Hair Removal
Not Laser Hair Removal

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Alternatives OverviewClipping and ShavingTweezing and WaxingBleaches and Depilatories
Electronic TweezersLaser Hair ReductionOther Techniques


Alternatives Overview

Electrolysis is the only permanent way to remove hair.

There are numerous ways to temporarily remove hair — some much better than others. The following information will help you determine which methods may be appropriate for you, and which options could actually increase your hair growth.

The healing process from some temporary methods of hair removal may increase the blood supply in the area. The more blood nourishing a follicle, the healthier (stronger) the hair will become. Simply put, these methods may cause a fine downy hair to develop into a course terminal hair that may not have occurred naturally — electrolysis is the only permanent way to remove it.

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Clipping and Shaving Alternative

Contrary to what most people believe, clipping and shaving is your best form of temporary hair removal. Tweezing and waxing is the worst thing you can do to remove your hair!

Shaving/clipping does not cause the hair to become thicker! When a hair grows out of the follicle it naturally has a worn off, tapered end. When you clip or shave it, it becomes blunt. Plus, all the hairs are suddenly the same length; making it appear and feel like it is thicker, darker and more course. This is only an optical illusion. You have not caused your hair problem to increase. This is your best form of temporary removal.

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Tweezing and Waxing Alternative

Tweezing and waxing is the worst thing you can do. It is also the most common form of temporary hair removal. Each time a hair is pulled, the follicle is damaged, just like when you cut yourself. When the body heals the follicle it will come back with a stonger blood supply. Eventually this method of hair removal may cause the hairs to become ingrown or embedded which may cause pits and scars.

The lower legs and women's eyebrows are two areas I do not scold people for tweezing. I commonly treat these two areas with electrolysis, however, some of the hair will naturally thin with the aging process. (Men's eyebrows may increase with the aging process).

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Bleaches and Depilatories Alternative

Bleaches and depilatories are chemicals used to temporarily deal with hair growth. These are good alternatives if your skin is not sensitive to the chemicals in the products. Bleach works the best on lighter hair, as dark hair may appear gold or orange after lightening. Depilatories are basically a chemical shave.

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Electronic Tweezers Alternative

Practitioners of electronic Tweezing often compare this method with electrolysis. These companies claim that the current flows along the hair without the aid of a "painful electrolysis needle". First of all, you do not feel the needle with electrolysis, you only feel the current. In my opinion, practitioners and manufacturers are only playing on the fear of the word "needle". A hair is like a piece of wood, it is not readily a conductor for the flow of electricity. Just watch how fast electronic tweezing practices come and go.

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Laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Hair Reduction Alternative

The FDA has allowed laser hair removal to claim permanent hair “reduction”. This is disappointing to me, because people tend to quit listening after hearing “permanent”. From what I have researched and observed, laser techniques have proven to produce disappointing long term results for hair removal. I believe this is due to the complexity of hair growth. Laser can claim permanent hair “reduction”, electrolysis IS permanent hair removal.

I have heard of several who have had so-called “long term” clearing of unwanted hair (lasting as long as 3 months from one treatment before hair begins to show). A male who wants to clear his back for the summer may find it worth the money.

Laser hair reduction also carries the potential risks of “long term” effects to the skin, mainly, hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) & hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin). A special I-Team 8 investigative report by the local CBS station confirms the risks involved with laser removal.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) has the same risks as laser. Like laser, the FDA only allows IPL to claim permanent hair “reduction”.

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Other Alternatives

All of the other miscellaneous options are basically a form of one of the previously mentioned hair removal methods with a creative twist. See depilation for more info.


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Muncie Electrology Clinic • 1525 West Jackson • Muncie, Indiana 47303 • (765) 747-0668 •