Hair is obviously a natural part of life for us all. Excess growth of hair in women is often caused by an imbalance in hormones and can occur during pregnancy and/or later in life during the menopause. Excess male hormones known as androgens can occur in women for a number of additional reasons and these can cause hair to grow excessively. While androgens do occur naturally, imbalances in their levels can be caused by some medications and they are also likely to be stimulated when you put on weight. Excessive levels of androgens in men can also cause excessive hair growth and, again, weight can be a factor. Traditional treatments for hair removal are normally considered appropriate to resolve the problem and these include:
- Shaving; one of the oldest techniques and one that most women and men will be very familiar with. Hair does grow back quickly and shaving can cause ingrown hairs which create lumps and bumps on the skin. Stubble will grow back quickly and this can be uncomfortable and unsightly. For those with more serious problem hair, shaving is rarely a solution.
- Bleaching, waxing, plucking and threading; all of these techniques have been used throughout history. Bleaching does not remove hair but disguises the appearance by lightening the hair, while waxing and depilatory creams “melt” the hair away. These solutions can cause skin irritation in some cases but the results last for a number of weeks. Plucking and threading remove the hairs individually and are only suitable (and affordable) for small areas of hair, such as the eyebrows.
- Electrolysis removes hair permanently and works on all skin/hair tone combinations. This may sound like the simplest solution but there is a catch. The hairs must be treated individually and the process can take up a great deal of time as a result it is, of course, costly. Although suitable for most people it has been known to cause scarring or change skin colour.
- Laser hair removal, although not considered permanent is believed to reduce the amount of hair on a long term basis. For those with lighter skin tones and dark hair colours this is often the most effective solution. Salon treatments require several sessions, depending on the area to be treated, but the effects last many months. Laser hair removal also has been shown to weaken hair on a more permanent basis. Additionally, home laser hair removal systems are now available on the market.
Although it is not possible to get hair removal treatments through the NHS your doctor may be able to offer advice on the suitability of the cosmetic treatments. In some cases doctors may be able to offer treatments using medication if your condition is causing problems that are affecting your quality of life. Depression, anxiety and even eating disorders are not uncommon side effects of the low self-esteem caused by excessive hair growth, in these cases doctors may consider medical treatments to reduce hair growth if they believe it will contribute to your overall recovery. You should consider medications carefully along with the advice of your doctor, as they can themselves have side effects. Whichever method of treatment you choose it’s important to understand that problem hair growth is a common issue that affects both men and women. Simple treatments, including home laser hair removal, are available at affordable costs and can help to reduce the appearance of hair over time, leaving you free to get on with your life.
The TRIA Home Laser Hair Removal System can help to reduce problem hair which for many people
can be a cause of distress and low self-esteem. More effective than traditional methods of hair
removal it can also be a realistic alternative for those with more difficult problem hair conditions.
PS - Thank you so much for this super-informative, well-written article.