Hair removal can be an ongoing battle for anyone, but especially as you age. Over time, hair tends to come in thinner but coarser, becoming much more visible than it might have been — as well as more painful and difficult to remove. In addition, if you suffer from a disorder characterized by excessive hair growth, temporary hair removal may simply not be a feasible solution for you. While common permanent hair removal types are often expensive, time-consuming and sometimes painful, they do offer excellent results and freedom from the persistent hassle of hair management.
Consult with your doctor. The two most common types of permanent hair removal, laser and electrolysis, do require skilled, licensed providers and may carry medical risk to you, especially if you’re immune suppressed or otherwise prone to infection. Especially if you think that you might be at a greater risk of complications from permanent hair removal procedures, discuss the options with your general physician before going for treatment.
Laser. Possibly the most well-known type of permanent hair removal, laser removal is widely available through specialty clinics and, occasionally, beauty salons that employ licensed laser hair removal technicians. Bear in mind that each treatment may cost several hundred dollars, and it will require numerous treatments for complete permanent hair removal. Laser removal carries a risk of scarring and may not be available to you if you have dark skin.
Electrolysis. If you can find a skilled provider, electrolysis may also be an option for permanent hair removal. Essentially, this involves sending electrical currents into individual hair follicles until they are rendered permanently non-functioning, and then removing the existing hair with a pair of tweezers. According to the New Zealand Dermatological Society, “Proper electrolysis requires accurate needle insertion technique and use of appropriate intensity and duration of current.” Electrolysis that is not done properly can be quite painful — and potentially ineffective. The process may take 15 minutes to an hour, especially over large areas of the body, because it can only be done with one hair follicle at a time. However, despite a small risk of infection and skin irritation, electrolysis is considered a very effective means of permanent hair removal after several treatments.