METRO PLUS

Wipe out your woes

BAUSCH & LOMB'S FACE OF THE YEAR MS.SOHINI JAITLY. PHOTO:S R RAGHUNATHAN.

BAUSCH & LOMB'S FACE OF THE YEAR MS.SOHINI JAITLY. PHOTO:S R RAGHUNATHAN.  

UNWANTED HAIR can be a major problem. While some methods like tweezing and waxing can remove the hair temporarily, a permanent solution is what every woman would look for. Here are some of the methods available in the country by which one can remove superfluous hair.

Electrolysis

TILL RECENTLY, one of the popular methods for permanent removal of superfluous hair was electrolysis. In this method, a special electric machine is used which has a positive pole - the anode and a negative outlet - cathode. The client holds the electrode (anode) and the needle holder is attached to the negative outlet (cathode). The needle from the electrical epilation machine is inserted into the hair follicle. The direct current flows out over the length of the needle. Because of the moisture in the hair follicle, sodium hydroxide is formed within it. This chemically decomposes the follicle tissue and then remains in the follicle to continue to destroy the cells. This results in the hair follicle being completely destroyed.

There are three types of electrolysis machines which are being used:

* Direct or galvanise current machine;

* High frequency current or short wave diathermy machine;

* A blend current machine.

The Blend Current machine method is the best. The direct current produces sodium hydroxide that chemically decomposes the follicle while the High Frequency current coagulates the follicle. The interaction of the two currents produces better results.

Treatment time will vary according to the area to be treated and the amount of hair to be removed. Treatment is usually spread over 3-10 sittings depending on the area. Eg. Upper lip/ chin area may require less sittings than back or fore arms.

The treatment is not painful in the blend technique - a slight stinging irritating sensation will be experienced.

Dos and Don'ts

IF YOU plan to go for electrolysis, choose a beautician / therapy who is well trained and has been practicing this for 2-3 years at least.

- Find out about the machine being used. Go for a blend treatment.

- Make sure the needles being used are a) of right size b) disposable or properly sterilised.

- Enquire about cost and number of sittings in advance.

- If you are a diabetic or asthmatic, consult your doctor before going in for the treatment.

- Apply the recommended soothing lotion for 48 hours.

- Report any scabbing or pustular formation to the therapist.

- Do not pluck and wash the area in-between treatments.

- Do not expose the area to UV light.

- Do no use heat treatment such as sauna and do not swim for 48 hours.

Laser treatment

THESE DAYS, the most popular and effective method of permanent hair removal is the use of lasers that have been specifically designed to destroy many hairs at a short time and with little chance of complication. Laser hair removal is an effective new technology and the effects are permanent in 80 per cent of the patients.

Laser hair removal offers patients a safe, fast and effective alternative for dealing with unwanted hair. Lasers work by emitting a specialised light that is passed through the skin and preferentially absorbed by its target, be it an unwanted blood vessel, birthmark, tattoo or in this case, hair. The laser used in hair removal targets the melanin (colour) in the hair follicle, damaging the follicle and removing the hair. Laser hair removal is safe enough to be used in the face, back, underarms, arms, bikini line and legs.

The laser works by a principle called selective photothermolysis. The laser is pulsed (turned on) for a few milliseconds emitting a beam of light on to the skin. The light energy passes harmlessly through the skin, but is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle and hair shaft. By absorbing this laser energy, the hair follicles are disabled, impairing their ability to grow.

The latest method of hair removal by laser is the Depilase Yaglase Laser Technology. This treatment uses the US FDA approved Depilase Yaglase long pulse Nd-Yag laser. This type of laser system has been approved for permanent hair reduction in all types of skin colour.

The Alexandrite and Diode lasers may not be suitable for patients with dark skin tones. The Depilase has a 1064 nm wavelength light that specifically targets the pigment contained in the hair follicle and shaft. A separate dynamic cooling device is used to protect the outer layer of skin, which decreases the surface temperature and prevents thermal injury. The dynamic cooling also provides a mild anaesthetic property allowing areas to be treated as painlessly as possible. The time taken for hair removal by laser depends on the area chosen. The Depilase Yaglase System was developed from years of research. The laser parameters were carefully defined to inhibit re-growth by studying the anatomy of the hair follicle and matching the laser light and pulse duration to the follicle size, depth and location to safely and effectively remove hair and is therefore, quite safe.

The time required for treatment depends on the area and kind of hair as the laser works by disabling hair in the active growth stage (anagen) at the time of treatment. Additional treatments will be necessary to disable all the hair follicles in the area being treated. Treatments are usually given at intervals of 4-6 weeks or when new hair growth is noticed. You can discuss your requirements with your consultant. In most cases, 3 to 6 treatments will be necessary to achieve optimal results.

Most patients describe laser hair removal as feeling "prickly" or like the light snap of a rubber band against the skin. You will not need any type of anaesthesia for your treatments. Laser hair removal works best when the hair is one to two millimetres in length. No specific care is needed after the treatment.

Within about 30 minutes of treatment, the area may become slightly pink. Clients describe it as mild sunburn - this reaction usually subsides within a day or so. Because the laser does not damage the skin, no bandages are necessary.

Some follow-ups

AFTER YOUR treatment, you can return to your normal activities. The treated areas should be handled with care after treatment. Avoid: Retiono-A, alphahydroxy acids, glycolic acids and astringents. You may clean the area using milk, soap and water. You should avoid tanning and use a sunscreen on any treated areas exposed to the sun.

Around 3-10 days after treatment, hairs will begin to surface. Most of these were treated and are "falling out" - it is not re-growth. The hair follicles need to purge the hairs that remained under the skin. Please refrain from waxing, plucking or bleaching between treatments.

LILY MADHOK

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