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When we say permanent hair removal it means that the hair is destroyed in such a way that its follicle’s ability to produce another hair in its place is also nullified. A commonly accepted definition of "permanent hair removal" is that the recipient of the removal process is able to go a year after the final hair removal treatment before being required to use another method of hair removal. Be aware that a year’s time may not be sufficient to determine true permanence, but most consumers would be happy to have one ongoing hair removal treatment a year.

There is much research by manufacturers in search of the “Holy Grail” of easy and lasting hair removal; one manufacturer makes the claim their device is permanent based on 9 weeks worth of results. Hardly true. Even old-fashioned waxing can last that long, and it's been proven as a temporary method clinically. Note that in the United States, the FDA forbids the marketing of hair removal technologies and services that guarantee permanent hair removal. This is because current methodologies only provide for permanent reduction in hair growth about 90% of the time, give or take 10%. So don’t expect permanent removal without acknowledging the possibility of that 10% variation.

The Permanent Technologies
First on the list is ELECTROLYSIS - Electricity is delivered to the follicle through the handpiece probe, which causes localized damage to the areas that generate hairs. This technique offers permanent hair removal in most situations if performed correctly. The successful application of this procedure requires an operator who’s had considerable training and has reached a good level of skill. An epilator, which is an electronic device, is inserted into a hair follicle and electricity is delivered to that follicle through the probe, which causes localized damage to the areas that generate hairs. One treatment of electrolysis is usually not enough, but with each successive treatment the growth becomes succeedingly reduced. Electrolysis can remove unwanted hair except for hair in the nose and ears. Electrolysis has by far the best and longest track record of results with over 125 years of proven clinical safety and effectiveness.

Next is LASER hair removal - this technology uses a laser beam that impregnates the follicle and destroys the hair root. It works off of color light absorption so the color and growth stage of the hair to be removed play a significant role in this method’s effectiveness. Other factors, such as the skin type and its tanning behavior, the client’s patience with a possible longer treatment time, the experience of the technician with varied hair types, and the ongoing research in new Laser technology all play a role in this method’s usability. Laser hair removal treatment usually entails a more extended period than Electrolysis does.

Lastly we have IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) – This process uses a high-intensity pulsed light emission. This unique approach is relatively painless and differs from the laser hair removal process in that IPL works equally on almost all skin pigmentations without affecting any of the pigment. IPL hair removal also safely and effectively eliminates hair of all colors: blond, red, brown, black and even white. Treatment sessions may take a few minutes to a few hours of time, depending on the scope of the area being treated. IPL hair removal treatments are relatively painless and work well on very sensitive areas, such as liplines or eyebrows, yet are quite effective.

Of course, as in other fields of medical exploration, it is very important to first explore what your needs are. This is time well spent and is helpful to get a basic understanding of how hair grows and what hair removal by each method entails. Then you can consider is what to practically expect when preparing for a visit or series of visits for hair removal by a specialist in one of these hair removal technologies.
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