Hair Removal (cont.)

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What are the pros and cons of electrolysis?

Electrolysis procedures involve threading a thin wire into a single follicle and then applying an electric current. Depending on the nature of the device, the hair follicle is destroyed either by the production of heat or sodium hydroxide. This process is often painful and requires each follicle to be treated individually so that it is quite time-consuming. Multiple treatments of a follicle are often necessary to achieve permanent destruction. Pigmentation at the site of treatment is not uncommon. Since each follicle is treated individually, electrolysis of large areas is quite arduous.

What are the pros and cons of shaving?

Depilation is hair removal above the level of the pore (follicular opening). Shaving is the most popular and cheapest type of depilation, and if performed safely, it results in a satisfactory appearance. In order to minimize follicular irritation (folliculitis), one should move the razor in the same direction that the hairs seem to be growing and pull the razor blade over the skin smoothly and evenly only one time. It is important to use a good lubricant to reduce friction between the blade and the skin. It is also important to use a very sharp blade. Electric razors seem to be somewhat less likely to produce irritation, but repeated passes can produce folliculitis. Safe shaving technique does not produce perfectly smooth skin. There should be a short fragment of hair that remains, extending above the surface of the skin. Shaving must be repeated frequently. There are devices (No No) available for home use that "shave" hair by burning it close to the skin surface. This is probably no more effective than shaving.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/31/2014