The practitioner uses the loop to trap a series of unwanted hair and pull them from the skin. It is relatively inexpensive and the results can last up to four weeks, but it would be hard to
find a practitioner outside of a large metropolitan city. It would be good for eyebrows and facial hair, but it can have side effects, including
folliculitis, reddening of the skin, and changes in skin pigment.
Rotary Epilators: The rotary epilator is a device similar to an electric
razor, but instead of a cutting blade on a rotary head, it has rows of tweezers to pull hairs out by their roots. The devices work faster than
tweezing and are especially good for legs and arms. The results can last from several days to several weeks. It can be difficult to use on the
backs of the legs and the skin must be held taut or the device can pinch. Some women find it very uncomfortable to use, especially on sensitive areas.
There are a number of imperfect options for 'permanent' hair removal, some of which are more
effective than others. The ability to destroy hair follicles without damaging the surrounding skin tissue is problematic, as reflected by the
effectiveness of the available options. Here are some of the more effective methods:
Electrolysis: Electrolysis offers permanent hair removal for most people,
but requires a considerable amount of training and skill to be performed correctly. In the process, a hair-thin metal probe is slid into the
follicle, and an electrical current is passed through the probe into the follicle causing damage to the follicle and destroying its ability to
grow hair. It has the best and longest record of effectiveness, but can be expensive and painful, as well as being very tedious. It should be
noted that some people do not respond to electrolysis.
Laser: In the laser method, light at a specific wavelength is directed
onto the skin, targeting darkened areas (i.e. the pigment in the hair) and causing thermal or mechanical damage to the follicle. Some consumers
have experienced long-lasting or permanent reduction in the amount of hair after treatments. It is considered safe, and is useful for large
areas of hair removal. Some people find it an uncomfortable process, and it is not recommended for those persons who tan themselves or have
darker skin pigment. The procedure is expensive, and even the most ideal candidates (with pale skin and dark hair) may not respond to treatment.
Flashlamps: The flashlamp works in principle exactly the same way laser
treatments do, except that full-spectrum (non-coherent) light and low-range infrared radiation are filtered to allow only a specific range of
wavelengths. Again some people do experience long-lasting or permanent hair removal. It has the same drawbacks as those listed for laser treatment.
Prescription Oral Medications: There are available some prescription oral
medications that can stop unwanted hair growth on the body, such as spironolactone, finasteride, flutamide, cyproterone acetate, ketoconazole,
and gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonists. All of these medications act to correct specific causes of abnormal hair growth and are not
intended to general use or simple cosmetic hair removal. They can only be prescribed by a physician and should only be taken under specific
instruction. Some of the medications can have very serious side effects. Once again, these drugs are designed to treat medically established
cases of abnormal hair growth, NOT to remove hair for cosmetic or vanity purposes.