Some Tips for Hair Removal

A couple of my female readers had queried on removal of unwanted facial hair.

As men grow up they have mustache and hairgrowth on chest, forehand, legs etc. Women usually do not have any growth of hair in these areas.

Each sex will have some characteristics of the other sex to a small extent.

Some Ayurveda experts advise people to involve themselves in activities specific to their gender and not to mimic the opposite gender's activities.

Let us have a brief look at some the conventional options available at the present time for hair removal.

Hair removal techniques are broadly classified as permanent hair removal techniques and temporary hair removal techniques.

Electrolysis and laser treatment are two of the most common permanent hair removal treatments.

Laser treatment utilizes a pulse of light to destroy the hair follicles. Those with dark hair and light skin would find this technique more beneficial as the hair color pigment melanin absorbs the laser light better. One needs to undergo frequent treatments a year and the results vary from person to person.

Electrolysis involves a more invasive approach. It makes use of a needle to destroy hair follicle. Thermolytic method uses heat and galvanic method uses chemicals for this process. Mild anesthetics are used to numb the area to ease the pain.

Temporary hair removal techniques include using depilatory creams (which often involve chemicals), waxing, bleaching, shaving, plucking using tweezers etc.

Depilatory creams are a painless alternative to waxing. They contain sodium and calcium thioglycolate and dissolve the keratin in hair shafts. They give out an unpleasant odor. As these contain chemicals care should be taken not to use it on skin breaks or cuts. This is found to ineffective in dealing with coarse hair.

Waxing is a semi-permanent hair removal technique which involves removing of hair from its root. Thus you obtain a time gap of six to eight weeks for hair re-growth. This is done by application of a thin layer of wax combination on the skin. Paper strip or cloth is then placed over this layer and pressed and ripped off with a swift movement against the direction of hair growth horizontally along the skin.

Bleaching involves application of chemicals on hair, which is left in place for a specific duration of time and then washed off with water. This does not involve removal of hair. The bleached hair appears less noticeable, and the results last for three to six weeks.

Shaving is the process of removing hair using a razor. Shaving gel or foam is applied on the skin to smoothen hair follicles which are then removed using a razor. It is not an appropriate method for women's facial hair removal. Electric shavers are a good alternative to the razors.

Tweezing is a painful process involving removal of a hair or few at a time using metal forceps called tweezers. This is ideal for eyebrows and a few isolated hairs hare and there on face. This method cannot be used for larger areas and it may even result in ingrown hairs in some instances.

One of the oldest hair removal methods is sugaring, which is a lesser painful homemade alternative to shaving and waxing. This process is done by making a paste of sugar, lemon juice, and water that are heated to a candy ball state. Once cooled to bearable levels, a thin layer of the paste is applied on the skin, cover it with a thin piece of cotton cloth and rip it off with a rapid movement just as in waxing. Hair grows back again in six to eight weeks, the new grown hair is found to be thinner. This method is ideal for removing hair from underarms and other sensitive areas. The area has to be free from grease or oil before application of the paste. This is done by applying a thin layer of baby powder or corn powder.

Now for some ayurvedic tips for permanent hair removal.

Following tips are recommended.

  1. Increase the intake of blackgram in diet.
  2. Reduce intake of hot and sour foods.
  3. Apply turmeric paste to face and areas of hair growth while bathing.
  4. Asoka gritham 2 spoonful morning and evening on empty stomach.
  5. Asokarishtam 25 ml after food at bedtime.

Application of blackgram powder mixed with turmeric powder on face removes oil from face. It does not dry up the skin but arrests unwanted hair growth.

Experience has shown that for permanent hair removal a few sessions of sugaring followed by application of turmeric and black gram (Bengal gram/besan) paste on the affected areas seem to work wonders. The subsequent hair growth is found to be thin and sparse. Repeating the process eventually leads to permanent hair removal.

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