Friday, 23 March 2012

Masterclass - Hair Removal

aka - How not to look like a Wookie

To start a brief history of hair removal we need to go all the way back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Middle Eastern, these times is where woman started to remove hair. They removed everything apart from the eyebrows (yes head as well!), as it was classes as uncivilised. We then go onto the Roman Empire where it was a show of class of how little hair you had. Wealthy Roman women would use pumice stones, razors, tweezers and creams to remove any unwanted hair.

The Europeans didn't really catch up until Elizabethan times, and well even then it was to remove eyebrows and reduce our front hair line to give us a longer brow like the fashions of the time. It as rumoured at the time that mother would either rub walnut oil, or bandages with vinegar and cats poo to stop growth happening. (Hmm classy)

Fast forward until 1915 where the first female razor was invented, then a model was featured in Harpes Bizarre featured a armpit hairless model. It is now more of a social acceptable practice to remove hair to look more appeasing and as with most things it was all driven forward by fashion of the times.
Let's look at the different methods of getting rid of those pesky hairs:

Shaving – The oldest and most used. Started in the cave days with men (and then women) using sharpened flints to scape the skin and hair off. These days its a little less scary by using safety sharpened blades over the skin, with this its wise to use a shaving foam/gel to aid the razor over the skin so it doesn't catch and cause any rashes. You will find you will need to shave every few days to keep things smooth.
Depilatory creams – An ancient Egyptian creation of using sugars and sometimes bees wax was put onto the skin then cloths put over this and ripped off. This can still be found but is now more classed as waxing. The current form is in a cream that is put onto the skin left to loosen/dissolve the hair and then scraped off. This can last for about a week to 2 weeks depending on hair, and always keep to the time instructions as the ingrediants are highly reactive if left on over the time allocated.
Tweezering – Using a pair of tweezers to pull out hairs at the roots, best used for very small areas like eyebrows, and for clearing any missed hairs after treatment.

Waxing – Used warm or cold is spread over the skin and removed using strips, need to have a minimum of 5mm growth before doing so the wax has something to grip and pull out. Gives some of the longest and smoothest results (its also takes any dead skin cells with it as well so a bonus exfoliation) in my experience, and can be really reasonable if you shop around. Can experience ingrown hairs that can be affected and you can get some bleeding, and will have some pain factor to it.
Sugaring – Done by the Egyptians again, but using sugar and has more of a sticky feel to it. Apart from that piratically the same as waxing.
Threading – Became more popular recently from Middle east and has been used from the original times of hair removal. It was kept for special occasions like a wedding or a girls coming of age. It uses cotton thread over the skin and twisted to grab hairs from the skin. It's perfect for small areas that need to be accurately removed, hence the explosion of brow bars and its use. Keep eyes peeled for a follow up on this subject.
Epilators – Are machines that work like tweezers, they are mini tweezers set in the revolving head that pluck the hairs out of the skin. Most people use this in between waxing appointments rather than as singular as for some people it is more painful than waxing.
There are long term solutions out there that are more money but these are the more reacable options for people. If you do decide to go for long term soltuion please put in the research and with any treatment like these and above check the salons qualifications.

Next week – Feet

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