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Shaving and Hair Through the Ages

Facial hair comes and goes in vogue. So does chest hair and hairy legs for women. Visit a beach in France and few of the women shave their underarms or legs. No one cares or gives it a thought. Hair just like about everything else is culture and custom. Whether it is hair on your head your face, or your legs.

Men wore beards for millenniums. It was a sign of masculinity. No one would expect Abraham or Noah to be clean-shaven. It distinguished them as the patriarchs. No after shave balm for them! Times changed and men began to be clean-shaven in some cultures. The Middle Eastern men still sport beards as part of their religion. Women in certain cultures don't cut their hair short, or even show it to men then aren't married to. Hair is also a fascinating study.

In Egypt, due to the extreme heat it was fashionable for men and women to clip their hair close to their head. When you watch the "Ten Commandments", you see women with long black hair adorned with gold ornaments and ivory hairpins. The women wore these wigs for ceremonial occasions.

In classical Greece, women wore long hair and pulled them back into a chignon. Women dyed their hair red with henna and powdered it with gold, fresh flowers or jeweled tiaras. Men wore their hair short and even shaved for special occasions.

The Romans followed the Greek styles with the addition of the wealthy using curling irons. Women dyed their hair blonde or made wigs made from their slave's hair. Hairstyles became more ornate with tight curls piled on their head wound around wire frames. Slaves were often adept at hairstyling so the rich and famous could have complicated, ornate hairdos.

In Japan, the people shaved the front of their hair but kept the back long in a tightly worn ponytail. Different hairstyles for different eras. One of the craziest was in the Renaissance period where the upper class women plucked their entire front hairline in order to have higher foreheads! The remaining hair was scrapped back to display elaborate headdresses of the day. And you thought plucking the occasional eyebrow was painful!

While all this hair styling and shaving has changed through the years, we have adopted the western culture of clean-shaven men and hairless legs and underarms for women. We have better after shave products than our predecessors did though with aloe and moisturizing agents our hair isn't as hard to keep neatly shaven. Where will shaving and hairstyle be in the future?


Is Laser Hair Removal For You?

More and more people are opting for a more permanent solution to body and facial hair. Rather than stick with shaving or waxing, both considered rather archaic methods of hair removal now that lasers are available.

Laser hair removal is something that you can't do at home, at least, not effectively. Going to a spa for treatment will ensure that you have the best results possible. The trained spa technicians know the best methods to get rid of excess hair and can do it safely and effectively.

What is Laser Hair Removal?
The actual mechanics of this type of treatment are quite simple. The light beam is aimed at the root of the hair. This is the main reason to have the procedure done in a spa, since the root of the hair could be at an angle to the actual strand. The heat from the light beam destroys the root of the hair, but doesn't burn the surrounding tissue.

The reason this works is because the laser can focus on the dark hair, which is caused by melanin, a pigment found in both skin and hair. While it may require several repeat treatments, laser therapy is eventually a permanent solution to unwanted hair. It's necessary to do several treatments because of the hair growth cycle . . . another hair will be forming when the first is destroyed and this needs to be eliminated, as well. Doing the laser treatment at specific points in the hair growth cycle will eventually create a permanent change.

Are You a Good Candidate?
If you're sick of shaving, waxing, sugaring or trying any number of other methods of getting rid of hair on your body and face, then you might want to look at laser treatment. Most spas offer this as an option, but since it requires special equipment and training, you'll want to make sure before heading in for a treatment.

Good candidates for laser hair removal usually fall into specific categories. For one, this isn't a suitable treatment for large areas of hair, like legs or chest, so if you're looking for a removal solution for a large area, chances are, laser isn't it. It is, however, very effective for small areas, such as between eyebrows, the mustache area or other small areas with unwanted hair.

Since the light beam seeks out melanin, it works best on those with light skin and dark hair. Natural blondes will have difficulties using the laser treatment effectively since the heat will have nowhere to build. Likewise, with anyone who has dark skin, the laser won't work very well, either.

So, the ideal candidate for laser treatment has light skin and black hair and needs to get rid of a small area of hair, such as the bikini line. That doesn't mean someone with a medium complexion and brown hair can't have laser removal treatment, but you will definitely want to talk to the laser technician to find out if it's worth it. Those with lighter hair or darker skin may find that they need more treatments in order to get the permanent effect.

Laser hair removal can be done at your local spa, most likely. It's a process that will need to be repeated several times, but it is eventually permanent and since it removes hair at the root, you'll find that it leaves no trace of stubble or color beneath the skin and it usually takes a long time for the hair to grow back out. For many people, male and female, laser hair treatment is the way to go.


The Pros and Cons of Hair Removal

Hair will grow on almost every part of the body. We live in a society where excess hair growth on certain areas is not considered very attractive. Some areas are deemed acceptable for men while others find the same area unacceptable for women. There are other reasons why people remove that can include medical reasons, cultural reasons, male-to female gender reassignment, religious reasons, sports related reasons, and military reasons. No matter what the reason is for choosing to remove hair, the result has been a booming hair removal industry with modern hair removal techniques.

Many types of hair removal methods have been developed to make hair removal much easier. The following is a list of popular hair removal techniques and the pros and cons associated with each one:

Shaving: This type of hair removal method is usually done manually or with an electric shaver. This is a popular choice because there are very few side effects. People with sensitive skin may acquire a rash that will go away quickly. Moisturizers usually help with redness. It is painless and gives good results.

Powders or Creams: This method is a very popular choice because there are not usually any permanent side effects. People with sensitive skin may get a slight skin irritation. It is important to test a spot on the skin to make sure you do not get a reaction. Many cream products have moisturizers in them. Some products are made for people with sensitive skin.

Removing the Hair and Root: A few methods include:
- Plucking: The hair is plucked using tweezers.
- Waxing: Hot or cold layer is applied and then removed with strips
- Sugaring Like waxing, but a sticky paste is applied to the skin
- Threading: Twisted thread catches hairs as it is rolled across the skin

When using these methods, it takes the hair longer to grow back. Other than a possible skin irritation, there is not usually a serious reaction when done correctly. It is an expensive method of hair removal. If waxing and sugaring is done incorrectly, there may be burning and skin damage which can be painful. Threading can be expensive but it is not painful.

Electrolysis: Most experts say that electrolysis is the best method for permanently removing hair. Electrolysis involves injecting the base of a hair follicle with electric currents. The heat from the current dries the base of the follicle inhibiting further hair growth. Electrolysis can be expensive and requires a professional to perform the procedure.

Laser Treatment: This is another permanent hair removal method. Laser treatment involves applying a wavelength to the skin where it enters the hair follicle. The wavelength damages the follicle and surrounding tissue stopping hair growth. Laser treatment is a recommended choice for people with dark or coarse hair. It is given by a professional and can be expensive. There is pain associated with laser treatment. Professional laser treatment businesses will use pain reduction techniques.

If there is a particular area on your body that has too much hair such as on your back, chest, legs, or above your lip, there are many beneficial hair removal methods. Before choosing a permanent hair removal method, you should talk to a professional. If you have a skin disease such as psoriasis, you should not use products or methods to remove your hair. It is important to research the various hair removing methods before choosing one. Consider which one will meet your particular circumstance.

For most people, hair removal is a common practice. With the right knowledge, your hair removing experience can be as normal as any other daily care routine.


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