Permanent Hair Removal

Hair growth occurs in both men and women in specific areas of the body. Body hair growth is thicker and denser in men as compared to women. Since ancient times, there have been cosmetic methods available for removal of body hair. We all have heard that Cleopatra went to great lengths for removal of her facial hair. Body hair removal is popular for aesthetic, hygiene and religious reasons across cultures. Methods for hair removal range from shaving, threading and waxing which are temporary in nature to laser removal and electrolysis, which are permanent in nature.

To understand how permanent methods of hair removal work, it is necessary to understand the structure of body hair. The visible part of hair above the skin is the hair shaft. Embedded in the skin are the hair follicle or root, surrounded by sebaceous and sweat glands and nerve cells. To remove body hair, permanently, the hair follicle must be treated so that it stops fresh growth of hair.

In recent decades, the most popular methods of removing hair permanently are:

  1. By laser
  2. By electrolysis

Electrolysis for hair removal: In this method, an electric current is applied with a very fine needle-shaped electrode, or metal probe into each hair follicle. This destroys the hair root and permanently stops hair growth. To destroy the root. The disadvantages for electrolysis are that it is extremely painful and takes extended sessions for the entire growth to be covered. It is an expensive method of treatment too.  Only trained hands should perform this process as it can leave permanent scar on the skin.

Laser for hair removal: Explained in simple words, in this method, the practitioner holds a hand-held laser device which sends out pulsed light on the skin. The light seeks out areas with melanin, which gives the body hair its dark color and deadens the hair follicle. The hair growing from the follicle falls out within a fortnight. This method works best on a combination of light skin and dark body hair and is ineffective on blonde or light body hair or dark skin with dark hair. This method only makes the hair growth scantier but does not result in permanent hair removal. Multiple sittings are required for hair removal by laser but the resultant growth is noticeable scantier. Another disadvantage is that this treatment may cause burning and discoloration of sensitive skin.  A large area of the body can be treated in this method in one sitting.

Laser Vs Electrolysis

If the area to be covered is small, with scanty growth and underlying skin which is not sensitive, electrolysis is preferable. For growth which is on the denser side, laser is effective as a treatment as it actually reduces hair growth.


It is advisable to have these treatments done under the supervision of your dermatologist who knows your skin and can guide the technician accordingly.

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