Hair Removal Fact or Fiction
Waxing is the most performed, non-surgical, cosmetic treatment for men and women.
Fiction: Laser hair removal is the most performed non-surgical cosmetic treatment for men and women in the under 35 age group. For all age groups, it is second only to Botox.
If I shave my hair it will grow back thicker.
Fiction: This is impossible as the hair shaft itself is dead. The shaft contains no blood supply or living material. When you pinch or break your hair there is no pain or blood. It may sound gross, but hair is merely waste product composed mainly of keratin, melanin, and dead cells that are extruded via the hair follicle. Numerous studies going all the way back to the 1920s prove that shaving has absolutely no effect whatsoever on your hair growth.
When shaved the hair may appear thicker because it is all the same length, blunt at the ends, and inflexible when short.
Possibly some believe this myth because when they first started shaving they were going through puberty, menopause, or other hormonal changes. Hence the new growth and the reason they needed to start shaving in the first place. Hair growth is rapid and begins to darken and become coarser during this stage. This is true whether you shave or not. Remember, the hair shaft itself is dead material. Only the follicle wall that produces the hair is living.
If this myth were true, inevitably everyone who shaves on a regular basis would eventually be covered in pencil-thick hair sprouting out of their bodies from every place they shave.
Plucking or waxing could cause my hair to grow in stronger and darker.
Fact: Pulling out the hair before it is ready to shed actually damages the hair follicle where the hair is produced. When the follicle is damaged, the body tries to heal itself by sending an increased blood supply to the injured area. This can lead to the follicle becoming deeper and stronger; therefore the hair becomes thicker and darker. It is like continuing to punch someone, sometimes it knocks them down for good, and sometimes it makes them fight back even stronger. Have you ever noticed when someone has a cast removed after several weeks their hair is darker and longer? The heat and friction from the cast has increased the blood supply to the hair follicles causing this reaction. The hair usually returns to its normal state as the irritation is minimal and the follicle has not enough time for a permanent change.
Plucking or waxing can eventually lead to permanent hair loss.
Fact: Pulling out the hair before it is ready to shed actually damages the hair follicle. Even if the body is attempting to heal itself with an increased blood supply, it sometimes cannot overcome the damage, and the follicle can become severely damaged (lighter, thinner, hair), or die altogether (no hair).
If I continue to pluck my peach fuzz, it could grow in stronger and darker. Then I could have laser hair removal and it would be gone forever.
Fact: However, I certainly do not recommend it! If one could be certain all the hairs would grow in thick and black, then that theory would be fine. However, some hairs may only have small amounts of pigment, that the laser could not treat and then you could be stuck with long, light brown, or gray, hairs instead. Not good!
Laser hair removal can cost less than shaving.
Fact: Over a lifetime, laser hair removal can cost less than shaving.
Most will spend over $10,000 on shaving during their lifetime.
Conservatively…consider you spend $80 per year on razors and shaving gels, 5 minutes every other day shaving, assuming you time is worth $20.00 per hour, add the after lotions, ingrown hair ointment, not to mention the cost of embarrassment from ingrown hairs and razor rash, and you are way over $10,000.
Don’t even consider your waxing bill. It’s scary!
If you are going to spend the money anyway, why not enjoy your life hair-free, care free and well groomed?
Home devices such as the Tria and can remove hair.
Fact: After a couple of sessions you should detect noticeable hair reduction. Continue to use the home device every 2-4 weeks and the hair shouldn’t return. Cease using it and within a few weeks, the hair will certainly grow back. Keep in mind, professional lasers are powered by 220V whereas systems like the TRIA run on a small battery.
Some Lasers can get rid of blond, white and gray hairs?
Fiction: In the past you may have heard this claim. However, depending on what one considers gray or blond, these hairs may actually be light black or light brown and contain pigment. Being most hair removal lasers target the pigment in the hair follicle, these lighter colored hairs may respond to laser treatment, but with increased difficulty. Several lawsuits have been filed against companies claiming their lasers can removal white, blond and gray hairs.
While having laser treatments it is safe to use a tanning bed or a self-tanning lotion as opposed to lying in the sun.
Fiction: Color is color! Most hair removal lasers are attracted to pigment, and do not differentiate between pigment in the hair, skin, lotion, or even clothing. The goal is to focus the laser energy beneath the skin, avoiding the epidermis where adverse reactions could occur.
If I want a tan; it’s OK to use a self-tanning lotion after my laser treatment.
Fact: During your treatment the laser energy is absorbed and dissipates immediately. As long as your skin has resolved from the treatment, it is perfectly fine to apply tanning lotions or spray tan.
An IPL is a type of laser.
Fiction: IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is not a laser at all. While IPLs can be effective for some cosmetic procedures, research supports the more powerful, yet safer use of a true laser such as an Alexandrite or ND:Yag for hair removal.