Best body hair removal techniques that'll rid you of unwanted fuzz
Explore all your options
Being rubbed down with an ubtan of besan, chandan and haldi is a childhood trauma most of us had to endure. Adding to our PTSD was our first waxing experience. Being made to change into a nightie, the parlour didi smiling and muttering “sab theek ho jayega, bas thoda sa aur” with each swipe.
The perception of body and facial hair has changed over the years as the body–positivity became everybody’s favourite flavour.
We’ve had Harnaam Kaur walk the ramp oozing self-love and inspiring others suffering from PCOS and hirsutism.
It’s completely your choice — whether you’ve chosen to embrace your natural state or you want the smoothness of a puppy’s belly.
With the advancements in dermatological tech, there’s more than waxing and shaving to chose from when it comes to the best hair removal options.
Some work better for others, especially when you consider underlying medical conditions.
Dermatologist Dr. Rinky Kapoor from The Esthetic Clinics breaks down what’s commonly available at Indian clinics to help you decide.
The best hair removal treatments available in India
Laser hair removal
Wish we could laser away all the unwanted things in our life – electricity bills in summer, the rip in our favourite pair of pants and the next person who says “your bra strap is showing”.
Until that day comes, we’ve got different laser treatments to reduce body hair density.
“Long pulsed ND YAG laser, Diode laser, Alexandrite laser – they can be used as individual lasers. Now, there are laser machines with all three combined,” says Kapoor.
Based on your skin colour, skin sensitivity, and the colour and thickness of the hair, they choose which laser would work best for you.
It targets a selected area at the root. Light from the laser is absorbed by the hair’s melanin and converted into heat which damages the hair follicle.
This inhibits hair regrowth over time.
Intense pulsed light (IPL)
IPL is also a light therapy like laser hair removal, but while laser hair removal works on a specific wavelength, this delivers “a range of wavelengths to the skin.”
This means that it’s not as effective as laser hair removal but is also less expensive.
“It can give good results for finer hair if used appropriately,” she adds.
The word electrolysis may conjure up images of Frankenstein’s monster (it’s the electrodes involved in both), but the process is far from reviving the dead. The opposite, in fact.
In electrolysis, a single hair is targeted at a time. “A current is delivered through an electrode deep to the base of the hair to burn it off,” Kapoor explains.
It’s a more time-consuming treatment that would require more sessions than others to get the desired result.
One pro of electrolysis, according to the American Electrology Association, is its versatility. It can be used on any part of your body, including your eyebrows, and for any skin, hair type and colour.
However, Kapoor says that it may cause scarring and marks. A lot of expertise and training is needed to be precise and she advises it be used only if there are few strands you want to be removed.
We’re not talking about Veet or Fem. Kapoor tells us about creams using the Eflornithine, a medication that can help slow down hair growth and make hair weaker.
She says, “It needs to be applied regularly to give some hair reduction, but its results are nowhere near what is achievable by laser. In fact, it is used as a combination treatment while the patient is on hair reduction laser treatment for maximum benefits.”
Feel like it’s just not working?
Keep realistic expectations as these treatments take a lot of time and money, depending on the hair growth and texture.
Expect multiple sessions regardless of the treatment. Hair and skin work in cycles. To ensure the most effective results, your doctor may suggest a long-term treatment plan over weeks.
Seek a physician who’s well-trained in the procedure that you decide to go for. Kapoor says that each technique requires precision and training. “If there are any complications or adverse effects, then it can be managed by your treating physician itself.”
An underlying health condition could hamper the efficacy of your hair removal procedure. This is especially true in cases of PCOS and hirsutism, where the hormonal imbalance isn’t being treated.
“Ideally, in case of females, who have excessive hair growth associated with obesity, menstrual disturbances, acne or other hormonal issues, or a known history of polycystic ovarian disease, they must undergo a full hormonal evaluation before the laser treatment is begun, as, if there is an underlying hormonal issue, it needs to be addressed, for the laser to achieve best results,” says Kapoor.
“Patients who have polycystic or other hormonal diseases may require more sessions for achieving the same results.”