As the temperature rises and hemlines creep up, North Americans are starting to think about body hair again. Culturally, we find excess hair undesirable on the legs, underarms – the chest and back for men – and most of all, the face. For some people, because of genetics or a medical condition, their body hair is thicker than most, adding to the self-consciousness, and they turn to professional hair removal services for a solution.
Waxing, threading, plucking, electrolysis, the list goes on. There are so many methods for getting rid of unwanted hair, but which way yields the most effective long-lasting results? Laser hair removal, says Dr. Andrei Metelitsa, a dermatologist and dermatology professor at the University of Calgary.
Laser hair removal has gotten a bad reputation because of the bad experiences people have had at the hands of untrained laser technicians, says Metelitsa. “My suggestion is to go to a centre that actually has a physician, ideally a specialist like a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon, who is actually coordinating the treatment,” he says.
Metelitsa also dispels the myth that those with dark skin should avoid the treatment. “Each laser has its own wavelength of light and we’re able to specifically gear the wavelength of light to one skin type. I would never use the laser that I would typically use on a pale Caucasian person on a dark-skinned person,” he says. For people whose hair growth is caused by hormonal or endocrine disorders, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, Metelitsa says it’s important to get the right type of medical screening and testing to determine if medical treatments can eliminate the problem. For those with white or light hair which cannot be targeted effectively by the laser, Metelitsa recommends prescription creams like Vaniqua that slow down hair growth with extended use.
“There is definitive scientific evidence that shows that, perceptually, a woman who has facial hair can be exceptionally self-conscious, comparable to truly having a significant medical disorder, so we have to take it seriously,” Metelitsa says. That’s why he sees it as his job as a cosmetic dermatologist to try and work with clients to deal with their hair removal woes, rather than questioning whether they should remove the hair at all.
“When I approach individuals who come to us with regards to excess hair, they’ve already identified this as a concern,” says Metelitsa. “I try to identify the root of the cause and provide them the most optimal way to treat it.”
- GIGI Deluxe Double Warmer and GiGi All Purpose Honee Wax – www.gigispa.com
- SCITON ClearScan YAG (laser hair removal) – www.sciton.com
- STE. ANNE’S Clarify Facial Serum – www.skinnourishment.ca
- TWINLUXE Fine Shaving Instruments – www.twinluxe.com
- BERODIN’S Jasmine Oil and Lavender Lotion Pre-Wax Cleanser – www.berodinwax.co.uk
- Sea Buckthorn Exfoliating Scrub – www.sibubeauty.com