It took me nearly 30 years to figure out that I can easily get rid of unwanted ugly hair on my arms, legs and bikini line almost (but not quite) permanently. If you’re over 40 years old and reading this now, you’re probably in the same boat as me and have been shaving since your high school girlfriend introduced you to that amber colored Schick Personal Touch. Or maybe you were a Flicker or Nair girl?
There are eight ways (that I know of) to get rid of hair, but I want to focus on the three that take the least amount of time and effort for the most permanent effects.
2. Applying creams
I LOVE this infographic to get the quick lowdown on hair regrowth from Femina India.
You can see that the more permanent methods of hair removal are laser and electrolysis. I am pretty sure you have already tried the more simple and cheaper traditional alternatives to remove unwanted hair by shaving, waxing and tweezing. Maybe you took a step further and tried creams and threading. The big disadvantage of these methods is that they never last very long and must be repeated either every day or every couple of weeks. And we all know how horrible it is to have scratchy stubble on our legs. Plus, it’s ugly. 🙁
But, maybe you have not yet tried these next three methods that offer a more permanent solution. Let me explain.
I have been getting laser treatments to remove the hair on my body for the last 6 years. I was told this was not a permanent solution, but fewer hairs would grow back and the ones that grew back would be thinner. So far, this has been true. I get laser treatments just about twice a year now and believe I am nearly at the end of the road with about 90% of the hair gone on my legs.
Laser works by destroying the hair follicle with light. It targets the hair’s melanin in contrast to the skin’s melanin. This is why blondes, red heads and graying hair don’t respond well to laser treatments. It’s most effective on dark hair with light skin. Dark skin tones also don’t fare well either, because there is a risk the laser light reacts to the skin’s melanin and not the hair melanin damaging the pigment cells.
My experience with laser hair removal has been painless and effective, however, it can be a costly route. There is no point in going for just one treatment. You will likely need anywhere between five and ten sessions spaced four to six weeks apart to get rid of most of your hair. I have had about 12 on my legs in the last five years and it still needs some touch ups, however I think I have found another solution (keep reading). In Vogue, Dr Stefanie Williams, a cosmetic dermatologist says we need laser treatments “every two weeks for an eight week period, to reduce hair growth by up to 92 per cent. Of course, results can vary.
I love what my favorite US aesthetician Dr. Rosalind Hudson informed me about laser treatments. “When patients are shopping for “LASER” hair removal, make sure it is really laser based. There is also light based hair removal (like IPL for hair removal) that is contraindicated in skin type 4, 5 and 6 patients (medium dark, dark olive and black skin). Hair removal practitioners prefer light based hair removal for large areas, like the back on men, or thighs on women, since the treatment head is larger, and they can go faster. Only laser based hair removal will not take away one’s background pigment, and will not hyper pigment.”
If you do go the laser route, remember that your skin should not be exposed to the sun for about 2 weeks, otherwise your skin may change pigmentation damaging your skin and leaving you with ugly spots. This is why it’s a good idea to get laser treatments in the winter time and avoid summer laser treatments. Rain or shine, always use sunscreen on your legs after a laser treatment.
I do not recommend laser hair-removal home devices unless you are absolutely sure how to use them. It is best to get your laser treatments from a specialist. Do your due diligence and follow these rules.
Electrolysis is similar to laser in that it destroys the hair follicle growth and it can be quite expensive. Electrolysis uses chemical energy or heat instead of light to get to the “root of the problem” (pun intended!). Unlike light, heat can catch those little light hairs lasers can’t reach (blonde, red and gray).
How does it work? A fine probe is inserted into each hair follicle. A current is passed through the probe’s needle and then the hair is removed with tweezers. Ouch! Because electrolysis treats one hair at a time, it is more common to use it on areas of the face.
I personally have not tried electrolysis, but have friends who are quite happy with it and get rid of their unwanted hairs more permanently after several sessions once a week. Results and the number of sessions can vary greatly, so be sure to agree with your technician on the number of times you are expected to return.
You may be tempted to buy a home electrolysis device, but it is not recommended to try this on your own unless you are specifically trained in electrolysis.
There is only one machine I know that uses heat based technology and does not use any form of light. I was introduced to a little home device called the no!no! from a woman I met on the plane. I decided to investigate more into it and was eventually sent one by the company to test it out. I have to say…I am impressed. As much as I wanted to believe it worked, I still had my doubts.
Let me explain how it works. Thermicon technology sends a gentle pulse of heat down the hair follicle. This loosens the hairs from the follicle and then destroys it over time, resulting in thinner and decreasing amounts of hair. This means that it removes and treats the hair at the same time. Because of the heat, I smell burning hair in the room, but nothing to be alarmed about. Totally normal…actually, I kinda like it, because it reminds me that it’s working. I then use the buffer that comes in the package to remove the singed hair making my skin super smooth. I was really surprised by my results. As much as I wanted to believe this product would solve my hair removal problems once and for all, I was still skeptical. But, thankfully, it actually worked and I am convinced. Yep, those are MY arms in the image below. It doesn’t look like I have a lot of arm hair (I have done laser a few times before), but I certainly have enough hair on my arms to bother me.
I am instructed to shave first before the treatment and continue to use the no!no! for a few months in the beginning for at least two to three times a week. After that, I would only need to use it once in a while (as needed) to maintain. I can do that!
Unlike laser hair removal, this little gadget works on all skin types. One thing I look for when testing out products are clinical studies and I was happy to find some for the no!no! Pro. This study included participants with blonde, brown and black hair. Forty-five subjects, 36 females and 15 males, ages 18 to 50 years, were recruited for this trial. In the end, there was a 30% or greater, reduction in leg and arm hair counts after 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment. Imagine if I had been using the no!no! for last few years…I wish I found this earlier.
The company says no!no! is safe and perfect for your face. This is a good thing, because I’m starting to notice a little peach fuzz forming on my cheeks as I get older. And I know it’s not unusual to also grow a little `stash hair, whiskers and even sideburns with age. Oh, the joys of getting older. Since this hair is usually lighter, the light based treatments won’t be very effective. I might have to keep my no!no! after I finish with my legs and arms!
I also love that I can get all my hair removal done at home. Not only does this save a lot of time, but I can now finally get my husband to use it too. I could never drag him out to the salon.
I am a total home device gadget girl. One, because I don’t want to spend the time back and forth to salons and, two, I can save a lot of money. I don’t regret the laser treatments I had in the past, but have spent a lot of money and time. From now on, I think the no!no! is the way to go for me.
Guess what?! The company gave me a promo code I can share with you for 10% off on the no!no!. Go to their US website and enter the code nono10off in the Coupon Code box at checkout. If you’re based in Hong Kong, like me, enter the same promo code on this website in the Voucher Box at checkout.
* Photo by freestockpro.com from Pexels