for an indicated amount of time. During this time, the chemicals interact with your hair, which might become limp as the chemicals suspend it away from the skin. It is imperative that the product’s instructions are strictly followed, because of the chemicals involved. More than likely, they will cause skin irritation. Because of this, testing the product on a small area of the body before attempting larger areas is highly recommended. The benefit of this method is that the whole hair follicle is “melted” away from the skin. Therefore, hair will not be noticeable at the surface for several weeks, depending on hair growth.


Although it might be a less-than-desirable daily ritual, shaving is an inexpensive and quick way to temporarily remove hair. It’s the process of cutting hair at the skin’s surface with a razor. As the hair grows back, some experience it becoming coarse becuase it was cut rather than pulled from the root. Depending on how quickly individuals’ hair grows, some may need to shave on a daily basis.

Home Waxing

There are home kits that can provide the necessary tools to perform in-home waxing. It may become difficult to get to areas that are hard to reach or see—such as underarms, the backs of legs, bikini and Brazilian areas. The worst part of home waxing is the anticipation of the removal of the hair, not the actual removal. Be careful to avoid being burned with the hot wax, and don’t over-wax stubborn areas; this causes skin irritation and additional pain.

Waxing is not permanent; most individuals will experience re-growth after two or more weeks depending on their hair growth cycle. The time it takes for the actual waxing varies for each individual. Repetitive waxing causes hair to regrow less coarse, allowing for the avoidance of the blunt, stubble feeling of regrowth.

Professional Waxing

Warm wax is applied to the skin where hair is to be removed. A paper strip is placed on top of the wax so it adheres to the strip and the hair simultaneously. As the wax cools and hardens, a quick motion of removing the strip in the opposite direction of hair growth allows the hair to be removed from its follicle.

The results of professional waxing are favorable, especially over time. The hair is weakened each time it’s waxed; therefore, regrowth tends to be less coarse. Over time, one may experience a patchy regrowth, almost like a thinning in the area where the hair used to grow. The time between the waxing appointments may also become longer.

Professional Threading

This Middle Eastern technique is most commonly performed on facial areas. Thread is used to grasp hair and quickly remove the entire hair follicle. A long piece of thread is taken by its ends in the left hand. The pointer and middle finger twirls the thread by the loop that is created. A scissoring effect is created when the fingers inside the loop perform an open-close motion. The thread is brought up to the hair, and the hair is quickly captured and lifted by the thread.

Cosmetic Electrolysis

This procedure requires attention to each hair follicle, much like plucking. Electrolysis zaps the hair at the root of the follicle with electrical current in hopes of destroying the hair follicle permanently. The current is sent through a fine needle that is inserted into the skin to treat each individual hair follicle.

There are three stages of the hair growth cycle (transition, active, resting) and each follicle is on its own schedule. Therefore, timing the procedure with the appropriate active stage is an important ongoing task. It is normal to go through multiple treatments over the course of a year to remove hairs at the appropriate stage. The hair may also be determined to re-grow, requiring some retreatment on certain follicles.

Cosmetic Laser Hair Removal

Lasers have been introduced into the cosmetic field in various ways, one of which is hair removal. The wavelength produced by the laser targets the dark pigmentations found in the hair follicle. The light heat generated by the laser destroys the hair follicle. Laser treatments help slow down the growth of the hair. However, the results are not guaranteed or permanent. Those who have experienced reduced growth have most likely been treated in multiple sessions over a period of time. This process can treat large areas and addresses several hair follicles at the same time. TPW