Permanent Hair Removal Methods
Hair on the human body has two parts, one above on the skin and another below the skin. Removing the hair on the surface of the skin is known as depilation. The process of removing the hair completely from its root inside the body is known as epilation.
Electrolysis is also called electrical epilation. A very thin metal probe is inserted into a hair follicle, without making any puncture of the skin. Then electricity is passed through to damage the areas responsible for the growth of hair. Three types of energy are used to perform electrolysis.
1. Galvanic electrolysis - in galvanic electrolysis, the electric current passed causes the salt and water on the body around the probe to react, forming sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye, which damages the hair-growing cells. This is a type of chemical reaction.
2. Thermolysis - The electric current that is used in this method makes the water molecules on the skin vibrate. The vibrations produce heat energy. The heat generated out of the process damages the cells responsible for the growth of hair. This process is based on heat energy.
3. Blend - The combination of chemical and heat energy is used in this type for removing the hair growing cells. That the lye produced in the galvanic method becomes more caustic by using heat in the thermolysis method is better employed here for rooting out the cells causing the growth of hair.
Pros and cons of electrolysis method
Though the electrolysis method has been in use for more than a hundred years, it has its own disadvantages. Some of the negative points are expense and tedious operation. It is also difficult to perform on a large amount of hair and improper use results in damage to the skin. However, despite all this, this method is the only effective way to remove hair in a permanent manner. No other method has a track record of results the electrolysis method has.
In this method of hair removal, light is used for damaging the hair cells. Light at a specified wavelength is sent into the skin targeting the pigment in the hair. The light energy employed is expected to cause thermal or mechanical (or both) damage to the hair follicles. There are many for and counter claims regarding this method but the fact remains that there is no long term established data on the safety and effectiveness. The main advantages in this type are the fact that treatment is possible on larger area of hair growth and effective on light skinned, dark hair persons. The hair that grows back is lighter in color and finer in texture. This method of reduction is not effective on grey, red or blonde hairs
The flash lamp permanent hair removal device uses full-spectrum (non-coherent) lights. This light along with low-range infrared radiation is filtered to allow a specified wavelength light. This filtered light is flashed from a hand piece into the skin, targeting the pigment in the hair. The light is intended to cause thermal and mechanical damage to hair follicles without affecting the surrounding parts. The same claims and counter claims and the same advantages and disadvantages as in laser treatment exist in this also.
Some medicines are found to be effective on retarding hair growth. Spironolactone, Finasteride, Flutamide, and Cyproterone acetate are some of the medicine normally used for stopping hair growth. The main disadvantage in this is the side effects these medicines have on the human body. Hence, it is always advisable to use them in consultation with one's physician.
Apart from the above, there are some restricted and doubtful methods of hair removal. X-ray and photodynamic methods are in a restricted category because the former has been banned in some countries like the USA and the latter are only in experimental stages. Electric tweezers, transdermal electrolysis, and microwaves are some of the doubtful methods in that there is no established data on their effectiveness.
As the growth of hair on human body, the growth of finding a suitable permanent hair removal method keeps on with increasing interest.
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