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Why IPL is the Best Method for Removing Leg Hair

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Why IPL is the Best Method for Removing Leg Hair

Why IPL is the Best Method for Removing Leg Hair

The desire to want to remove hair usually starts during adolescence, and for some people, it never stops. Legs are one of the most common areas on the body where people choose to remove body hair. However, one trip to a pharmacy or grocery store will tell you that there are tons of different methods to remove that unwanted hair. With so many choices, how do you know which is best for you? For your skin? And what products provide the longest lasting results?

Rest assured, there are devices and methods to removing unwanted hair that are guaranteed to suit your needs. Whether you have sensitive skin or thick, stubborn hair, there’s a hair removal method out there for everyone.

The skin on your legs is tougher than other areas on your body, and the hair is generally thicker and coarser. For this reason, almost any hair removal method will work on the area. While the skin is less sensitive, the hair tends to be thicker and harder to remove. The hair also tends to grow back very quickly, sometimes within hours. For this reason, you may want to consider a stronger, more permanent solution.

 

Common Hair Removal Methods

Hair removal has been around for hundreds of years. Women of ancient Egypt would remove their body hair with tweezers made of seashells, pumice stones, or early beeswax and sugar-based waxes. During the Roman Empire, wealthy women used razors made from flints, tweezers, creams, and stones to remove excess hair. In the Middle Ages, Queen Elizabeth 1 made it popular to remove one’s eyebrows with walnut oil or bandages soaked in ammonia and vinegar.

These hair removal methods have been refined and reworked to make them safer and easier to use. Instead of using flints and seashells, we have the luxury of razors, tweezers, waxes, and creams that are tested and deemed safe for the skin.

Certain hair removal methods are best for certain areas of the body. Waxing is better for smaller areas, such as the upper lip or bikini line. Sugaring is good for the more sensitive skin on the body, like the bikini line or underarms. Shaving is popular for unwanted leg hair due to how easy and quick it is.

When looking at removing unwanted leg hair, some common hair removal methods today include:

  1. Shaving

Shaving is one of the cheapest and most easily accessible methods of removing hair. You can do it yourself in the shower, and it only takes a minute or two out of your shower routine to remove all of the hair on both legs.

Pros:

  • It’s quick to do, and can be done anywhere as long as there’s a water source nearby.
  • There’s little technique to shaving. Use a shaving cream/gel, and go against the grain for a close shave.
  • Razors can be purchased at pharmacies, grocery stores, and even convenience stores.
  • This can be done independently, without a professional’s help.
  • There is little risk for serious damage, if done properly.

 

Cons:

  • It leaves short-term results.
  • There is always a possible risk of knicks and cuts.
  • You need to replace razor heads frequently for a smooth, safe shave.

While shaving is popular for its convenience, it produces some of the least effective results. Shaving uses a razor to cut the hair where it meets the skin. This means that when the hair grows back, you’ll feel stubble immediately. It’s good in a pinch, but the results only last a few days or a few hours, depending on how quickly your hair grows back.

 

  1. Depilatory Cream

These creams work by breaking down the disulphide bonds in the keratin hair. Once these bonds are broken, the hair is weak enough that you can literally wipe or rinse it off your skin. Depilatory creams are inexpensive and can be bought at any pharmacy or some grocery stores.

Pros:

  • It is quick to apply, and usually takes less than 10 minutes to develop to where you can wipe off the hair.
  • There are a variety of formulas for sensitive skin, facial hair removal, or bikini line hair removal.
  • Most formulas are hydrating, so your skin will feel smooth and soft afterwards.

 

Cons:

  • The chemicals that make these creams work can have a strong odor.
  • Creams can be messy, so you need to have a towel on hand and make sure you apply the cream precisely to avoid getting it on any areas it shouldn’t be applied to.
  • The hair bonds are damaged slightly past the skin, but it doesn’t penetrate down to the follicle. Due to this, the hair will grow back in a few days.

Depilatory creams are good for those who are afraid of the pain of hair removal, as they are relatively painless. While they’re inexpensive, simple to use, and pain-free, there are always concerns when using chemicals on your skin. Make sure you get the right formula for your skin and the area it is being applied to, and do a small patch test to make sure you don’t get any irritation or burns from the cream.

 

  1. Waxing

Warm, melted wax is applied to the skin in strips, following the same direction as hair growth, and then pulled off in the opposite direction. The heat of the wax causes the hair follicles to dilate slightly, making it easier for the entire hair, including the root, to be removed. Wax is great for small areas as well as large areas like the legs, but can be painful in certain spots.

Pros:

  • The hair is pulled from the root, so results are a lot longer-lasting than shaving or using depilatory creams.
  • There are tons of different wax options. You can buy hard wax, wax strips, wax pots, or even roll-on options. This lets you find the easiest and most convenient way to wax your legs.
  • As you pull the wax off, the hair comes with it. For this reason, waxing is pretty quick and effective.
  • Waxing can be done by a professional or at-home, and at-home options are fairly inexpensive.

 

Cons:

  • Since the hair is removed from the root, it can be one of the more painful methods of hair removal.
  • You should follow instructions precisely. If the wax is too hot, it can damage or burn the skin.
  • Wax sticks to everything, and is hard to remove from clothes, towels, or carpet.
  • It is advised to only go over each area once to prevent damage to the skin.

Waxing is a good option for those who are willing to endure a little bit of pain for longer-lasting results. If you wax regularly, you should only need to undergo sessions once every 4-5 weeks. Additionally, the hair begins to grow in thinner and softer, so you don’t have that uncomfortable stubble feeling in-between sessions.

 

  1. Sugaring

This ancient Middle Eastern technique has gained popularity in North America in the past decade. It uses a simple recipe of sugar, water, and lemon juice to create a wax-like paste. This paste is spread onto the skin in the same direction as hair growth, then removed in the same direction. It’s like waxing, but since the paste is removed in the same direction as the hair, it’s less painful.

Pros:

  • You don’t need strips to remove the paste, like you do with waxing. This saves you time, as you don’t need to pause and apply a strip to the area after applying the product.
  • The ingredients are natural, making it great for people who react to certain chemicals.
  • This paste can be made at home, so it can be seen as the least expensive option.
  • The hair is removed from the root, providing results that last 4-5 weeks.
  • Sugaring is great for sensitive skin, as the paste is only warm, not hot like wax.
  • You can go over the same area multiple times without damage.

 

Cons:

  • The paste is sticky, and is hard to remove from clothes, towels, or carpets.
  • The skin needs to be dry and taught for sugaring to be most effective, so if it isn’t, you won’t get the results you may expect.

Sugaring is popular because of its effectiveness, but it still has its cons. Much like waxing, it provides a few weeks of soft skin, and the hair begins to grow in softer and thinner. With sugaring, you are encouraged to not shave or tweeze in-between sessions. For this reason, you might have 3 weeks of smooth hair-free skin, but the last two weeks where your hair is growing, you just have to let it grow out.

 

A More Permanent Solution

There’s a reason the methods above are popular for hair removal. Other methods do exist, such as tweezing, epilating, or threading. However, those methods are more suitable for small areas on the body, like the upper lip or eyebrows. For leg hair removal, the top methods are shaving, using a depilatory cream, waxing, or sugaring. Each method has their pros and cons, but at the end of the day, none of these methods are perfect.

If you’re looking for a solution that will leave you hair-free for months, or even permanently, try IPL hair removal.

 

What is IPL?

IPL stands for “intense pulsed light” and is a type of light therapy used to treat wrinkles, spots, and unwanted hair.  IPL hair removal is similar to laser hair removal, however there are a few key differences. A laser focuses just one wavelength of light at your skin, while IPL releases light of many different wavelengths. This light is more scattered and less focused than a laser, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the skin without causing any damage to the top layer of your skin.

Pigment cells in your body, known as melanin, absorb the light energy, which is then converted into heat. This heat destroys any unwanted pigment. In the case of hair removal, this means that the light causes damage to the hair follicle, where the hair grows from. Once the follicle is damaged, it prevents hair from growing.

You can use IPL on any part of your body, but it’s important to consider what goes into IPL treatments. IPL works best on skin tones where the contrast between the lightest pigments (your skin) and your darker pigments (your hair follicles) are most notable. A basic at-home IPL device will work best on people with pale skin and dark hair. The closer in tone your skin and hair are, the more complicated it gets.

Professional machines are designed to pick up on even the slightest change in pigment, so people with darker skin tones or lighter hair follicles can still experience this hair removal treatment. Additionally, there are at-home devices on the market with more precise colour-detecting technology to suit those with darker skin tones or lighter hair.

Pros:

  • The treatment works well to remove hair and also fade lines and spots at the same time.
  • Sessions are quick and relatively painless, compared to other methods of hair removal.
  • The light doesn’t damage the top layers of your skin, so you will have less risk of damaging the skin around the area being treated.
  • Recovery is fast.

 

Cons:

  • IPL requires several treatments to get the results you want.
  • Results aren’t immediate, so you might not be hair-free until the third or fourth treatment.
  • IPL for darker skin tones or lighter hair is more complicated, and should be done by a professional.
  • Depending on your skin/hair type, you might have to do maintenance after your initial sessions.

Overall, IPL is a great tool for hair removal. For coarser hair, like on the legs, it can provide exceptional results. It might require more work than waxing or shaving, but the results are way longer-lasting. With a little more time and effort, you could be completely hair-free in a few months or a year.

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