(W)hair did all that come from? Targeting unwanted body hair

If there’s one thing to know about me it’s that I deal with stress in one of three ways: Eating warm and gooey chocolate chip cookies, turning on the TV to watch an episode or two of my favourite show, or if we’re talking a really stressful time, heading to the closest hairdresser and chopping off a chunk of my hair. Unfortunately for me though, when a few weeks pass and I’m once again yearning for my long hair again, the hair on my head just can’t seem to grow as fast as I’d like it to. The hair on my arms, stomach, and face, though, they just can’t stop growing.

Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of tricks for hair removal. When I first started to realize that my eyebrows were looking more like conjoined twins than sisters, I went with my mom to an esthetician who threaded my eyebrows to look perfectly, as I would say back then, “on fleek.” Then, as I hit university and the purse strings got a bit tighter, I began waxing myself with strips I picked up at the local drugstore. This has worked well, but I’ve decided that I want to get right to the roots (literally) of my problem and figure out what causes all this hair growth.

Hair grows out of tiny pockets in your skin called follicles. When you are born, you are born with all the follicles you will ever have. But don’t worry about running out, there are about 5 million follicles on your body the day you are born! Hair begins growing from a root in the bottom of a follicle, and this root is formed from protein cells. Blood vessels then feed the root, and this creates additional proteins that bind together to create hair as we know it. As the hair grows, it eventually gets pushed up through the skin, and by the time we see it above our skin, the hair is actually considered dead.

But what can be done to prevent this growth? There are a variety of paths to go down for hair removal and the one used comes down to the person. Many people turn to shaving for quick removal. Shaving often works best for leg and arm hair and can sometimes cause ingrown hairs. Other people often go with threading, waxing or sugaring. These methods work by removing the hair right from the root in order to leave the skin hair-free and as smooth as a baby’s bottom for a longer period of time. Hair removal creams target the hair shaft and can be purchased without a prescription from your local drugstore. Other longer-term methods of hair removal are laser and electrolysis. The choice to use any of these hair removal methods depend on trial-and-error, convenience, and cost. Figuring out what type of hair removal process is right for you may take time, but once you’ve found your preferred method, your skin will be looking and feeling smooth and hairless!

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