The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reports that Americans spent more than $15 billion dollars in 2016 on combined surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures for the first time ever, accounting for an 11% increase over the previous year.
Epilation is the deliberate removal of body hair and can help people achieve smoother, nicer-looking skin. Both men and women have visible hair — varying in thickness and darkness — on the head, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, pubic area, arms, and legs.
Forms of hair removal have been practiced throughout human history mostly for religious, sexual, cultural, or medical reasons. In 2019, there are plenty of hair removal options available, making it much easier to improve your look and get rid of all any unwanted hair.
Perhaps the most popular option across the United States is laser hair removal.
During this procedure, a laser delivers concentrated light into the pigmented part of the hair follicle, causing enough damage to the hair so it cannot grow back.
“If you think of hair as a flower, laser energy travels down the stem to the bulb, where it zaps the cells that grow hair,” said Barry DiBernardo, MD, plastic surgeon and director of New Jersey Plastic Surgery.
Laser hair removal is great for removing excess hair from the upper lip, chin, sideburns, legs, and arms. Since only 10% to 30% of hair is actively growing at any given time, multiple treatments will be needed to get each follicle in the growing phase. You will, however, begin noticing permanent results after four to seven sessions.
“A man’s back or chest will need six to eight treatments spaced roughly two months (six to eight weeks) apart to see visible results,” added Chris Karavolas, owner of Romeo and Juliette Laser Hair Removal in New York City.
One of the main benefits of laser hair removal is the duration of the procedure. Many people believe that skin treatments take hours but that’s not the case. Iontophoresis therapy, which is used to treat severe sweating and skin injuries, lasts only 10 to 20 minutes. Similarity, depending on the area of the body that’s being treated, a laser hair removal session can be quick, even as little as five minutes.
In addition to laser hair removal, there are a few quality options to consider, as well:
- Electrolysis — Great for removing hair on small spots like eyebrows, sideburns, nipples, and the chin. The results from electrolysis last forever, as well.
- Waxing — Waxing is perfect for removing hair on someone’s legs, armpits, and groin. Results typically last between two and four weeks but the hair will grow finer and less dense over time.
- Threading — This treatment works for removing hair on any part of the face and is quick and affordable: only about $10 to $30 per session.
Whether you have too much hair on your body and just want to remove it for aesthetic purposes or you’re an athlete hoping to get a little more aerodynamic for swimming or cycling, consider laser hair removal!