Thursday, March 19, 2009



Plucking unwanted hair seems to me to be the most dreadful method of hair removal. The procedure is slow, painful and the hairs grow back quickly. This procedure works best on small areas where there are a few fine hairs. The right tweezers and a magnifying mirror are the key tools to successfully tweezing your unwanted hair. Given how course my hair is, I have found that plucking tends to lead to ingrown hairs, although many of my friends have used this method for years and are fine with it.

The same can be true for waxing. I was informed by one of my beauty consultants that waxing the hair tends to distort the hair follicle and makes ingrown hairs more likely. Unlike shaving, where the treatment of the skin before you shave is paramount, with waxing, the treatment of the skin after you wax is most important. Make sure your salon uses a calming soothing lotion after treatment. You should also avoid working out at the gym, hot showers, sweating, saunas and steam rooms for at least 24 hours as these can lead to skin irritation. I have found that in order to have a successful waxing, the hair needs to be between a quarter to a half inch long so there will be a short period between waxing when the unwanted hair will be noticeable.

My aunt began an electrolysis business many years ago and given our Armenian heritage she has had a steady stream of clients. While this process is long and painful, it is the only hair removal process which I have found to be proven guaranteed successful at permanent hair removal. Now that I live in New York, I use Lucy Peters at 150 East 58th Street. Their phone number is 212-486-9740. They have a skilled team of professionals that make the experience as pleasant as possible considering you are having pins placed into your skin and an electric current is killing the hair follicle. Besides the pain, the challenge is that the hair is removed one hair shaft at a time. Also the process only works on active hairs which account for about 30 percent of your hair at any given time. Inactive hairs can not be treated until they become active. Since it takes your hair follicles about three years to cycle from active to inactive, the process to remove all of the hair takes a long period of time. Unlike some salons, Lucy Peters has perfected their method and does not waste your time and money treating inactive hairs.

Laser hair removal has not been around for very long so it is difficult to determine if the removal of unwanted hair is permanent. I have used the Intense Pulsed Light treatment at Chelsea Eye & Cosmetic Surgery (157 West 19th Street, 212-727-3717) and have found the effects to be positive. While much of the hair in the treated area was removed and has not grown back, the hairs that remain appear to be finer and less noticeable. Laser hair removal works best on dark hair with fair skin so you can not have a sun tan during your treatments. Also, you must avoid the sun on the treated area as your skin is more sensitive to sun burn after treatment. Like waxing, you should avoid working out at the gym, hot showers, sweating, saunas and steam rooms for at least 24 hours after treatment. The biggest challenge with this procedure is that I found it to be painful and due to the amount of hair I wanted removed it has taken several visits to achieve noticeable results. I have had my unwanted hair treated six times and still require more treatments before all of the hair will be gone. I also have tried other laser hair removal procedures at other facilities and the hair grew back so you want to make sure that your choice of treatment centers has a history of success.

Good luck fellow sufferers!!

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