The effect of hair removal using commonly available tools is temporary in nature. Depilation or hair removal up to the skin level can last for several hours and in some cases several days too. There are several different types of facial hair removal tools that people use.
The most common method of hair removal is by shaving or trimming with the use of shavers. Shavers are available both manual and electric types. There are creams or shaving powders which need to be applied to the skin. These products have the property of chemically dissolving the hair from the area where they are applied. These are chemical depilatory products. It is basically a cosmetic preparation and uses a chemical, calcium thioglycolate. This preparation when applied weakens the hair and it can be easily scrapped off. Such preparations are meant for use in the area of legs and arms. These can be used on the face only if specifically listed by the manufacturer. Chemical depilatories are available in gel, cream, lotion, aerosol and powder forms.
Bleaching is a process in which the hair does not get removed but made less noticeable by application of certain chemicals. This removes the pigment from the hair to make it less noticeable. This is useful for face also in additions to arms and neck area.
There are some physical hair removal processes which can be used for removal of hair from face area. Plucking and waxing are two such methods. Plucking is done with the help of tweezers. This is an effective method but painful and time consuming. The hair has to be long enough to be grasped and plucked with the tweezers. Repeated pulling of hair can damage the follicle and hair growth may stop permanently too.
Wax needs to be warmed and applied and spread over the skin in the direction of hair growth. When the wax cools off, it has to be pulled off in the opposite direction to pull the hair out. Wax left on the skin has to be peeled off. One should ensure that the hot wax does not burn the skin. Cold waxes are also available in the form of strips to be patted on to the skin. Sugar wax is a variant of the above technique. A thick sugar substance similar to caramel can be used. The advantage is in cleaning after hair removal. As sugar is water soluble it can be easily washed off.
Vaniga is a FDA-approved prescription cream used for reducing and removing hair growth for facial hair. Eflornithine hydrochloride, the ingredient in this cream has the property to inhibit an enzyme needed for cell reproduction and hair growth. Reduction in hair growth is observed after 4 to 8 weeks of therapy. The application needs to be continued as long as hair growth is to be stopped.
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