Permanent Hair Removal – A Growing Problem
The nature of hair is to grow. That’s why laser clinics and
other so called “permanent” hair removal methods cannot and will not guarantee
permanent hair removal results. Once you better understand hair and the hair
growth cycle you’ll know why claims of permanent hair removal are like claims of
permanent weight loss: dubious. Without continued vigilance, hair, like weight,
will come back.
There are three key factors to understanding hair and hair
growth: types of hair, the hair growth cycle, and follicle activation.
Most people have three types of hair: vellus, intermediate and terminal.
* Vellus: Small, colorless hairs often referred to as peach fuzz.
* Intermediate: Thin, shortish hairs between vellus and terminal (hence the
name) typically exhibiting some lower level of pigmentation.
*Terminal: Fully pigmented or gray, deep-rooted, coarse hairs. These are the
hairs most consumers want removed.
All hairs, regardless of type, have a three-stage growth cycle. The first
phase is anagen or the active growing phase. Depending on the body area
somewhere between 10% and 90% of hairs are actively growing. The second phase is
catagen, a transitional phase that is the shortest of the three phases. The
third and final phase is telogen, the inactive phase. This is the longest phase
and lasts until the hair is shed and the cycle repeats itself. This phase can
last up to a year.
The final point to consider is follicle activation. Our skin is covered with
thousands and thousands of follicles. Many follicles are like volcanoes: dormant
but not extinct. Even though these follicles aren’t currently producing hair
they can be activated at any time. The primary catalysts are hormones. If you
have any experience with teenagers, pregnancy or just getting older (did your
husband get back hair for his 45th birthday?) you know exactly what I’m talking
about. And as sure as some people want to get rid of hair, others want it to
grow again and seek products to stimulate follicles (see Rogaine). In short, you
can’t keep a good follicle down so new hairs are likely to grow even after a
“permanent” hair removal procedure.
Consumers have a reasonable expectation that the word permanent, when used in
conjunction with hair removal, actually means existing perpetually. However, as
we’ve shown, the nature of hair is to grow. Therefore, the so called permanent
hair removal industry is seeking to redefine the word “permanent.”
It’s fair to say that permanent hair removal is achieved when a particular
hair follicle is rendered impotent or incapable of generating new hair. But,
because follicles are so numerous, hair is likely to emerge from nearby
follicles. So, even if “permanent” hair removal is achieved (i.e. a follicle
destroyed), the area that was treated is still likely to produce new hairs.
This fact has given rise to lesser claims of “permanent hair reduction.” The
United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describes "permanent hair
reduction" as, “The long-term, stable reduction in the number of hairs regrowing
after a treatment regime.” It goes on to state, “Permanent hair reduction does
not imply the elimination of all hairs in the treatment area.” This is when the
whole conversation begins to sound like a politician reading “Alice In
So just what is permanent about “permanent hair removal?” The answer to this
question gets more elusive when you consider that a significant percentage of
consumers don’t respond to either electrolysis or laser hair removal. Things
become grayer still when regrowth rates for laser-treated follicles are
estimated at somewhere between 20% and 80%, and 10-50% for electrolysis.
The bottom line is that hair grows. That’s just what it does. While laser
hair removal treatments and electrolysis can effectively destroy active
follicles, calling either method permanent is like pulling a few dandelions and
declaring your lawn free of weeds forever.
When you factor in the cost, the pain, the potential for scarring and other
real health risks associated with so called “permanent” hair removal techniques,
you might want to reconsider a temporary hair removal method that has been
around for centuries: waxing.
Waxing isn’t permanent. But it works.
Ben Johnson is the president of Amphora Worldwide, the parent company of
Bombshell Wax, premium depilatory waxes and waxing accessories, Cream 100
Calming Balm, and Tonic 86, the cure for ingrown hairs. For more information
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/