Hair Removal

Posted on 19 September 2009

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Hair RemovalAs you browse the aisles of your local drugstore, you may feel a little dizzy. Next to the dozens of products devoted to making the hair on your head thicker or shinier, you’ll see dozens more promising to get rid of unwanted hair. So which hair removal methods work best? And do you need any of them?

Different Types of Hair

Before removing hair, it helps to know about the different types of hair on our bodies. All hair is made of keratin, a hard protein that’s also found in your fingernails and toenails. Hair growth begins beneath the surface of your skin at a hair root inside a hair follicle, a small tube in the skin.
You have two types of hair on your body. Vellus hair is soft, fine, and short. Most women have vellus hair on their chest, back, and face. It can be darker and more noticeable in some women than others, especially those with darker complexions. Vellus hair helps the body maintain a steady temperature by providing some insulation.
Terminal hair is coarser, darker, and longer than vellus hair. It’s the type of hair that grows on your head. Around puberty, terminal hair starts to grow in the armpits and pubic region. On guys, terminal hair begins to grow on the face and other parts of the body such as the chest, legs, and back. Terminal hair is there to provide cushioning and protection.
In some cases, excess hair growth, called hirsutism (pronounced: hur-soo-tih-zum), may be the result of certain medical conditions. In girls, polycystic ovary syndrome and other hormonal disorders can cause dark, coarse hair to grow on the face, especially the upper lip and chin, as well as on the chest, belly, and back. Some medications, like anabolic steroids, also can cause hirsutism.

Posted in: Hair Removal, Tips