Published January 11, 2021
Are you tired of having to shave your legs every other day? Maybe it’s time to seek out a more permanent hair removal solution. Or at least prevent it from growing for a long time.
To do that, you need to take care of the problem at the roots. You need to destroy your hair follicles.
What are hair follicles?
If your hair was a plant, the hair follicles would be its roots. It’s a tunnel-shaped structure, made up of protein cells, that anchors the hair to your outer skin. These protein cells are nourished by blood from nearby blood vessels. This nourishment is what helps your hair grow.
But it does not just promote hair growth. Hair follicles also play a huge role in how your hair looks like and even its color. The shape of your follicles can also determine how curly your hair is.
When hair is pulled out from the follicles, a new one will begin to grow. This is why no matter how many times you pluck or shave, those unwanted hairs keep coming back. Destroying your hair follicles prevents it from growing a new one.
So how do you kill hair follicles? Here are some of the most effective ways you can try.
One of the most expensive yet very effective permanent hair removal treatment is electrolysis. It uses electric currents that flow through very fine needles placed directly into your hair follicles. This process destroys your hair follicles thus preventing hair growth.
Electrolysis can only be done by board-certified dermatologists. Side effects may include pain and redness from skin irritation. It usually takes several sessions before you’ll achieve noticeable results. Each session can cost anywhere from $30 to $100.
Laser Hair Removal
Another long-term solution to unwanted hair is laser hair removal. It destroys hair follicles by applying mild radiation through high-heat lasers.
Aside from being considerably cheaper than electrolysis, it can also treat large areas at once. It does not completely get rid of hair but it diminishes hair growth to the point that you don’t need to shave anymore. New hairs will be a lot finer and lighter in color than previous ones. This makes the process best suited for those with fair skin and dark hair.
If you don’t have the time or the funds to go to medical spas, depilatory creams are great options too. It removes unwanted hair by breaking down proteins in each hair strand until it is dissolved. The dissolved hair can then be wiped off painlessly.
When used correctly, these hair removal creams are generally safe. But it still contains various harmful chemicals. And if you’re not careful, you can end up with rashes, blisters or even chemical burns.
Chemical Hair Removers
Aside from topical creams that are specifically formulated for hair removal, there are chemicals present in the things we use every day that can damage the hair follicles. Using these in areas with unwanted hair might be beneficial. But if you care about your crowning glory, keep these away from your scalp.
- Sodium Hydroxide and Calcium Hydroxide (Lime and Lye). This combination increases the hair’s PH level until the acidity destroys the follicles.
- Sodium Chloride (Table salt). While table salt isn’t toxic, it can dry out your scalp resulting in hair loss.
- Potassium Thioglycolate. An active ingredient in hair removal creams, it breaks down hair proteins and dissolves follicles.
- Thioglycolic Acid. This does not directly damage hair follicles. But it destroys the protein structure in the hair and skin making it difficult for the follicle to grow more hair.
- Diethanolamine (DEA). This synthetic ingredient makes your hair dull, brittle and lifeless – effectively killing it.
- Propylene Glycol. It damages cell membranes cutting off nutrient supply in the follicles. This prevents it from growing more hair.
- Potassium Hydroxide. This extremely corrosive chemical also damages cells responsible for hair growth.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. A common ingredient in shampoos, it strips the hair of essential proteins and oil. This results in slower hair growth, breakage or hair loss.
If chemicals and mechanical methods don’t sit well with you, here are natural ways to get rid of excess hair:
As the name suggests, this hair removal wax is made of sugar, water, and lemon juice. It works just like a regular store-bought wax except that it does not contain harmful chemicals. Continuous use of sugar wax can weaken the hair follicle which eventually destroys it.
Papain, a special enzyme produced by the papaya fruit weakens the hair follicles. Long-term use of papaya paste can prevent hair regrowth.
This yellow, fragrant spice has been used as a natural beauty remedy since ancient times. Like papaya, it weakens the hair follicles. But it’s mostly used to get rid of facial hair.
Have you ever noticed that when an egg dries, it creates a transparent film on the surface? You can actually use this film to get rid of unwanted hair. Just mix egg whites with sugar and cornflour to create an egg mask. Let the mixture set on your face for 15-20 minutes until it forms a film. Lifting this film will also remove excess facial hair.
About The Author
As a self described fanatic of beauty and fashion, Judy Ponio loves to write blogs about style and beauty lifehacks. Her blogs are full of useful knowledge surrounding trends in the fashion and beauty world.