SCL GUIDE TO HAIR REMOVAL METHODS*

 

*Note: Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure that this guide is accurate, SCL cannot accept any liability for any errors or omissions.  If you have any doubt, seek professional advice before starting any treatment.

 

 

Which areas?

 

In theory, whether you are male or female, all hair can be removed.  Indeed, some SCL members do precisely that, shaving off every last hair from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet - even eyebrows - in their quest for total hairlessness!  Consequently, this guide covers the removal of hair from every area of the head, face and body.  Of course, there may be considerable pressure for you not to remove hair even if the idea appeals.  Our advice is to experiment gradually until you achieve the smooth state that you want Ė whether it be partial or total depilation.  Donít let anyone else dictate to you - it is your body!  Pluck up courage and go for it!  All hair removal is acceptable as far as SCL is concerned and we encourage everyone to achieve their ideal  smooth state.  If in doubt, get really smooth!

 

We are all different and we all have different types of body hair.  It is a case of trial and error to find a method which suits you best.  Most methods are temporary but permanent or long lasting methods are available.  You need to be sure that you want to be permanently smooth before going down this route.

 

We start with a brief tour, moving from the top of the head to the toes and then go on to discuss  the various methods of removing hair and set out the advantages and disadvantages of each:-

 

Head to toe guide

 

Head

Better options:  shaving; laser

Eyebrows

Best options: shaving; (NB eyebrows can take quite a long time to grow back - from 2-6 weeks. Do NOT use laser, electrolysis, waxing, sugaring, epilation or depilatory cream without taking advice)

Eyelashes - only for the most determined - extreme caution is needed!

Best options: plucking; careful trimming  (NB eyelashes take a very long time to grow and great caution is needed to avoid nicks and cuts and infection of the eyelids. Do NOT use laser, electrolysis, waxing, sugaring, epilation or depilatory cream without taking advice)

Ears and Nose

Best options: plucking; careful trimming; depilatory cream on outer ear  (NB caution is needed to avoid nicks and cuts. Do NOT use laser, electrolysis, waxing, sugaring, epilation or depilatory cream inside the ear or nose without taking advice)

Face and Neck

Best options: shaving (men); waxing, sugaring and depilatory cream (ladies); laser

Back and Shoulders

Best options: shaving; waxing; sugaring; depilatory cream; laser

Underarms

Best options: shaving; depilatory cream; waxing; sugaring; laser; electrolysis

Chest

Best options: shaving (NB caution around nipples to avoid cutting); waxing; sugaring; depilatory cream; laser

Arms and Hands

Best options: shaving (NB caution around elbows, wrists and knuckles to avoid cuts); waxing; sugaring; depilatory cream; epilation; laser

Abdomen

Best options: shaving; waxing; sugaring; depilatory cream; laser

Pubic area

Best options: shaving (NB caution around delicate areas; penis and scrotum in men and vagina in women to avoid cuts and always shave with the grain to avoid rashes and nicks. Do NOT use laser, electrolysis, waxing, sugaring, epilation or depilatory cream on the genitals themselves without taking advice)

Bottom

Best options: shaving; waxing; sugaring; depilatory cream; laser

Anal area

Best options: shaving (NB caution is needed to avoid infection - ensure cleanliness of the area before shaving Do NOT use laser, electrolysis, waxing, sugaring, epilation or depilatory cream without taking advice)

Legs and Feet

Best options: shaving (NB caution around shins, ankles, back of knees and toe joints to avoid cuts); waxing; sugaring; depilatory cream; epilation; laser

 

 

Hair Removal Methods

 

Shaving

 

Shaving is the most widely used method of hair removal.  The main advantages are that it is quick  and easy.  It is inexpensive and requires no training.  The disadvantages are that it is drying to the skin and that the hair is only removed to skin level.  It can cause redness to the skin; the skin can easily be cut and scarring can occur, especially around the ankles.  Shaving is not recommended for people with varicose veins.  Dark or heavy growth may need to be shaved every day and regrowth can be uncomfortable, stubbly and itchy.  It is impossible for shaving to cause hair growth to increase or to stop hair from growing!!!

 

Wet shave or dry shave?

 

Members seem to be divided pretty well equally.  Dry shaving with an electric shaver reduces the chances of nicks and scarring but isnít quite as smooth.  It tends to dry the skin.  It isnít good for Ďnooks and cranniesí.  Depending on the razor, awkward areas can be depilated without difficulty.  Donít shave against the grain unless you know what you are doing Ė you may get a smoother result but cuts and rashes are very likely.  Most razors will provide excellent results but we have received numerous good reports about Gillette Sensor Excel and Mach 3.  The Mach 3 does give a particularly smooth result on larger areas (eg head, chest, arms and legs) and irritation is minimal but its larger cutting head means it isnít so good in difficult to reach areas (eg between the cheeks of the bottom) or around the nipples.  Razors with two blades rather than three are better for these areas.

 

Rash problem?

 

There is no easy answer.  Much seems to depend on the individual concerned and the area involved.  Chafing appears to be the major factor.  Try both wet and dry shaving; different shaving gels or foam and try having a good warm soak before a wet shave.  Copious amounts of talc after shaving can help.  If possible, try not to cover the shaved area Ė stay naked!

 

Shaving is:

Good for:  head to toe depilation

Not good for: long lasting smoothness; bottom (awkward to shave), ears and nasal hair (danger of cutting)

 

* * * * * *

Depilatory creams

 

These dissolve the protein keratin which makes up the hair.  The advantages are that it can be done at home in your own time with no risk of cutting or scarring.  No training is necessary and it can be done reasonably quickly.  It also leaves the skin feeling smoother than shaving.  The disadvantages are that creams are an expensive way to treat large areas and irritation can occur.  The chemical action of the cream often reacts with the skin before the creams start to work.  It is essential to follow the instructions with the depilatory cream and to try a test patch first.  The creams work better on long hair than stubble and some have an unpleasant smell.  Use extreme caution before using on genitals/bottom!

 

Members have had mixed results with creams.  Some have had skin reactions and others have had patchy results.  This may be caused by not leaving the cream on for long enough or by not applying the cream evenly.  With practice better results have been achieved.

 

Depilatory creams are:

Good for: head to toe depilation

Not good for: eyebrows (they may not grow back); sensitive areas.

 

* * * * *

 

Plucking/Trimming

 

Using tweezers, is an ideal way of removing single hairs.  It can be done at any time and does not disturb the surface of the skin if done properly.  The disadvantages are that hairs are easily broken; it can be a little painful; it isnít suitable for large areas and is time consuming.  Trimming individual hairs close to the skin is a painless alternative.

 

Plucking is:

Good for: eyebrows, eyelashes, ears, nasal hair and stray hairs

Not good for: large areas

 

Trimming is:

Good for:  individual hairs

Not good for: eyelashes, ears (danger of cutting)

* * * * *

 

Epilation

 

These are electrical plucking devices.  The results are longer lasting and the areas treated are smooth.  It can be painful and isnít normally suitable for sensitive areas.  Realistically they are only suitable for arms and legs.

 

Epilation is:

Good for: arms and legs

Not good for: sensitive areas

 

* * * * *

 

Waxing

 

This is the removal of the entire hair by using hot or warm wax, cold wax or wax strips.  Any part of the face or body can be treated, though once again caution is needed before treating eyebrows.  It is a quick method of hair removal as many hairs are removed in one go.  Hair loss will occur with repeated treatment (but this is by no means guaranteed and will take a long time).  Over a period of time regrowth can become finer.  The disadvantages are that it can be painful if done incorrectly or in the wrong conditions.  Hair can be broken and reactions can occur.  People with varicose veins and skin complaints are not usually suitable.  Short hairs are not removed, so invariably there is a period where hair has to be allowed to grow before further waxing can take place.  Waxing can be done yourself but better results are usually obtained by visiting a professional beautician.

 

Members have reported excellent results but much depends on the strength and type of hair being waxed.  Hair can become visible within a matter of days Ė donít necessarily assume that skin will be hair free for the length of time indicated in the advertisements! 

 

Waxing is:

Good for: full body depilation

Not good for: eyebrows; sensitive areas; varicose veins

 

* * * * *

 

Sugaring

 

This is an ancient art of hair removal which probably originates in Egypt.  The paste contains honey, water and lemon juice.  It can be used on all parts of the skin and hair tends to grow back sparser and finer.  It is a slightly more gentle method of hair removal than waxing as the hair is flicked off rather than ripped out.  The paste can be washed off as it dissolves.  The disadvantages are that it takes some getting used to and can be time consuming to begin with.  Better results are achieved when visiting specialists.

 

Sugaring is:

Good for: full body depilation

Not good for: eyebrows; sensitive areas

 

* * * * *

 

Electrolysis

 

This is the only method of permanent hair removal with the possible exception of laser and light based treatments (which are quite new and may be long lasting rather than permanent).  It involves passing a needle with an electrical current into the hair follicle or alternatively passing a current down a hair shaft.  The current destroys the root of the hair and eventually leads to permanent hair removal.  It can be done at home but it is not recommended.  It is far better, quicker and safer to go to a qualified electrologist.  Home kits are really only suitable for fine hairs.  The advantages are that the result is permanent and the skin will remain smooth and hair free.  The disadvantages are that it can be very expensive and it is undoubtedly very slow.  It may take many treatments before the hair is removed permanently. 

 

Good for: head to toe depilation

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

Laser/light based treatments

 

These are relatively new procedures which may prove result in permanent hair removal.  They havenít been around long enough to be sure Ė so donít believe anyone who claims that the results are permanent without checking the latest research.  Until recently it was only suitable for pale skinned and dark haired people.  The darker the skin and the lighter the hair the less successful the treatment.  More recent developments suggest that all skin and hair types can be treated.  It is similar to electrolysis but instead of an electric current, light is aimed at the hair follicle.  The root is destroyed instantaneously.  Depending on the type of light, one or more hairs can be treated at once.  The treatment is time consuming but is far quicker than electrolysis.  At present it is rather expensive. 

 

Good for: head to toe depilation

Not good for: eyebrows and eyelashes (too close to the eyes)

 

 

Summary

 

There are no ideal methods of removing hair Ė each has advantages and disadvantages.  Much depends on your skin type and your pocket. With advances in technology it is only a matter of time before hair removal can be done quickly, cheaply and permanently.   Until then, try the various methods and stick with the one that suits you best. 

 

Our last piece of advice is to experiment until you find your ideal smooth state and don't worry about the results - hair will grow back.

 

 

If you notice any inaccuracies in this guide, or if you become aware of any new technology or improved depilation techniques send an email to smoothnaturism@yahoo.co.uk !

 

 

 

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