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Smooth solutions

Here are the common methods to do away with unwanted hair.


"UNWANTED HAIR on the face or any other part of the body is a source of concern to women. Usually women have soft hair growth on the face and that is not a reason to worry. . Only when this growth becomes darker or denser,does it need professional attention. The problem can be hereditary or caused by hormonal changes such as those triggered by puberty, pregnancy, menopause, stress, drugs or eating disorders," says Laila Kakade, a beautician

Sugaring -- using a paste made from sugar, lemon and water -- is a known home hair removal remedy from the Middle East. Today, the availability of ready-to- use hair removal products and gadgets and the professional help at the parlours, take care of the unwanted hair. "Tweezing, threading and waxing, remove the hair from the roots. This delays the growth of hair and is the best and safest method of removal of unwanted hair," says Laila.

Tweezing: "This is a very selective method to take out unwanted hair with the help of a plucker. It is best for small areas such as eyebrows and chin," says Laila. The process can be painful and can cause reddening of the skin for a while. Hold a warm cloth over the area to dampen and soften the hair. This also opens the pores to make the tweezing easier. Press the ice cube over the area to anaesthetise it first if you find the process painful.

Threading: "Threading is used for arching eyebrows and removing hair on lip, chin and forehead. A quick movement of twisted thread pulls out hairs. Though effective, threading at times aggravates the problem of excess hair, if not done properly," says Laila.

Waxing: It is one of the safest methods of hair removal, and it is advisable not to use this method to remove facial hair though. "Waxing is meant for large areas like arms, legs, abdomen, underarms and bikini line. There are two types of wax available. Cold wax is available in a ready to use form while hot wax is to be warmed in a controlled wax warmer on in a pan over hot water. It is best to opt for disposable waxing strips instead of reusable ones. If using the latter make sure that they are cleaned well with antiseptic liquid. It is advisable to use astringent on the waxed area to avoid infection. A word of caution, waxing should not be attempted on bruised or sore skin or in any skin disease condition," says Laila. Depilatory creams: These contain chemicals that weaken the hair at the skin's surface, so that hair can be wiped away. "Hair removing creams are a very easy method of removal of hair, but it only removes the hair visible above the skin, hence re- growth is very fast. If frequently used they cause skin pigmentation especially in underarms and bikini area," says Laila. Do a patch test 24 hours before using the product to avoid irritation or allergy.

Shaving: Ideal for legs and underarms, the process is cheap, quick and painless, if you don't have the nicks that is. But the problem with shaving is that re- growth appears within a couple of days. Opt for a close shave using a moisturising shave foam or gel. Let the shaving cream get to work and soften the hair for a few moments before using your razor. Moisturise well after the shave to soothe the skin.

Electrolysis

A needle-like probe conducts an electric impulse into the hair follicle, inactivating it.

The method is best used for small areas such as breast and face and is a permanent solution. But is important that you go to a qualified practitioner and don't hesitate to see their certificates. The method is expensive and is more painful for some people than others. It depends on one's endurance level.

From conventional and tested waxing to the new technological advancements, there are many options today to deal with the problem of unwanted hair.

The bottom line is to choose one that you are comfortable with.

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