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Hair Removal Quiz: Solutions for Unwanted Hair

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Pluck with care because eyebrows grow back more slowly than other hair.

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Pluck with care because eyebrows grow back more slowly than other hair.

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Because there are so many of them, it may seems like eyebrow hairs grow fast. But they don't.

 

Tweeze carefully and sparingly so you get the right ones, because each individual hair takes weeks to grow back. At any given time, most of your eyebrow hairs are in the resting (telogen) phase of their growth cycle. They spend about three times longer in this phase than the hair on your head.

 

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Threading is most effective at removing hair on the:

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Threading is most effective at removing hair on the:

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That's because threading works best on relatively flat surfaces. The practitioner twists a looped piece of thread to capture hairs and pull them out at the root.

 

It’s been used for centuries as a quick, relatively painless, and chemical-free way to remove unwanted hair from the upper lip, hairline, brows, and other parts of the face.

Shaving makes hair grow back thicker and darker.

Shaving makes hair grow back thicker and darker.

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Shaving blunts the end of each hair (from its normal tapered end), which can make the area feel or look coarser when hairs grow back. But this is illusion. It's the same kind of hair you had before you shaved.

How can you avoid razor bumps?

How can you avoid razor bumps?

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"Razor bumps" are usually caused by ingrown hairs. Blame sensitive skin that's shaved closely and often, like the beard or bikini area. Anyone can develop razor bumps. African-American hair is especially prone.

 

Exfoliating helps remove the top layer of dead skin, allowing hair to grow out more easily. More ways to prevent ingrown hairs: Use glycolic body washes and a moisturizing shave cream or gel, change razors frequently, and shave in the direction hair grows.

Is it safe to wax unwanted nipple hair?

Is it safe to wax unwanted nipple hair?

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The FDA warns against waxing the nipples, as well as genital areas, eyelashes, nose, or ears -- basically any very sensitive skin. Risks range from temporary inflammation to infection and scarring. It is safe to tweeze these hairs.

 

Now, on your legs? Wax away!

You probably shouldn't wax if you have lots of moles.

You probably shouldn't wax if you have lots of moles.

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If you have lots of moles, warts, or varicose veins in the area you want to wax, you may want to find another way to get rid of hair. Waxing can remove a layer of skin, causing scars or infection. Taking some antibiotics and acne medications may put waxing off limits, too, because they cause your skin to be thinner and more sensitive.

The only parts of your body that don't have hair are the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, lips, and:

The only parts of your body that don't have hair are the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, lips, and:

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You actually have two types of hair: The fine, soft "peach fuzz" covering most of your body helps maintain body temperature. The darker, coarser stuff on your head and genitals and under your arms helps protect sensitive areas.

How do depilatories work?

How do depilatories work?

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Depilatories react with the protein in hair, dissolving it into a jellylike substance on your skin that can be wiped away.

 

While inexpensive and painless, depilatory products can be smelly and messy. They may not work on thick coarse hair, and may burn the skin if not used carefully.

 

They're not meant for eyebrows, areas near the eyes, or irritated skin.

Which shaves closer: an electric shaver or a razor?

Which shaves closer: an electric shaver or a razor?

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Traditional razor blades shave right next to the skin for smoother results.

 

Electric shavers shave slightly less close, but get points for letting you shave without soap or water, and for producing fewer nicks. But they can cause ingrown hairs and irritate underarm skin.

If electrolysis and lasers both destroy hair follicles, is one treatment enough?

If electrolysis and lasers both destroy hair follicles, is one treatment enough?

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Electrolysis kills the hair follicle using an electrical current and is the only hair removal method that is permanent. It requires a series of sessions over time.

 

Laser hair removal also destroys follicles, using light that converts to heat. But you may need touch-ups every six months to a year because hair grows in cycles.

 

Laser hair removal works best on people with:

Laser hair removal works best on people with:

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Laser hair removal uses concentrated beams or "pulses" of light to destroy hair follicles. The light is absorbed by melanin, the pigment that gives skin and hair its color, so it works best on people with light skin and dark hair.

 

That's why lasers won't work at all on white hair and don’t work well on blond hair. (It's also wise to avoid tanning for 6 weeks beforehand.)

 

For dark skin, laser hair removal is best done using a device with longer light wavelengths, to reduce the risk of burns and discoloration to skin around the hair follicles.

 

Laser hair removal works best on:

Laser hair removal works best on:

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That's because the skin is thinner here, and thin skin is more responsive to the laser. You can apply a lotion or gel to numb the skin before the treatment. Avoid the sun afterwards.

How do epilators work?

How do epilators work?

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Epilators, which use hundreds of tiny, rotating tweezers to pluck hairs, last longer than shaving because they remove hair at the root. They work best on legs and underarms. Some manufacturers say they can be used on any body hair, including bikini area and face.

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Smooth sailing! You're hip on hair-removal options.

A little stubbly. Your hair-removal savvy could be smoother.

Ouch, razor burn. Consider sharpening your hair-removal know-how.

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