Although your distant ancestors probably appreciated facial and body hair for its insulating and protective qualities, current styles and comfort often necessitate the removal of hairy growth. While many men continue to shave to remove areas of undesirable hair growth, various products perform this same function. Although shaving may cause razor burn, other products may also cause discomfort. Like shaving, these hair removal products require repeat applications to remove the hair as it continues to grow and emerge from the follicles.
Hair removal waxes work by pulling individual hairs from their follicles, below the surface of the skin. These cosmetic waxes include both cold and hot waxes. Hot waxes require heat to melt them into a thick liquid. After applying to the skin, these waxes begin to cool and harden against the exposed shafts of hair. Cold waxes don’t require heat to soften, but they also tighten around the hairs after application. Once hardened, removing this wax pulls the hairs out of your skin. Some products require fabric strips that you can press into the soft wax, before pulling the wax from your skin. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration warns against using waxes to remove hair over varicose veins, moles and warts, as well as areas of sunburned or chapped skin. They also recommend using this product on a small area of skin to perform a preliminary test. This hair removal technique often causes minor discomfort and redness.
Depilatory products usually contain highly alkaline ingredients, although some may contain acidic ones. These topical products break down the protein structure of the hair, causing them to soften and dissolve. Depilatories come in a variety of forms, including gels, lotions, aerosols and creams. Although these products can remove coarse beard hair, using them on the facial skin requires careful application. Do not apply depilatories near your eyes, eyebrows or over broken skin.
Similar to waxing, sugaring pulls the hair out of the follicles. These commercially prepared products and homemade formulas require heating prior to application. After applying the warm sugar mixture to your face, press a strip of cloth into the sticky substance and allow adequate time to harden. Quickly pull the strip of coated cloth from your skin to remove the underlying hair.