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You shave, you wax, you pluck and sometimes you epilate -- ouch! -- so you know what temporary hair removal is all about. Hair removal and hair reduction refer mostly to more permanent types of hair-growth control -- the kind for which you pay big bucks and go to a private office. But not all pricey options completely and permanently remove hair.
Temporary Hair Removal
With all the shaving, tweezing and agonizing in the mirror that goes on in women's bathrooms, it's safe to say most women are extremely familiar with temporary hair removal. Temporary hair removal involves any procedure that is -- well -- temporary, meaning the hair grows back. Virtually all forms of home hair removal are considered temporary.
Permanent Hair Removal
Permanent hair removal takes place in a dermatologist's office or at an upscale, full-service salon. Only one form of permanent hair removal exists: electrolysis. Electrolysis involves insertion of a fine needle into the hair follicle. An electrical zap destroys the hair follicle, making it impossible for that follicle to grow new hair. In the absence of error, hair removed by electrolysis will not grow back, but sometimes several sessions are needed to make sure all the follicles are zapped properly.
Permanent Hair Reduction
Lasers permanently reduce hair. What's the difference? Lasers disrupt hair follicles, making it unlikely that follicles will produce hair for some time. Hair can grow back after this procedure, but it is often finer and thinner than before the service. Laser therapy will not permanently remove all hair, and maintenance is required to keep hair growth in check.
All forms of hair removal have benefit. Temporary methods are quick, easy and inexpensive. Electrolysis may seem pricey, but once you add up what you spend on shaving cream and razors over a lifetime, the cost shrinks in comparison. Permanent hair removal poses some risks, though, such as scarring. Hair reduction poses less risk and many of the benefits of permanent hair removal, meaning you don't have to shave every day.