We can never know for certain when medilase people began to remove hair from their bodies, as this practice probably pre-dates written records. Pumice stones could have been used by ancient people to remove unwanted hair, so the history of hair removal could have begun with our very early ancestors.
We know that people in the Indus Valley Civilisations in what is now Pakistan as well as those in the other great civilizations of the time (around 5,000 years ago), Egypt, China and Mesopotamia removed their body hair and we know that men shaved. Body hair would have been uncomfortable and unhygienic, and so would have been removed as it is today in hot climates. When metal tools were used and sharpened on flints, razors would have been made and used by men and perhaps women.
When people learned how to make thread, this could have been used by women to remove hair as threading (as it is called) is still practised to this day by women in Pakistan, India and the Middle East; it is called khite in Arabic. Women use a thread to pluck another woman’s eyebrows, but it could be used to remove hair from the legs too. Of course, people who come from hot climates do not have as much body hair as do people who live in colder ones.
The ancient Egyptians used sugaring to remove unwanted hair, which is based on the same principle as waxing. The paste used is sugar based and rose water could be added to it to give women the feeling that they were being pampered, rather than undergoing a not quite painless experience. It is actually not as painful as waxing which is a more commonly used method of removing hair today. The paste sticks to the hairs rather to the skin, which makes the removal of the paste and hair more bearable. It is more comfortable also because the paste is cooler to use than hot wax as it is cooled only to room temperature. As only natural ingredients are used in the paste, it is better for the health of the skin than waxing.
The ancient Egyptians took the removal of hair to what we might today consider extremes, as they all shaved their heads too and then wore wigs. The pharaohs (including Cleopatra) also wore false beards which conveyed a god-like status on them, it is believed. However, there is conflicting evidence regarding whether or not all women or all men removed their body hair, although they probably removed most of it.
The ancient Greeks were particularly aware of body hair and when a young girl reached puberty her first pubic hairs were either removed by sugaring or another type of waxing, or they were pulled out with a pair of tweezers.
In the Renaissance European women differed in their views of body hair, with Italians having books devoted to hair removal methods for women (but not for men). Catherine De Medici, the Italian-born French queen (1519 – 1589) forbade the women at her court to remove their pubic hair, although one can’t be sure why she did so. The opinion of male 16th century doctors was that women should remove their bodily hair, because failure to do so would make them masculine, argumentative and generally disagreeable. However, prostitutes did remove pubic hair, but then wore “merkins” (tiny wigs) to disguise the fact.
In Europe people generally do not have a long tradition of hair removal, perhaps because of climate and the fact that insects and parasites are not as prevalent in such climates as they are in hotter ones. During Elizabethan times, women removed hair from the hairline on their forehead, as the ideal of beauty at that time was for a woman to have a high brow. They also totally removed their eyebrows to increase the illusion of a high, long brow. However, hair was not removed from other parts of the body; hygiene was not a consideration.
Modern developments in the field of hair removal
We could say that modern forms of hair removal, using the technology of the day, began in 1875 when an American ophthalmologist, Doctor Charles Michel removed an in-growing eyelash from one of his patients by using a fine wire attached to a battery and inserting the wire into the hair follicle. He released a very small electrical charge and the process we know call electrolysis for hair removal was born.
This process, as well as depilatory creams began to gain in popularity in 1915 after American women saw the feature in the magazine Harpers Bazaar in which a woman in a short-sleeved dress had her arm raised to display to the American public that she had no underarm hair. With the advent of bikinis and then later swimwear, pubic hair was more usually removed by women. It was fashion rather than hygiene that seemed to have prompted this trend.
Electrolysis is still around, and it is claimed that the treatment will permanently remove hair from any part of the body. However, the treatment has to continue over a long period of time and it can be a little painful.
There are much more modern developments in hair removal treatments, with lasers and light treatment being preferred over electrolysis. The treatment is not as lengthy as that of electrolysis and it is much less painful. Hair can be removed from any part of the body. Now there is the Soprano Ice laser hair removal technology as well as the Medi-ice 3, but this is still a new field with many salons in the UK, at least, not yet up to speed with this technology.
Are you constantly struggling trying to tame your excessive facial and body hair? Whether you answered yes or no, here’s something important you need to understand.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being hairy.
If everyone will simply embrace the fact that some people are hairier than others, and stop judging based on what society and the media dictate, then this will be a much happier world.
But since you are here, looking for ways to get rid of your unwanted body and facial hair, rest assured you’ve come to the right place.
Outlined in this article are five of the most difficult hair removal problems and how you can effectively deal with each of them.
1. Too much facial hair
Most people dealing with excessive facial hair resort to shaving. But shaving removes only surface hair which can grow back quickly in a day or less. If you hate shaving daily or don’t like the thought of it becoming part of your beauty routine, then waxing may be the right solution for you. However, be warned that waxing can be painful. So if you don’t mind the pain and discomfort, waxing removes hair from the root causing hair to take longer to grow back, allowing you to enjoy your baby smooth skin longer before needing to wax again.
But we are living creatures with our own body cycles, hormonal cycles, and body clock which dictate how much hair should grow on our upper lip. You may find that despite regular waxing your facial hair is coarser or thicker than ever before. This is particularly true of women undergoing hormonal changes in their body.
What to do: Different hair removal methods each have their own pros and cons. If you intend to get rid of your facial hair for good, you can try laser hair removal. While laser hair removal can be quite effective in getting rid of unwanted hair permanently, it also costs hundreds of dollars per session. Also it is time-consuming and may take up to three sessions or more before hair is removed permanently.
Fortunately for you, a much cheaper and similarly effective permanent hair removal solution is available. It’s called the Hair Removal Epilation Roller Pen. This tool relies on the principle of electrolysis which literally digs deep into the root of the problem, incapacitating the hair follicles, rendering them unable to regenerate, forcing them to just fizzle and die.
2. Hairy nipples
Most men are okay with this; but, the majority of women would freak out to discover hairs sticking out of their nipples. While this is perfectly normal and acceptable, and even attractive in certain ways, the media will have you think otherwise.
What to do: If plucking the hairs out with a pair of tweezers is too much to bear, simply cut the hairs with a pair of tiny scissors. A large patch of hair growing around your nipples could mean hormonal imbalance; see your doctor about it.
3. Ingrown hairs in the bikini area
The style and cut of modern day swimsuits requires shaving or waxing of the bikini area. Otherwise, if you don’t, you risk revealing your unkempt bikini line to the world. The most common problem associated with shaving the bikini area is ingrown hairs – those itchy red bumps that have been torturing you while trying to impress the guys at the pool party.
What to do: People with curly hair are more prone to getting ingrown hairs. Nevertheless this can happen to anyone who shaved their pubic area. Here’s how to deal with it.
Use a Hair Removal Epilation Roller Pen instead of shaving it off with a razor. The electrolytic action of epilation roller pens ensures thorough hair removal without leaving unsightly stubbles that can lead to ingrown hairs.
Sure, you can use an electric razor, but that will leave you with prickly feeling skin, and does not do as thorough a job as an epilation roller pen.
If you really prefer shaving, then shave with the grain, and avoid going across or against it. Moisturize your skin with a good aftershave balm.
4. Bushy eyebrows
Bushy eyebrows on women have gone out and in of fashion through the years. While some women love them others don’t. If you want to get rid of your bushy eyebrows, just follow these simple steps.
What to do:Thread your eyebrows. It’s a simple yet effective method for trimming and shaping your eyebrows. A couple of twisted strands of cotton pulled tight is all you need to remove individual hairs and trim down those thick eyebrows.
Alternatively, you can pluck with a good pair of tweezers. Whether threading or plucking, be sure to draw an outline and remove only the hairs that are outside the line.
Do not wax your eyebrows. Aside from being painful, waxing can harm the skin surrounding your eyes.
5. Hairy cheeks
If you’re a girl and you have patches of dark course hair around your cheeks, resist the temptation to wax. Waxing has the uncanny ability of increasing blood flow to the area, encouraging hair that has been removed to come back lusher and coarser.
What to do: Threading is a cheap and effective remedy without the undesirable drawbacks of waxing. Of course your Hair Removal Epilation Roller Pen is a handy tool you can use anytime anywhere to ensure those stubborn unwanted cheek hairs never come back.
Whatever you do, don’t dye your facial hair. It will only make it look worse.
Bonus tip: Protruding nose hairs
Protruding nose hairs are a big no-no in social situations. Most people are repulsed by it. So here’s what you can do to tame those unruly nose hairs.
What to do:
You can opt for laser hair removal, which means you will have to go to a salon for the treatment and spend around 50 bucks. Or, you can use a Hair Removal Epilation Roller Pen which is fairly inexpensive, easy to use and effective for ridding yourself of those unkempt nose hairs.
Plucking works but it’s torture, so don’t go there.
Where to go for the best hair removal products
As with all things, plucking, waxing, shaving, electrolysis and laser have their pros and cons. It’s important to have a thorough understanding of the various methods and products for hair removal before taking the plunge for the best possible outcome.
At Verseo, we’re careful about the kind and quality of skin and depilatory products we offer. That is because we believe that the safety and welfare of our customers come first.
Hair is such an emotive subject and with human nature being human nature, what we want we can’t have and what we have we don’t want! Curly hair and we want straight, straight hair and we want curly, brunette and we want blonde, blonde and we want red. Likewise upper lip hair on a female, so valued as a sign of exquisite beauty in certain parts of the world, is vilified by our Western society.
Unwanted hair is a common problem affecting most women to varying degrees throughout their lives and prompting the use of various temporary methods of hair reduction or hair management systems. It causes great distress, and it is often accompanied by feelings of poor self esteem, a sense of isolation and low self worth.
Since the times when bearded ladies in Victorian travelling fairs were displayed for entertainment and ridicule, Western society has nurtured a stigma about excess hair. Many women are pressured into tremendous lengths to remove any trace of hair from any and every part of their body as they feel it to be unattractive and unappealing. However it is not only women that are now affected… increasingly the male gender is subject to pressure from the ‘fashion’ and celebrity world and unwanted hair can be just as vilified by the male population nowadays as the female.
Different Methods of Hair Removal
Superfluous hair growth can be caused by many factors, such as, hormone imbalance, (during puberty, pregnancy and menopause), genetics and ethnicity, hereditary, medication or topical stimulation e.g. waxing or tweezing. Therefore, electrolysis – the only permanent method of hair removal, is a treatment that is in great demand by female and transsexual clients and more recently, due to society’s attitudes, the number of male clients is increasing.
To meet this need there as always been many hair removal measures some of which go back centuries in history. Hair removal has been around since caveman times but interestingly the parts of the body we are removing hair from have differed over the ages. Removing hair from the head and face of men was originally not for vanity purposes but for survival. There is evidence that cavemen did this but also the ancient Egyptians and it was undertaken, we imagine, for protection, as scraping off the beard and hair on the head would take away the advantage of an adversary having anything to grab onto as well as having less mites!
In ancient Egypt, Greece, and Middle Eastern countries, removing body hair was important. In fact these women removed most of their body hair, except for eyebrows. Egyptian women removed their head hair and pubic hair was considered uncivilized by both sexes! It was also considered uncivilized for men to have hair on their face. Facial hair was the mark of a slave or servant, or of a person of lower class. The ancient Egyptians used a form of razors made of flint or bronze as the razor was not invented till the 1760’s by French barber, Jean Jacques Perret.
They also used a method of temporary hair removal called sugaring. A sticky paste (bees wax was sometimes used) would be applied to the skin, a strip of cloth was pressed onto the wax and yanked off – the equivalent of waxing today. Wealthy women of the Roman Empire would remove their body hair with pumice stones, razors, tweezing and pastes. There was also another technique used called threading which is recently seeing a resurgence in popularity. Thin string or yarn would be placed through the fingers of both hands, and quickly stroked over the area. This repetitive process captured the hair and effectively tweezed, ripped or pulled the unwanted hair out. During the Elizabethan times the practice of hair removal, (not of leg, armpit or pubic hair), of their eyebrows and the hair from their foreheads in order to give the appearance of a longer brow and forehead was fashionable. It is startling to note the obvious influence ‘fashion’ has played in hair removal from the very beginning.
Waxing, sugaring, depilatory creams, bleaching, shaving, sugaring, plucking, threading and even battery-powered tweezers multiple-plucking systems, are all temporary methods that many people try today. In fact new hair removal devices seem to appear like buses – every 20 minutes or so! However, technology has moved on and with it, it appears that there are some restricted and doubtful methods of hair removal. X-ray and photodynamic methods are in a restricted category because the former has been banned in some countries like the USA and the latter are only in experimental stages. Electric tweezers, transdermal electrolysis, and microwaves are some of the doubtful methods in that there is no established data on their effectiveness.
Electrolysis is still the only proven permanent method of hair removal and many women and indeed many men, have benefited from this tried and trusted treatment. It is often the case that electrologists are privileged to witness a dramatic transformation in their clients, from a shy, introverted personality at the beginning of a course of treatments, to a confident and happy individual once treatment is underway and results become apparent.
Whatever your opinion of hair, ‘removing it’ in our Western society is a multi million pound industry. Such a huge money making machine though will have more than its fair share of misconceptions, misunderstandings, myths and legends none of which relate much to the hard reality truth. The huge profit led hair removal industry has its fair share of charlatans and scams all attracted by the huge profit led opportunities.
Hair Removal methods are both permanent and temporary. The English dictionary definition of ‘permanent’ states: perpetual, everlasting. With this in mind there is only one system on the market today that can totally prove ‘permanent’ hair removal primarily due to its longevity, client testimony and satisfaction and that is electrolysis. Invented in 1875 electrolysis offers permanent removal of hair for all hair types and colours and all skin types and colours. It continues to be utilised in hospitals by surgeons and ophthalmologists for trichaisis and other distortions of the eyelashes as well supporting the hospital laser hair removal departments. It is also considered an important tool in the work of veterinary surgeons for animals (primarily horses and dogs) for the permanent removal of distorted and in-growing eyelashes. It provides cosmetic relief for the consumer with mild hirsute problems to the patient with seriously hirsute problems and for the transgender patient who may require many hours of treatment.
Apparently there has been confusing messages coming from the regulatory bodies on definitions of what the words ‘permanent’, ‘removal’ or ‘reduction’ in the hair removal industry actually mean. Agreement was reached that if the hairs that have been removed do not grow back for a period of one year after the last treatment, permanent reduction can be claimed. Electrolysis, invented in 1875 remains to this day, the one method legally allowed to claim ‘permanent removal’.
The newer technologies such as LASER (Light Amplification Stimulated Emission of Radiation) and IPL (Intense Pulse Light) were initially launched as competitors of electrolysis and initially marketed as THE answer for all permanent hair removal. This, it is now realised, is at best, somewhat nave and at worst, certainly misleading. The reality is that this was wishful thinking and nowadays ‘claims’ are far more realistic. The truth is that whilst they have their successes they also have their limitations – they cannot treat all hair colours and types and all skin colours successfully and they now accept their limitations and embrace electrolysis and electrologists as their back up.
Laser and IPL are allowed by the FDA to claim permanent ‘reduction’ but not permanent ‘removal’ of hair. The truth is that this newer technology is brilliant for large areas and for dark hair. For grey or white hair it just simply doesn’t work. Laser and IPL target the melanin in the hair and if the hair is grey or white there is no melanin remaining in the hair for it to target. In addition to this, for unknown reason(s) not all of the hair reacts to treatment and results vary from 85% – 95% success. The remaining 5% – 15% hair will be stripped of its melanin (thus appearing white) but still stubbornly continues to grow. This then leaves the only option of ‘permanent hair removal’ down to additional electrolysis treatment to complete the job. Laser and IPL are now recognised to be a hair ‘management’ system and clients are advised that regrowth may occur.
Photoepilator light energy was launched in 1969 and was developed from research into laser hair removal. Photoepilators use a burst of filtered light aimed at one hair at a time. After the focus of the light, the hair is tweezed. Like any laser and light instrument, the light used in the device is targeted against the blood and melanin pigments in the hair and heats them up. To enable this process, fibre-optic probes were inserted into the hair follicle through which the light was flashed. There is no clinical data published so far to support any permanency claims and there is no established data on its effectiveness.
The tweezer method with its unsubstantiated claim of ‘permanent hair removal’ was first patented in 1959. This system works by passing an electric current through the tweezers, which holds the hair on the surface of the skin by grasping them for several minutes. Electricity enters through the hair to its root and claims to permanently damage it. The scientific community has reservations as the claim of electricity destroying the root of the hair has no scientific backup.
Transcutaneous and Transdermal offers ‘permanent Hair Removal’ but no clinical data has been published to date to establish the claim that permanent hair removal is possible using these methods. In 1985 when the use of AC electric tweezers was stopped, the manufacturers made some modifications in the apparatus. Adhesive patches instead of cotton swabs were introduced and a name change into transcutaneous hair removal. It uses the idea of direct current (DC) for transdermal delivery of drugs (iontophoresis) without the use of a needle. A DC electric current is passed through a conductive gel on the surface of the skin via an adhesive patch placed on the skin. The hair root is claimed to be damaged permanently by the electric current that travels down to the hair follicle.
To date no clinical data is available and the laws of physics do not support the claims made by the manufacturers. Hair does not conduct electricity but skin does. As electricity passes through the medium of poor resistance, it will spread along the surface of the skin rather than passing through the hair. Therefore, as with the tweezer method, the argument that it will reach the root of the hair to destroy it has no scientific backup.
Ultrasound hair removal claims that ultrasound waves are channelled precisely down the hair shaft and in the process they transform to thermal energy that super heats the hair growth areas and inhibits regrowth. It is stated that the waves are bound to the hair shaft and do not dissipate into the skin prevents any side effects.
Ultrasound hair removal offers ‘total hair removal’ and claims to be the ‘next generation of long term hair removal devices’. It states in its marketing material that it is ‘The hair removal solution’ and that ‘no additional hair appears in the same follicle proving that this is a long-term treatment’. The FDA has not given the results to date regarding an application to market in April 2010 of the latest device.
Microwave Permanent Hair Removal is one of the more unusual methods of permanent hair and both its safety and effectiveness have not been proven scientifically. Microwave devices work in a similar manner to those used in microwave ovens. Microwaves are radio waves with a short frequency range. One of the characteristics of microwaves is its nature of being absorbed by water, fats and sugar. Once absorbed, these waves cause the molecules in the absorbed item to vibrate, resulting in the generation of heat. So the skin is heated and in theory the thermal energy causes the destruction of the hair-growing cells. However the indiscriminate heating nature of microwaves is its biggest drawback and is the reason for its limited use
Some oral medications are found to be effective on retarding hair growth. Spironolactone, Finasteride, Flutamide, and Cyproterone acetate are some of the medicine normally used for stopping hair growth. The main disadvantage in this is the side effects these medicines have on the human body. Hence, it is always advisable to use them in consultation with a Doctor or Dermatologist. Vaniqa is a prescription only topical cream, which is FDA approved. It claims to help in unwanted growth of facial hair with its active ingredient, eflornithine hydrochloride, which helps in reducing facial hair growth. It prevents hair growth by producing an enzyme that inhibits cell reproduction and other cell functions. Reports show that there is some improvement shown but only whilst the drug is being taken.
So to summarise hair removal and hair reduction, is an emotive subject and it is easy to be seduced by new generation devices, sexy images and clever technical jargon relayed by ‘white coats’. Every individual is different and we have our own personal requirements, Temporary or permanent, maybe a mixture of both? Research and choose the method(s) suitable for you, but if you want permanent hair removal guaranteed. The only method proven to deliver is electrolysis.