Hair removal : Navigating the options

Hair removal : Navigating the options

June 02, 2021

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Related : Dr Ilyas discusses depilatory creams with Woman & Home




How can women decide if laser hair removal is the right choice? How long will it last and is it more suitable for certain body areas than others? 

When considering laser hair removal, it is first important to really assess the type of hair you are trying to treat.  Coarse, dark, actively growing hair tends to respond best to laser hair removal.  Fine, light, peach fuzz type hair does not.  Many women inquire about laser hair removal for upper lip and chin area.  Although there can be coarse dark hairs dispersed through this area, the bulk of the hair growing tends to be lighter or finer.  Under arms and bikini area in contrast tend to have coarse dark hair which will likely respond better.

Related : Dr Ilyas discusses facial hair removal with @womanandhome - Read more! 

Can you provide any top safety tips for women who want to try laser hair removal? 

The main side effects I have seen with hair laser deal with hypo pigmentation in the areas treated.  Laser hair removal works by detecting the pigment in hair to target its removal.  The challenge is that the pigment in hair is the same as the pigment in our skin.  If you have darker skin or have a tan the risk of side effects does increase if the provider does not take this into account.  For this reason it is best to seek a doctor with expertise in treating skin of color to minimize the risk of side effects while still maximizing the benefits of treatment.


How do hair removal creams actually work to remove hair? What safety tips and risks should women be aware of, especially when using them around the bikini area? 

Depilatory creams target the protein structure of hair called keratin.  They work to dissolve the hair follicles by breaking apart the sulfur bonds that hold the hair together.  The risks with these products is that they cannot discern between hair and skin.  If they are left on too long or on sensitive skin areas, then irritant contact dermatitis can develop.


What is the most effective and long-lasting way for women to shave their legs? 

When it comes to a close shave with less irritation and longer lasting results, ensuring the skin is not excessively dry by using shaving gels or creams can help the razor glide smoothly and easily across the skin.  Hair grows at a different pace on everyone so the closer the shave the longer lasting the result.

Related : Dr Ilyas discusses hair removal for sensitive skin with @womanandhome - Read more! 


Can you share advice on the most effective leg waxing methods, and how to avoid/reduce pain when waxing? 

Most of the excess sensitivity and irritation the skin can experience after waxing is the result of the integrity of the skin prior to treating it.  For example, when people use retinols or other acne and anti aging products, many people find that the wax will strip their skin and leave their skin appearing as though they had a chemical burn.  It is important to routinely moisturize and hydrate the skin and stop acne and anti aging products the week before a wax appointment to reduce the chances of severe pain or irritation.

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