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Hair Removal Treatments
Processes of Hair Elimination
By: Abby Penning
Posted: November 25, 2008, from the December 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Waxing isn’t the only hair removal offering that has clients booking regular appointments at their favorite spas though. Jennifer Pesce, brand director with Shobha, notes more people are seeking other methods of hair removal, and some are looking for a more naturalistic path. “Hair removal is definitely going in two different directions: either all-natural or all high-tech,” Pesce notes, and she leans toward offering the more holistic options: treatments and training for the hair removal techniques of sugaring, threading and tweezing. Although most people are familiar with tweezing, or removing hairs with tweezers, threading and sugaring are just starting to re-emerge legitimate offerings.
Pesce describes the threading hair removal technique as using a thread that has been twisted like a miniature lasso to loop around the hair and pull it out from the root. “The method we use for eyebrows and other facial hair is threading,” she explains. “Threading and tweezing are good for sensitive skin. You have to be careful with eyebrow waxing because the process can rip off the upper layers of the skin, leaving the client bright pink even several days afterward. Threading has minimal contact with the skin, and I find any signs of irritation go away within an hour.” This less-invasive method makes it preferable for facial hair removal.
For other areas where more extensive hair removal is done, Pesce suggests using sugaring, a waxing alternative. “Sugaring is somewhat similar to waxing, but instead of using resin and chemicals, it’s sugar, water, glycerin and lemon juice,” she says. “The mixture sticks to hair, but not the skin, and it’s less irritating, so people really like that.” Sugaring is often done for underarm, leg, chest, back and bikini-area hair removal services, leaving them smooth and hair-free for a period of time, but not permanently. Pesce says, “Waxing and sugaring do take the hair out at the root. It will grow back less in time, but it will still grow back.”
If you are looking to go high-tech when getting rid of unwanted hair, you likely have clients interested in the option of permanent hair removal. In the past, electric methods were plagued by the expense and time restrictions involved, including high-priced equipment and training for a spa’s team—not to mention the investment on the clients’ part. Today, a large number of customers are beginning to invest in long-term treatments, such as laser and electrolysis, as hair removal options, making it a much more worthwhile endeavor for spas.
“Electrolysis is a permanent method of hair removal, not just a temporary fix,” says Trudy Brown, founder and owner of Advanced Electrolysis and Laser Care Clinic, Inc., which has locations in High Point and Greensboro, North Carolina. “There are three types of electrolysis. The first is thermolysis, where a thin filament or probe inserted into the opening of the hair follicle uses a high-frequency current that basically heats the moisture in the lower portion of the follicle and desiccates it. Then there’s electrolysis by theory, which uses direct current to create a chemical destruction of the follicle; and finally, the method of blend, which is a combination of using the high-frequency current with galvanic heat to create that chemical destruction of the follicle.” As a pioneer in permanent hair removal, electrolysis is often seen as a mainstay in the treatment of unwanted hair.