Who Doesn’t Love a Freshly Shaved Soldier?
For several millennia at least, facial and body hair has been an obsession for men and women. Men are bearded and women aren’t. Or at least that’s the official line. Facial hair for men is seen in many cultures as a sign of masculinity. Up until the era of Alexander the Great a beard was standard issue for soldiers. Alexander pointed out that beards could be easily grabbed by opposing soldiers, or at least that was the spin his PR people put out. Possibly Alexander just preferred his young men clean shaven. He was Greek, if you get what I mean. On women, facial, and other unwanted body hair, has also been a sign of masculinity - which is not exactly the desired effect.
Despite thousands of years of cultural evolution, nothing much has changed. Ultimately unwanted body hair is no laughing matter – whether you are female or male and it can have a devastating impact on both self-image and confidence. For women, who socially are not expected to have hair anywhere but on the very top, it can be frustrating, time consuming and costly to remove the hair that is apparently unaware of these social conventions. When it comes to unwanted facial or body hair, the only nod to the 21st century seems to be that problem is now a problem shared between men and women. So what are the options and how is technology doing at solving this age old problem?
Old and New Tricks
- Shaving is the oldest (most tedious) approach. It’s been used by men and women throughout history to remove surplus hair. It takes time, is uncomfortable, requires contortions that even the young can find challenging and often results in an unsightly rash replacing the unsightly hair. Despite this it’s still a common way for women to deal with the most common problem area – the legs. Top up treatments can be required frequently unless you’re a nun, and there’s no getting out of it with the designer “five o’clock shadow” trick that the boys came up with.
- Waxing and Depilatory treatments. These more modern solutions are effective, common and very popular. Wax pleasantly rips the hair out by the root with only a reasonably large amount of pain – depending on the body part/s involved. Depilatory creams are also popular. These dissolve hair and like waxing offer a relatively low maintenance approach. Waxing and depilatory creams remove hair for longer periods and only require top up treatments now and then. The biggest downside is that they are not permanent solutions and can be time consuming to apply. One upside is that they can be completed in the privacy of your own home and are cost effective.
- You don’t have to be a sci-fi fan to love lasers. Laser hair removal treatments have been around for nearly twenty years now. Available traditionally through clinics and salons, laser hair removal is perhaps exactly what women have been looking for since social mores were invented. Men can benefit from laser hair removal too – whether this is purely cosmetic or for embarrassing body hair. Laser treatment targets the melanin (the dark pigment) in the hair and it’s the ideal treatment for those with mid or light skin tones, combined with dark hair colours. The laser disables the growth cells in the follicle, this process prevents the hairs ability to grow back.
Bringing it Back HomeMost technological advances start off in the Space Industry. They gradually filter to the commercial world, then down to the High Street and finally end up in our homes. What exactly organisations like NASA wanted with laser hair removal products is uncertain – unless they like their soldiers smooth – but thankfully we are now reaching the stage where the Laser hair removal system is available for home use, whether you are male, female or flexible. Home laser hair treatment is probably the most effective long term solution for permanent hair removal, offering the results achievable in the clinic in the privacy of your own home.
Guest Blogger: Carlo actively blogs for Tria Beauty – one of the UK’s leading providers of professional, light-based skincare solutions for use at home.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.