With summer and the holidays here, many people are looking to remove unwanted hair. Joy Duffield takes a look at some of the options available

Summer is here, which means it’s time to expose parts of the body that have been hiding beneath the winter woollies’ and cosy tracksuit pants. Whatever changes have happened over time in the beauty industry, one thing has remained consistent: Hair removal!

In fact, it is in higher demand now that men have bought into the idea of a hair-free body. For hair removal on general areas of the body, there are a variety of at-home treatment options:

  • Razor or Electric razor. You can try this with or without the guard. The disadvantage of a razor is that the hair grows back in a day or two.
  • Depilatory (hair removal) creams: Always do a small patch test first thing to check your skin sensitivity.
  • Epilator: A device that mechanically grasps multiple hairs and pulls them out. It may be painful, but no danger of cuts or nicks.

Professional treatments

Waxing or sugaring is available for home use, however, it is not strongly advised! Both techniques require a sticky material or paste to be applied to the area on which you want to remove hair. Sugaring is made of natural ingredients (lemon, water and sugar). Waxes may be chemical or natural. Both of these methods pull the hair out at the roots, which, in turns, makes the hair weaker, softer and sparser.

Another advantage is that there are a few weeks in between treatment as opposed to shaving every other day. This treatment can be used anywhere on the body and face. It is not recommended to remove male facial hair with wax as it is rather painful.

Laser pulse light treatments are also effective in softening and reducing the amount of hair by making use of the light that travels down the hair to the root to destroy it. This treatment is not effective on fair or grey hair and is often not advisable for dark skin. This is a great treatment for underarm or bikini line hair.

A little extra body hair on females is quite acceptable, but, when it comes to excessive facial hair, it can be a little embarrassing.

Excessive course facial hair on women should be medically investigated as it is often an indication of hormonal or endocrine system imbalance, which are treatable.

Menopausal women can often spot a couple of dark hairs on the chin or upper lip due to the lack of the female hormone oestrogen in the body.

Puberty, pregnancy and menopause are the most common terms to start sprouting some unwanted hairs. This definitely needs a trip to the salon where the therapist can advise on the best option. Unless you are a man, I would not recommend shaving the face as it will exacerbate the problem.

Electrolysis is a treatment option to consider if you are looking for something more permanent, particularly for those who suffer with excessive hair growth due to genetic or health conditions.

There are many salons who work in conjunction with endocrinologists and dermatologists to treat such conditions. This is not a once-off treatment and may take time, but is worth the end result. There is no reason for living with unwanted hair in these modern times.


Joy Duffield has been a C4-C5 quadriplegic since 2005. She is the owner of Beauty Academy International, an international training Institute for the beauty industry and a distributor of hair and beauty products in South Africa.

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