The market for hair removal is worth billions. Although trends and styles have fluctuated over the years, millions still regularly seek waxing, plucking, shaving and laser treatments for their unwanted hair. We spend a great deal of our time on this, for instance shaving your legs for five minutes once a week from the age of 18 to 70 would equate to 225 hours in total! Figures show that we also spend approximately £8000 in a lifetime removing hair, and for that amount of time and money you could have a glorious nine days in a very comfortable Caribbean hotel…
But why do we even have hair if all we want to do is remove it? As you undoubtedly know, humans are mammals and hair is a characteristic of mammals as feathers are of birds and scales are of fish. This hair isn’t just there to annoy us – it has beneficial properties for our bodies, even if these benefits aren’t relevant to modern day life. It is believed to have once insulated us against the cold and heat and may have had a functional role in wound repair. Nowadays hair is mostly used to protect us from infection or injury, as is demonstrated by our eyelashes, nose hairs, ear hairs, eyebrow hair and head hair.
Hair is made of a protein filament grown from within the follicle, which lies beneath the skin. We produce hair from 80% of our follicles at any given time, and the other 20% remain dormant. Tiny blood vessels at the base of each follicle fuel the root to grow the hair upwards but, once the hair is at the skin’s surface, the cells within the strand are no longer alive. The hair you see on every part of your body contains these dead cells. Each new hair that grows through pushes out old hair, and every day the average person naturally loses about 50 to 100 hairs.
But what happens to these hairs if we forcibly remove them? When we shave, for instance, the sharp blade crops off the hair at the point that meets the skin, leaving the root intact. The blood vessels will continue to impel the hair to grow again, which on average is around half an inch a month. Although shaving is a quick and relatively easy way to remove hair, it doesn’t last very long as only the surface of the hair is removed.
There are some risks involved in this process as well. Painful ingrowing hairs can develop and you could experience folliculitis, an infection and inflammation of the follicle. Shaving also scrapes the natural oils from the skin, which can potentially damage it and increase the possibility of cuts and rashes in the surrounding area.
Waxing is commonly deemed to be a better option to shaving. It involves applying wax to the hairs and smoothing some sort of paper or fabric towel over the top. This is then quickly pulled off which rips the hair from the root.
Waxing lasts a lot longer than shaving and only needs to be performed every four to six weeks, but the hair does need to grow to at least ¼ to ½ inch long before it can be removed. It can be quite painful as well, especially in sensitive areas.
As with shaving there is the possibility of ingrowing hairs, but there are also additional dangers such as being burned by the wax if it is too hot, having red and inflamed skin afterwards or even experiencing an allergic reaction.
Plucking and epilating, much like waxing, takes the hair completely from the root. You can either use a pair of tweezers to remove individual hairs or an epilator to remove several hairs at once. This is quite painful and can take a long time to remove every hair, but the effect does last quite a few weeks.
The issue with plucking is that there is a potential for scarring. Because the hair is being pulled out, it can tear or damage the skin and may even cause infections. Ingrowing hairs are quite common with tweezing as well.
Perhaps the only non-damaging, pain-free and long-lasting way to remove hair is laser hair removal. Courthouse Clinics offer this treatment using the Soprano® laser, an innovative device approved by the FDA in 2005 that has helped thousands of people remove unwanted hair. It works by applying a hand-held laser to the chosen area, which emits pulses of intense light straight into the hairs. This damages the hair directly at the follicle, and within a few weeks the hair begins to fall out.
The only sensation felt during the procedure is mild warmth due to the cooling mechanism built into the laser that counteracts the heat– no pain, scarring or ingrowing hairs to contend with at all.
It is rare for anyone to react badly or have adverse side effects to the laser, but a patch test is always taken prior to the procedure just to ensure complete patient safety.
We recommend an 8-course treatment with 6-8 weeks gap between each appointment for optimal results. The hair growth is significantly reduced in the area but the results depend on the individual growth cycle. For a more accurate prediction it is best to speak with one of our expert aestheticians.
If you would like a long-lasting, pain-free solution to unwanted hair growth, contact our customer care team today on 0845 555 5050 for more information or to book a consultation with one of our expert aestheticians. You can also discover more about the treatment on our website by clicking here.