December 27, 2007

Hair Removal: Threading, Friction and Epilators  

Friction, Threading and the use of rotating epilators are other methods of hair removal.

Friction - Friction is not a very popular method of hair removal although some people find it effective on fine hairs of the legs and arms. In this method, a rough surface, like a mitt or a pumice stone, is used to rub away hair on the skin's surface. A mitt with rough strips on a smooth surface is often used. Friction is inexpensive, fast, basically painless and can be done at home. This also exfoliates and smoothes the skin. Most say this method is good for fine hair on the legs while others use it between shaving or waxing sessions. The effects last a short time, a few hours to a few days and a pigmented area often called the dark 'shadow' is often visible. This can also cause skin irritation if rubbed too hard and is not for use on sensitive areas like the face, arms or bikini area.

Threading (Khite) - This method is called khite in Arabic and fatlah in Egyptian. It's not a commonly used method in the West but it is primarily for removing hair at the root and is used mainly on facial hair, especially in the eyebrow area. Rows of three to five stray hair strands are pulled out with twists of cotton thread.

Traditionally, the practitioner holds one end of the cotton thread in his teeth and the other end in his left hand. The middle part of the thread is looped through the index and middle fingers of the right hand. The practitioner then uses this loop of thread to lock in a series of unwanted hairs and yank them by the root from the skin. There are also devices made that can hold the thread during the procedure. A more modern procedure eliminates the use of the practitioner's teeth. Threading is inexpensive, neat, accurate and fast. This method is considered a little less painful than plucking or tweezing for many people. Threading is deemed good for cleaning the eyebrows and facial hair. Similar to plucking, results can last up to two to four weeks. Unfortunately, you cannot do it yourself and it is a little difficult to find a good professional practitioner outside urban areas. Many states call for a licensed cosmetologist to do hair removal like threading. Threading can result in pain and itching. In some cases, this results in side effects which include folliculitis, which is a bacterial infection of hair follicles causing reddening or puffiness of the skin and changes in skin pigment.

Rotary Epilators - Rotary epilators are devices that are akin to electric razors. The difference is that, instead of a cutting blade on the rotary head, the epilator has rows of tweezers which yank hairs out by the root. This tool is good for the hair on legs and arms. The hair-free effect can last from several days to a few weeks.

However, this device can be hard to use on the backs of legs. Others become sore, especially on the body's sensitive areas and the epilators often prove to be difficult to use on fine hairs. Also, the hairs to be removed must be grown long enough so that the tweezers can grasp them. To aid in this procedure, the skin must be pulled tight to avoid pinching. Like plucking, this can also result in irritation and ingrown hairs.
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Hair Removal

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