Hair removal seems to be a popular anti-aging advice topic for women, regardless of how old they get. Although the hair on your head might get thinner as you age, facial hair can increase after menopause. In one study, almost half of the female participants, all of whom were at the onset of menopause, experienced more facial hair growth, especially on the chin. Thanks to fluctuating hormone levels, the hair can sometimes get coarser and more visible. And even though body hair might diminish with age, it may not disappear completely, which is why women of all ages are always looking for the best anti-aging advice for hair removal.
Hair removal falls under the umbrella of anti-aging skin care, because different techniques can affect your skin in different ways. The composition and texture of your skin can change as you get older, which is why the best anti-aging advice for hair removal is to familiarize yourself with each technique, and in evaluating the pros and cons, it’ll be easier to figure out which one would work best for you.
Anti-Aging Advice for Shaving
This one is probably the most common for getting rid of body hair, especially on the legs and underarms, because it’s quick, easy, and cheap. Although it does work to make skin look clean and smooth, it’s a very temporary solution, because you’re just snipping the hair. There’s this idea that shaving makes hair grow back thicker, but many experts and even studies are disproving that myth—since you’re not touching the hair follicles under the skin, it doesn’t affect the texture of hair. While that’s comforting anti-aging advice, there’s still the fact that shaving makes a blunt cut to the hair, which can make it look thicker when it grows back.
There are a growing number of dermatologists who think it’s good anti-aging advice for women to shave their face, because it acts as an exfoliator, removing the top layer of dead skin cells—this is believed to encourage the production of collagen, which in turn helps to reduce visible wrinkles. Sounds like good anti-aging advice, right? Well, other anti-aging skin care experts warn that it can cause irritation, especially for aging adults who have thinner, more sensitive skin.
Anti-Aging Advice for Waxing
The good thing about waxing is that it pulls the hair from the root, which means the results look cleaner and last longer than shaving, and the regrowth looks more natural. The downside of this hair removal technique is that it can be painful, especially on sensitive areas, like the bikini line. Also, too much waxing can make skin feel raw and look damaged, especially if you already suffer from sensitive skin.
The best anti-aging advice for waxing is to let your skin settle for at least three to four weeks before waxing the same area again. And avoid sun exposure right after waxing, because your skin will be more sensitive and susceptible to sun damage. It’s also good anti-aging advice to look into the ingredients of the wax you’re using and test it first on a small area of skin to avoid any skin irritations or allergic reactions.
Anti-Aging Advice for Threading and Tweezing
These are both usually reserved for facial hair removal, since they only remove one or two hairs at a time, although it does remove the hair from the follicle. It’s effective for getting rid of those coarse hairs on the chin and upper lip that sprout after menopause. Threading and tweezing works best when the skin is pulled taut. The problem is that as you age, your skin usually gets thinner and loses elasticity so if you’re not careful, tweezing and especially threading can cut the skin. The best anti-aging advice for this technique is to consult a professional—your hands will be free to hold the skin tight while they remove the hairs.
Anti-Aging Advice for Laser Hair Removal
This hair removal technique works by beaming a concentrated light right into the hair follicles. The light gets absorbed and the hair is essentially destroyed. It’s good because the laser is very precise and can work without damaging the surrounding skin. It’s also popular anti-aging advice for hair removal because many patients experience a more long-term solution, and the hair grows back, it usually grows much lighter.
Although this is a common non-surgical cosmetic procedure for hair removal, it’s still a medical procedure that should be done by a qualified professional. So you should follow the same anti-aging advice you would for other procedures—always check the credentials of the person performing the laser treatment. Also keep in mind that it does come with a hefty price tag. Depending on the area you’re treating, you’ll probably need six to 10 sessions to really see results, and each one can cost anywhere from $75 to $235.
Anti-Aging Advice for Depilatory Creams
Like shaving, depilatory creams are a quick and easy fix, but with more short-term results. They work by dissolving the hair on the surface of the skin, as opposed to removing it from the root. While they might work for some people, depilatories are made with chemicals, so they can sometimes leave your skin with a tingling or burning sensation. They can also cause irritation, so you should follow the same anti-aging advice as waxing—test it on a small area of skin before using it everywhere.
Anti-Aging Advice for Electrolysis
Our anti-aging advice would be to save this hair removal technique as more of a last resort. Electrolysis is acosmetic procedure that involves inserting a very fine metallic probe into each follicle of hair—it’s the same or smaller diameter as the follicle so it doesn’t damage the skin. The idea is to destroy the center of where the hair grows, so that it not only gets rid of the hair, but prevents it from growing again.
On the plus side, electrolysis is the only procedure that’s recognized by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association as being a truly permanent hair removal solution. On the other hand, it comes with more potential risks, like scarring, skin tenderness, swelling, and hyperpigmentation. If you’re considering electrolysis for hair removal, make sure you follow this anti-aging advice: only use a licensed or certified electrologist, ask around for referrals, request a preliminary consultation to evaluable the state of your skin, follow post-treatment instructions, and make sure you can afford to complete multiple sessions.
“Electrolysis for Removing Hair,” WebMD web site, March 12, 2014; http://www.webmd.com/beauty/hair-removal/electrolysis-for-removing-hair.
“Laser Hair Removal,” WebMD web site; http://www.webmd.com/beauty/hair-removal/laser-hair-removal, last accessed February 11, 2015.
Lynch, A., “Women are shaving their faces now and, according to some experts, it’s not as crazy as it sounds,” Metro web site, February 9, 2015; http://metro.co.uk/2015/02/09/women-are-shaving-their-faces-now-and-according-to-some-experts-its-not-as-crazy-as-it-sounds-5054893/.
Solomon, A., “Does Shaving Make Your Hair Grow Back Thicker?” Everyday Health web site; http://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/does-shaving-make-hair-grow-back-thicker.aspx, last accessed February 11, 2015.
Wojnarowska, A.F., “Physiological Changes in Scalp, Facial and Body Hair after Menopause,” The British Journal of Dermatology 2011; 14(3): 508-513.