Lasers, threading, and waxing, oh my!

   Hair removal, it's been around since the prehistoric era and the industry has been growing ever since.  Some depilatory methods have been around for thousands of years, while others are fairly new to the industry.  As an esthetician, I understand hair removal can be uncomfortable and sometimes a displeasing experience; but oh so liberating!  Believe it or not, it really does matter what method of hair removal you choose.  Scrub me is here to walk you through the ins and outs of waxing, laser, threading and more.  There will even be a few of our famous "scrub me secrets" that will greatly improve your journey to removing unwanted hair.

   Freeing clients of their fuzz has been a part of my job ever since I began my career as an esthetician in 2010.  Over the years I have learned certain hair removal methods are more or less effective depending on skin type, hair type, and the part of the body.  If the correct choice isn't made you may end up feeling dissatisfied with your service.

scrub me secret: skin and hair type play a role in choosing which depilatory method is best.  What works well for your friend may not be the best choice for you.  Have a consultation with your esthetician for suggestions about which method is right for you.

  

   Laser hair removal has been creating quite a buzz in the past few years and is growing in popularity.  It is however one of the most expensive ways to remove hair; costs can be $200-$600 per treatment.  Laser hair removal is different because there is the high possibility that your unwanted hair will never return.  High intensity beams of light are used to target the hair follicle and destroy the hair.  The idea is to damage or destroy the hair follicle enough so that the hair will never regrow.  It sounds simple enough but there are a few things to know about laser hair removal before investing.  In order for this hair removal method to work efficiently a couple things have to be happening.  Contrast between the skin and hair must be large.  Darkness of your hair compared to your skin will dictate how easily the laser will be able to zap the follicle.  Also, the stage of your hair growth really matters.  During the active growth phase of your hair is when the laser is really able to work its magic.  The high intensity beams of light are drawn to melanin which is being produced during this phase.

scrub me secret: hair does not have to be long or even a certain length for laser hair removal.  your technician may suggest shaving in the days or week before your appointment to try and best treat the hairs during the correct growth cycle.

 

   If you find yourself to be the right candidate for laser, you may have the procedure preformed on virtually any part of your face or body.  Cost varies based on the surface area or size of the body part.  Something else to take into account is skin type.  Certain skin types are more susceptible to irritation from the laser.  Redness, itching, burns, and hyper pigmentation can happen if your skin is too sensitive or if your technician doesn't perform the service correctly.  In my opinion, this type of hair removal has the most limited audience.  If your hair and skin type fit the criteria and you are willing to make the investment, this treatment can be amazing.  Over a series of treatments your hair will start to become sparse and eventually never grow back at all.  I have seen clients with much success from this treatment and some with little to no success.  Do your research before making your decision and always get a consultation with your esthetician or technician before booking.

   Threading is a vastly different form of hair removal compared to laser.  This method is also starting to become more main stream in the past decade.  Threading is an old school method of removing hair that was said to originate in the Middle East and South East Asia.  Threading is not taught in traditional cosmetology or esthetics programs in the U.S.  Separate classes must be taken to learn this technique.  How does threading work?  Technicians use small threads to make small loops and knot it around the hairs and pluck them.  Threading is used mainly for facial hair removal.  It is not ideal for larger areas of the body.  This method is said to be very precise and is popular because there is no use of heat or other substances on the skin.  Threading cannot burn or strip the skin like a laser or traditional wax.

scrub me secret: certain products like Accutane or products that contain retinoids can cause your skin to burn or damage during waxing or laser.  If you are using products like this, threading is your best choice for facial hair removal.

 

   Although there are little to no contraindications when it comes to threading, it may be difficult to find the perfect technician.  Threading is a very detailed depilatory method and if done too quickly could accidently knick the skin.  If performed correctly, great definition can be created for eye brows and unwanted facial hair can be easily removed.  With very little risk and an affordable cost, threading is something worth trying at least once in your lifetime.

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   Waxing is the most common form of hair removal in the U.S.  This method is taught in most cosmetology and esthetics programs.  It is the most affordable and easily accessible form of hair removal.  There are two different kinds of wax that function differently.  Soft wax or "strip wax" is the most common type of wax.  This wax is heated and adheres to hairs and the surface layer of skin.  A strip of muslin is applied on top of the wax and then is removed from the skin, taking the hairs with it.  Hard wax is a little bit different and doesn't require a strip of any kind.  This wax is much thicker in substance.  Hard wax is heated and applied to skin; this wax adheres to hair only and not the skin.  The technician will wait for this wax to dry and harden and then lift and remove it along with the hair.

scrub me secret:  Egyptians used a form a hair removal called sugaring.  this is very similar to hard wax.  A sticky, honey like substance was applied to skin and then removed with hands when it was hard enough.  This was said to be very painful!  Hard wax has made great progression since then.

 

   Hard wax is ideal for facial hair removal and also for other small sensitive areas.  Soft wax can be more beneficial for larger areas of the body as it can remove more hairs at once.  In my practice I tend to use both kinds of wax during my services.  Soft wax is great for legs, arms, back, and certain sections of the bikini area.  Hard wax is best used for small areas where you don't want to stress or tug on the skin too much.  During a brazillian wax ask your esthetician to use hard wax on your more sensitive parts to have a less painful experience.

The toning bar is best for balancing skin.  This is great to prep skin before hair removal

The toning bar is best for balancing skin.  This is great to prep skin before hair removal

   Treating your skin before and after hair removal is also important in making your hair removal experience the best it can be.  It's best to keep your skin balanced and use non-aggressive products in the days leading up to your appointment.  Using products like this will help your skin not to react or be as sensitive after your treatment.

Lavender is an amazing anti-inflammatory.  Lavender shea butter can help soothe irritated skin.

Lavender is an amazing anti-inflammatory.  Lavender shea butter can help soothe irritated skin.

scrub me secret: sometimes redness or small bumps after a depilatory service are inevitable.  The key is to use anti-inflammatory products as soon as possible to reduce redness or swelling.

  

Our sea salt body scrubs are an excellent exfoliation method to prevent ingrown hairs.

Our sea salt body scrubs are an excellent exfoliation method to prevent ingrown hairs.

   In the days following your hair removal appointment you should avoid tanning or high heat as this may sensitize your skin.  It is best to start exfoliation about a week after your appointment to prevent ingrown hairs and keep skin soft.  Scrubs that offer a mechanical exfoliation are best for this so you can really stimulate the follicle.  Scrub me is always here to help guide you through this crazy world of esthetics and provide you great products for any skin care situation.  Happy Scrubbing!