Does It Kill Hair to Remove It by the Root?

Plucking isn't going to kill your hair.

Photo: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

After the agony of plucking a hair, you might reasonably hope it’s gone for good. Think again. That sharp pain you feel isn’t a death knell for your follicle -- it’ll bounce back and keep on growing hair. Permanent hair removal can be yours, but only if you’re willing to try a treatment designed to target the follicle itself.

Structure

You may only see the hair that comes out of your skin, but there’s much more to it. Inside your skin are roots from which the base of your hair grows. It gets pushed up through the follicle and emerges from your skin. Oil glands in the follicle help keep your hair supple and moist.

Removing Hair

When you pluck a hair, you’re getting rid of that individual hair. Thing is, it’s already dead. Hair is just a bunch of protein called keratin that grows from a living root in your follicle. Pulling out a hair may rid you of one strand for a few days, but the bulb is going to start producing more hair and squeezing it out until you can see and feel it again.

Killing Hair

If you want to kill a certain hair forever, try electrolysis or laser hair removal. Electrolysis kills hair by shooting an electric current down the shaft and to the root. Laser hair removal uses lasers to target the hair follicle. The heat from the laser damages or kills the follicle, stopping hair from regrowing. Both treatments should be done by a licensed professional. You don’t want to end up with scarring.

Tips

If you have light skin and light body hair, electrolysis may be a better choice for you. Laser hair removal zeroes in on dark hair pigments that aren’t present in lighter hair. Electrolysis also has better permanent removal results. Laser hair removal eliminates between 40 percent and 80 percent of hair growth in any treated area. Both treatments require multiple appointments and aren’t necessarily easy on your wallet.

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