Thursday, July 5, 2007

3 Ways to Hairless Happiness

As more and more people opt for hairlessness each day, they begin seeking alternatives to less work and better results. Shaving is perhaps the easiest fix when dealing with a last minute emergency. However shaving often irritates those with sensitive (i.e. razor burn), the hair grows back quickly with the blunt edge cut from the razor causing stiff stubbles. Of course most men - and many women still shave on a daily basis, yet there are other options out there, some dating back centuries! Threading, sugaring and waxing are the top three best temporary hair removal methods that leave you with longer-lasting hairlessness!


Threading, by far the gentlest form of hair removal for the skin, is a simple process involving a cotton thread that is twisted and pulled along areas of unwanted hair. The thread acts like a mini-lasso, lifting the hair follicle directly from the root.

There are several major reasons why threading is the superior treatment:

The Ouch-less Factor – Since threading is able to target the individual hairs, so skin irritation is kept to a minimum, unlike waxing which often causes unnecessary stretching and the removal of the skin’s delicate top layers.

Au Naturale – Threading is 100% natural, there are no artificial waxes, chemicals, or invasive techniques used. Thus, individuals using certain medications like Retin-A and Accutane and those who have even had recent cosmetic surgery can still get hair removal without the worries of waxing! These medications/procedures make the skin ultra-sensitive and waxing could literally remove the top layers of the skin, exposing the delicate under tissue! Also, the majority of people that breakout from waxing tend to not do so from threading. Threading is completely safe and dermatologist-recommended.

An Art of Perfection – Threading is very precise and allows the Specialist performing the service to have greater control than waxing. This precision is especially useful in eyebrow shaping, where every hair is important! Often times when people wax they tend to take the tail of their eyebrow off, making it too short.

Destiny Control – Threading allows the freedom to create a more manicured brow or just enhance a person’s existing natural shape. The strand of thread is used as a guide to ensure that the proper line is followed, unlike tweezing which lacks this guidance and increases the risk of brow boo-boos.

Take it all off! – Even those short stubbly hairs can be removed, giving you the option of avoiding the cumbersome growing-out period that all waxers grow to hate!

Wrinkle Prevention – While waxing can tug, pull, stretch and even remove the delicate skin on your face, eventually facilitating the development of wrinkles, threading does not target the skin, so it won’t put a wrinkle in your day!


While threading is able to target individual hairs on the face and to remove strays in lieu of tweezing, it is not practical for arms, legs, and the ever-popular bikini, as it would require a huge time commitment! Sugaring is an amazing natural solution for these hairier, larger sections of the body!

Sugaring dates back to the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece. It began as a home remedy for hair removal and over the years, recipes for the sugaring gel were perfected and then passed on down through the generations – now treatments are available by professionals as well as DIY kits for the motivated!

Made of only sugar and lemon juice (and sometimes water), the ingredients are cooked until it is honey-like both in consistency and color. These very basic ingredients make it the most natural product for removing hair from bigger sections at one time.

Sugaring most closely resembles waxing, but is actually much gentler on the skin and less painful to endure:

Sensitivity and Pain – Sugaring gel can be used on the even the most sensitive skin. While still removing hair from the root, many claim it to be up to 50% less painful than waxing.

Hairlessness Not Redness – Since the sugaring gel sticks less to your skin than wax, it doesn’t pull on your skin as much when it is removed, and thus reduces the pain factor in the hair-free equation.

Denim - Not Just for Fashion – The weight of the denim cloth used in sugaring treatments, is heavier than the usual muslin strip used with wax, helping to eliminate discomfort.

Irritation Minimization – Sugaring gel is less abrasive to the skin and rids you of the risk of removing the top layers of skin as in waxing.

Sweet Results, Naturally – Since sugaring gel is only made from sugar and lemon juice, it is great for those who have specific allergies to the different resins and other ingredients found in wax (i.e. beeswax – some people are actually very allergic!) but who still want a longer lasting hair removal solution.

Simple, Not Sticky – Unlike wax, the sugaring gel is water soluble and any remaining gel, after the treatment is complete, can easily be washed off with water.


Waxing is a tried and true method of hair removal and works for those with even the coarsest of hair, or hair that is slightly shorter than the ¼” requirement for sugaring. Many waxes now contain anti-inflammatory ingredients, like azulene oil, making the wax a gentle as possible.

A few tips when waxing at a salon/spa:

Beware of Double Dippers - Double-dipping is common in wax application in which the same wooden or plastic spatula is re-dipped back into to the vat of wax during the procedure. Unfortunately this technique increases the chances that any potential bacteria from one client could spread to another (yikes!). Ideally, you should only go to a salon/spa that doesn’t double-dip, however if you are unable to locate one in your area, you may always request that a new can of wax be used for your service, so at least the only germs you’ll be sharing are your own!

Better Safe than Sorry – Salons vary drastically, especially when it comes to technique and supplies used in waxing. It is in your best interest to research your waxing destination, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you are concerned with how your skin will react to a new wax, request a patch test, often salons will offer this quick appointment for free. Then give yourself at least 24 hours before committing to the real deal. If there is no reaction in the first 24-48 hours, it’s pretty much smooth sailing for you!

It Takes Two – Even if a salon is the cleanest you’ve ever seen, remember to do your part in the after care to ensure harmonious hairlessness:

· Please be kind to your skin, avoid harsh products that may cause adverse reactions, for the next 24 - 48 hours after your treatment.

· Refrain from using skin care products, like cleansers and moisturizers, which contain acids (i.e. alpha-hydroxy, glycolic, salicylic, etc.)

· Avoid ultra-violet rays from tanning beds and/or sunbathing for at least 48 hours. Always wear proper UV protection.

· Resist the sauna and steam room for at least 48 hours.

· Hold off taking hot baths/showers for at least 2 hours after your treatment.

· Use a cold compress to help soothe the hairless skin if you feel any discomfort or irritation after your treatment.

· Medical experts recommend abstaining from sexual activity for the first 48 hours after any type of bikini wax. This time period is when your body is most susceptible to outside bacteria which can potentially cause an infection.

· Follow a daily exfoliation regime to help prevent ingrown hairs after the first 48 hours.

· Hydrocortisone cream may be used after any hair removal treatments to help reduce irritation and inflammation and can be found at your local drug store.

Lasting Results – What to Expect

Of course everyone’s hair grows at different speeds, but generally speaking, hair will start to grow back about 2-3 weeks after it is removed from the root, as in all three treatments (threading, sugaring, waxing) mentioned. Unlike the sharp edge created by shaving, you will notice that your hairs grow back softer – in short: no rough stubbles!

Hair Removal Regimes

Threading – twice a month (every 2-3 weeks) is ideal, specifically for maintaining your brow shape. Remember that with threading the hairs can be shorter than they need be for waxing!

Sugaring & Waxing – once a month (every 3-5 weeks) helps reduce the pain. Just remember that your hair should be at least ¼” in length (or long enough to lay flat on your skin) for optimum results.
by Shobha Tummala

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