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Research in the area of technical grooming didn’t end with electrolysis and laser hair removal. Science just won’t quit when there’s a human need to be fulfilled, so other electronic and electro-optic approaches have been developed in creating efficient hair removal processes. Some augment the mechanical methods of depilating, others are variations on laser technology; they have advantages and disadvantages and varying effectiveness, but are each worth considering in your hair removal program.

The Cutting Edge For Hair
A couple of variations on the Tweezing hair removal method are Electric Current Tweezing and Shortwave Tweezing. They work like this:

  • In Electric Current Tweezing, electric current is applied to an individual hair through an electrified tweezer, then the tweezer operator grips the hair above the skin's surface and grasps it for 15 seconds to several minutes. Some feel this treatment has reduced pain and side effects compared to ordinary tweezing and it’s considered safe if performed properly. However, it can be a hundred times slower than regular tweezing and can be expensive despite very little published proof of its permanence in hair removal.
  • Shortwave Tweezing works exactly the same way a microwave oven cooks food. Water molecules inside the hair’s follicle shaft are "excited" over 27 million times per second through the use of high intensity radio waves, resulting in a thermolysis (heating) effect which thermally desiccates (dries) and coagulates (cooks) the hair papilla cells and damages hair follicle tissue beyond the point of regeneration.

An offshoot of electrolysis hair removal are the Transdermal and Transcutaneous methods:

  • In Transdermal hair removal a conductive gel is applied to the skin and electricity passes through a conductive cotton swab that makes contact with the gel, travels down the hair follicle, and permanently damages the hair root. There is no published clinical data indicating transdermal or transcutaneous methods can result in permanent hair removal.
  • As above, In Transcutaneous hair removal a conductive gel is spread on the skin, only an adhesive patch is used to convey the electricity that’s passed through to the gel. In addition to the above data on effectiveness, the FDA has not evaluated claims of permanent hair removal for these methods.

A Little Light Music
Variations on the laser hair removal method use different electro-optic technologies to apply light energy to unwanted hair. Some are:

  • Intense Pulsed LIght ( IPL) - A fiber-optic probe is placed in or above the hair follicle and an intense (non-laser generated) light energy is sent through the probe and into the follicle, which is then tweezed. As with its predecessors, there is no proof this photoepilation can achieve permanent hair removal.
  • Variable Pulsed Light (VPL) - Pulsed Light units emit non-laser derived light across a broad spectrum of wavelengths that are absorbed by the appropriate structure in the skin. Similar in operation to the IPL, the light output from the handpiece excites the melanin in the hair which heats up the hair follicle and disables it so it cannot grow back. Over and above the “traumatized” hair follicles, there are adjacent ones that might not have been treated in the correct phase of hair growth and may grow through at any time. Additionally, due to alterations within the body new hair growth may also be stimulated.

These other hair removal methods can be used by themselves or in conjunction with other techniques. Your professional hair removal practitioner will be the best source of information to assist you in making the most effective choice.

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