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To Wax or to Laser: Dr. Ostad Answers Your Hair Removal Questions

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To shave to wax or to laser:  That is the question.  Our skin care expert, Dr. Ostad, has weighed in on the benefits and drawbacks of all the hair removal options out there, so if you're considering a new method, read on to learn more and discover the true facts behind the many different ways to get skin super smooth.

Waxing, shaving, lasers, threading, tweezing.  Are any of these options ever a no-no? What's the true difference between them?

There are several types of hair removal methods.  Shaving is a temporary solution to remove hair, but it can cause ingrown hairs, cuts and scars.  Threading is a very popular temporary hair removal method, but may again cause ingrown hairs if hair is broken when pulling. Tweezing is a very time-consuming hair removal solution, which may cause ingrown hair if the hair is broken when plucking. Depilatory Creams offers a temporary solution, but can cause allergic reactions and can even burn the area upon which it is applied. Waxing temporarily removes hair, but can cause wrinkles from over pulling especially around the eye area, and ingrown hairs if hair is broken when pulling.  Electrolysis / Gadgets for hair removal required years of treatments needed to stop hair growth, and can cause scarring not initially seen during treatments but surface years later.  Laser Hair Removal is the most permanent solution with the least amount of side effects.

True of false:  If you shave, your hair will grow back thicker and darker.

False. The hair will have a blunt tip making it appear thicker.  Laser hair removal is great for those with thick hair, as it actually causes hair to become finer and eventually stop growing.  It also helps with diminishing large hair follicles seen with patients with course hair.

What hair removal techniques garner the best (i.e.: long-lasting, painless, inexpensive) results?

Laser Hair removal is a great technological innovation that has been available for over 20 years now.  It is the most effective and cost effective treatment considering how much one can spend over a lifetime with waxing, threading, and electrolysis.  Any area can be treated with laser hair removal. 

What causes ingrown hairs?  How can we prevent them?

My top tip for avoiding ingrown hairs is exfoliation of dead skin cells, which will loosen dead skin to prevent hairs from getting trapped beneath the skin's surface.  I also recommend not using methods such as waxing, shaving or tweezing, which can pull the skin.

Are certain hair removal techniques better for certain types of hair/areas on the body?

There are certain methods that are better for the skin in the long-term than others.  Laser hair removal would be my first choice.  My second choice would be threading because there is no pulling of the skin and the only side effect would be ingrown hairs.  The other methods do have many other side effects.

What options are best for sensitive skin?

Laser hair removal.  The laser penetrates through the skin to only the hair shaft to inhibit growth.  It causes no damage to the dermis, so even the most sensitive skin can be treated.

Any do's and don'ts based on what you've seen as a professional expert?

I would definitely recommend that it is important to go to a dermatologist who can offer different lasers which are customized to the patients skin color and hair color. 

Tips and tricks for treating skin after hair removal?

Exfoliation of the skin to prevent ingrown hairs, moisturize skin after treatment, and seek a dermatologist for laser hair removal.

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