Introduction To Hair Removal
Hair removal ranks high on the list of beauty treatments available today. People have unwanted hair growth for many reasons. It can be genetic, due to ethnic background. It can be caused by hormone imbalances. Whatever the reason, unwanted hair can be treated and can either be permanently removed or the growth significantly reduced, depending on the method of treatment that is chosen. Everyone should wake up in the morning feeling great about who they are. Not having to worry about unwanted hair in places that it should not be is an excellent way to start feeling great.
The need or desire to remove hair has been a concern for thousands of years. It was not vanity or fashion that drove the original attempts at hair removal, but safety and survival. Hair is something that can be grabbed and held in a fight. The ancient Egyptians, and probably even cave men, realized that all too well, and would scrape their heads and faces free of hair.
A Brief History of Hair Removal
Lecturer and researcher Jill Burke has devoted some serious time to the history of hair removal, if her blog is any indication. Therein she shares some of the interesting things people (not just woman) did in the past to care for their skin and appearance, including eradicating hair from any and all parts of the body. Referring to recipes she has found in various “books of secrets” from the sixteenth century, she says:
A recipe that constantly recurs is one based on creating a highly alkaline solution that melts the hair from the surface of the skin (just as hair-removers like Veet do today). There’s evidence of recipes for this paste – which is called “rhusma” being used in Ancient Turkey from about 3000 BC, and the Trotula – a very popular medieval book of recipes dating from the 12th century, but reproduced frequently since, also includes this.
A 1532 book of secrets gives this version of the recipe:
How to Remove or Lose Hair from Anywhere on the Body
Boil together a solution of one pint of arsenic and eighth of a pint of quicklime. Go to a baths or a hot room and smear medicine over the area to be depilated. When the skin feels hot, wash quickly with hot water so the flesh doesn’t come off.
Early cave man probably scraped the hair of his face and head with a (relatively) sharp rock! Also unpleasant, so if anyone tells you that permanent hair removal today is a painful process, don’t you listen.
Hair Removal Today
Hair removal has changed substantially since early times. Hair removal is done now, as it was in during the Renaissance, primarily for reasons of fashion, but also for medical reasons. But, now we can shave hair with blades that are as sharp as – well, razors. We pluck, wax, sugar, tweeze and thread, and depilate. These methods vary in cost and the amount of pain they induce. The one thing they have in common is they are not permanent. No matter how painful the procedure, your hair will grow back.
Options for Permanent Hair Removal
Today we have essentially two methods of permanent hair removal. Electrolysis is the only method recognized as permanent by the FDA. That recognition is probably due at least in part to its track-record. Electrolysis has been around for over one hundred years.
Often referred to as a long term solution, laser hair removal is gaining favor for its speed and the relative comfort of the treatment. It is not yet recognized as permanent by the FDA, but many people have gone for years after completion of treatment with no regrowth of hair.