Hair removal is a common practice done by both men and women to groom their bodies and improve their physical appearance. While hair removal is mostly considered a modality done for cosmetic reasons, there is more to it.
Yes, it makes your body and face look better. But it also confers a number of health benefits for you.
However, hair removal has its own side effects and risk factors as well.
So, are you confused about whether you should get rid of the annoying strands of hair on your body, or should you let it be as they are causing no harm?
Well, let us tell you all about hair removal for health to help you decide what to do with unwanted body and facial hair.
Table of Contents:
What is the Role of Body and Facial Hair? Is it Necessary to Remove Hair?
As every part of our body has some role to play, so does facial and body hair. The most important of their roles is entrapment of heat which gives the body a warm physical temperature. Additionally, it reduces the effects of UV rays from the sun falling on the skin and also protects against environmental stress to some extent.
Although hair imparts some health benefits, its presence might not be in your best interest. So, removing the body hair is not necessary. Rather, it is a personal choice you can make after measuring the pros and cons.
Methods of Hair Removal
Below are all the methods that can be used to remove unwanted hair from both body and face.
Shaving is the go-to method for hair removal for men and women who do not want to make much effort. All you need is a razor and you are good to go. There are specialized razors available for facial hair in women. However, men can use straight, safety, or electric shavers for the face.
IPL Hair Removal Devices
IPL hair removal is the most convenient and effective method of hair removal out of all the methods available. It uses radiation to kill hair-producing follicles. Some of the best IPL devices are mentioned in the 10 Best IPL Hair Removal Devices.
Out of these, Ulike Sapphire Air3 IPL Hair Removal Device can serve you with the optimal experience and results. The effectiveness and safety of IPL hair removal have been determined in a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology .
Waxing is a good method of hair removal when you want to exfoliate the skin as well. It gives you a break from removing unwanted hair for up to 3-6 weeks, unlike shaving which works only for 2-5 days.
Waxing is commonly used for hair removal from the body and it can also remove hair from the face. The types of waxing treatments for the body include Bikini wax, Brazilian wax, and body wax.
Threading is a good choice when you want to groom the facial hair like eyebrows and upper lips. It works best for small areas and allows precise hair removal. Moreover, it is inexpensive and can be done at home.
Epilation is also the removal of hair from the roots by using a small device. This device grabs the hair in its rollers and pulls it out completely. Its results are similar to waxing but it is a mess-free method of hair removal as long as to master the technique of using it right.
At-home remedies are a gentle yet time-consuming method of hair removal. A number of DIY exfoliating or peel-off masks can be prepared by using ingredients available in your kitchen. Some of the top home masks used for this purpose are given in easy and natural home remedies for facial hair removal.
Prescription treatments are the use of a topical cream containing eflornithine hydrochloride sold as “Vaniqa” to deal with excessive hair growth in women with hormonal disorders. It can be used by healthy women as well.
Laser Hair Removal Treatment
In-office laser hair removal treatment is the pioneer of semi-permanent methods of hair removal. It uses a beam of light to kill unwanted hair follicles and put them in a resting phase.
Electrolysis comes into play when you want to get rid of the unwanted hair once and for all. Although it can be time-consuming, it helps you get hairless skin that lasts longer than any other method of hair removal. So, electrolysis offers permanent hair removal.
The results of electrolysis vs. laser hair removal have been evaluated in a comparative study by PubMed .
Benefits of Hair Removal
As we discussed earlier removing hair is not necessary. Let us see the factors that necessitate the removal of body and facial hair.
Mainataince of Hygeine
Unwanted body hair does not only look gross, they are actually gross. They provide the skin with a rough surface and a base for impurities like dirt, dust, and germs to reside in them.
Ungroomed hair lets these invisible pollutants accumulate in the skin and disturb your hygiene. Personal hygiene can be the most important factor for hair removal as determined in a study by the Research Gate .
Prevention of Infections
The goal of hair removal is to also remove any bacteria, fungi, or viruses that might be living in the hair by removing the part they are colonizing. If bacteria are already present on your skin, any minor breach in the skin barrier can cause infections.
So appropriate hair removal can prevent infections.
No Bad Body Odour
Body hair makes the skin sweat more than it would without this hair. Not only does it increase the sweat but also prevents its evaporation and leads to bacteria growing up here.
These bacteria result in the production of bad body odor. This is especially true for underarm hair. So, a comparative clinical study shows how removing hair can help you deal with bad body odor .
Better Athletic Performace
Sports and exercise itself increase the body temperature and friction with the clothes. You do not want to worsen the condition with body hair, right? So, removing body hair reduces the resistance which is caused by environmental factors on the body during extreme physical activity.
Research shows how shaving proved to be effective for improved performance for swimmers .
A Flawless Skin
Although some methods of hair removal can irritate your skin, most of them make it flawless ultimately. Hair removal methods also work to gently exfoliate the skin resulting in smooth and glowing skin that is soft to the touch as well.
Smooth Application of Makeup
At first facial hair removal was limited to upper lips and eyebrows. But full-face hair removal has been popular in recent years for how smooth it makes the skin.
On a hairless face, makeup applies more easily and lasts for a longer time. Additionally. It adds a natural glow to your makeup look. At this, we have some makeup looks for you to try in Barbie-Inspired makeup looks.
A Boost in Confidence
Do you match your outfits to your body hair grooming routine? If yes, you are already aware of how confident a hairless body and face can make you.
If you have no hair, you will always be ready to attend that gathering in a one-piece dress, the pool party wearing a bikini, and a beach vacation with your friends.
Better Love Life
Body hair can be inconvenient when it comes to spending quality time with your better half. Thus, removing the body hair can help you get closer to your loved one. A study conducted by Benha Journal of Applied Sciences explains the effect of body hair on female sexual functions .
Risks and Contraindications of Hair Removal
Below are the conditions where you cannot randomly pick any method of hair removal and have to consult your doctor about what will be the most suitable for you.
Extremely Sensitive Skin
If your skin is extremely sensitive and little trauma can make you scream with pain or breakout, you have to be extra careful with hair removal methods like waxing, epilation, and shaving.
Eczema makes the skin itchy and dry. Hair removal on such skin can aggravate the condition and cause flare-ups. So, it is best to avoid any method of hair removal in the areas where you have eczema rashes.
However, laser and IPL hair removal can help you when your skin has no active lesion as explained in a blog by Dr. Nathan Holt .
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that can be triggered by regular methods of hair removal just like eczema. So, you have to talk to your doctor before trying hair removal.
If you have active acne, it is best to stop removing hair until your acne heals completely. It is because removing hair on already inflamed pores having bacteria can worsen the acne and lead to more breakouts.
Side Effects of Hair Removal
Here are some common and potential side effects of removing unwanted hair.
Pain is commonly associated with hair removal methods that pull the hair out from the roots, for example, tweezing, threading, waxing, and epilation. The intensity of this pain varies according to tolerance of the person.
Skin Redness and Irritation
If you are doing something that is not natural for the skin, it is common for the skin to react by showing redness and skin irritation. So, all methods of hair removal offer some extent of trauma to the skin resulting in temporary redness.
Nicks and Cuts
This side effect happens in shaving when your technique is not correct or your shaving blade is dull and overused. Moreover, minor invisible skin cuts and bleeding can also occur in waxing when you are too rash.
Bumps and Ingrown Hair
Pulling hair out of the skin can result in swelling of the hair follicles resulting in bumps. Similarly, bluntly shaving the hair at the skin’s surface can make the remnant strands appear as bumps.
And when hair does not grow normally in these bumps, it causes ingrown hair.
If you are hypersensitive to any pre-shave, post-shave treatment, thread, metal, or any ingredient in the wax, your skin will respond by showing an allergic reaction with symptoms like itchiness, redness, and discomfort.
Hair Follicle and Skin Infections
When your skin is not well-cleaned before hair removal and has microbes on it, these microbes can find their way to hair roots or skin pores resulting in folliculitis or skin infections.
Burns, Blisters, and Skin Peeling
Hair removal has countless scientifically approved benefits for health in addition to physical appearance. These benefits include a sweat-free odorless body, better physical performance, reduced infections, hygienic routine, and more.
However, you must make a thoughtful decision if you have skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and active acne. This is because all methods of hair removal can cause some mild or severe transient side effects.