Jamaica Gleaner - - HEALTH - Dr Arusha Camp­bell-Cham­bers is a der­ma­tol­o­gist and founder of Der­ma­tol­ogy So­lu­tions Skin Clin­ics & Medi-Spas. Email: yourhealth@glean­

IN OUR last ar­ti­cle, we men­tioned the huge de­mand for re­mov­ing un­wanted hair, and we looked at the pros and cons of per­ma­nent re­moval. These in­clude elec­trol­y­sis, sur­gi­cal hair re­moval, and laser hair re­moval. To­day, we will fo­cus on tem­po­rary meth­ods of hair re­moval, which in­clude shav­ing, clip­ping, pluck­ing/tweez­ing, thread­ing, wax­ing and chem­i­cal hair re­moval creams. Most of these meth­ods can cause ‘ra­zor bumps’ (pseud­o­fol­li­culi­tis), es­pe­cially in in­di­vid­u­als of African de­scent.

Shav­ing is a pop­u­lar method of hair re­moval be­cause it is fast, easy and rel­a­tively cheap. Elec­tri­cal clip­pers are very pop­u­lar, es­pe­cially with men, who find them to cause less ra­zor bumps in gen­eral than ra­zors. How­ever, clip­pers can still cause ra­zor bumps and ir­ri­ta­tion in some per­sons.

Clip­ping hairs with a small pair of fa­cial scis­sors is an op­tion for per­sons with few un­wanted hairs. How­ever, it needs to be re­peated fre­quently, as with shav­ing.

Chem­i­cal de­pila­to­ries (hair re­moval creams) are an­other op­tion for hair re­moval. They are avail­able in pow­der, lo­tion, cream or paste forms. How­ever, their ma­jor draw­back is that many in­di­vid­u­als find them too ir­ri­tat­ing to the skin, some per­sons may be al­ler­gic to them, and they may not re­move all the hairs. Some in­di­vid­u­als don’t like the smell of some of these prod­ucts, and oth­ers find them ex­pen­sive to keep up with.

Pluck­ing with tweez­ers, thread­ing and wax­ing are of­ten painful and may cause red­ness, ir­ri­ta­tion, bumps, scar­ring, in­fec­tion and dark spots.

Thread­ing in­volves pulling a twisted loop of thread across the skin that catches the hairs and ei­ther pulls them out or breaks them off. It’s a fast method and, over time, it can dam­age the hair fol­li­cle, caus­ing hair

IIf one must shave, it is im­por­tant to avoid a close shave to help pre­vent ra­zor bumps. The fol­low­ing is a guide to safer shav­ing meth­ods:

Brush hairs with be­fore shav­ing.

Wash gel.

Avoid Do a

beard, Shave not

Use stroke. in the pull the sharp

polyester and di­rec­tion skin blade, of taut. rinse


use pre-shave dou­ble- cream triple-blade hair after each or ra­zors. growth.

Ap­ply a cold com­press after shav­ing, then a sooth­ing af­ter­shave prepa­ra­tion.

not to grow back in some ar­eas. It is very ther­a­pist­de­pen­dant and it may be dif­fi­cult for some per­sons to find a skilled ther­a­pist.

Wax­ing en­tails ap­ply­ing hot molten wax, with or with­out min­eral oils and per­fumes, to hairs. Then a strip of ma­te­rial is placed on the area to strip off the cooled wax with em­bed­ded hairs. Some per­sons opt to wax ev­ery few weeks, and oth­ers find this method un­suit­able for them.

The choice to re­move hair is a per­sonal one, as is the method one finds most suit­able. This may vary de­pend­ing on the body area be­ing treated and other fac­tors al­ready men­tioned. As with many things in life, it’s to each his or her own.

Over­all, laser has been found to be the best method of hair re­moval, es­pe­cially for per­sons prone to ra­zor bumps.

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