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Your main options aside from shaving or waxing unwanted hair are to remove it by bleaching, depilation, electrolysis and laser treatment. Each has its pros and cons, check out the explanations below to see which is best from you:

BLEACHING

What is it? What does it cost? What complications are there? How long does it last?

Bleach is applied to hair for a short while and then rinsed off. With bleaching, the hair will still be visible up close but lighter so less visible at a distance. The cost for at-home bleaching kits is around $5 to $7. To avoid trouble, always follow package directions regarding timing. Slight burning can occur. Lasts up to 4 weeks.

DEPILATION

What is it? What does it cost? What complications are there? How long does it last?

Depilatory chemicals dissolve hair at the skin’s surface. They must be rinsed away with water. A 4-ounce bottle runs about $5. Always do a patch test. Depilatories can be very irritating to skin. Wait at least a week after using Retin-A, AHA’s (alpha-hydroxy acids) or any exfoliation product before using a depilatory. Otherwise, you increase risk of skin discomfort. Last 7 to 10 days.

ELECTROLYSIS

What is it? What does it cost? What complications are there? How long does it last?

A probe (thin needle) is inserted into the hair follicle and an electric charge is sent to destroy the root. An average 15-minute session runs $15 to $30 an hour. Make sure the electrogist uses disposable, sterilized probes and wears disposable gloves. Check out your practitioner’s reputation. Bad technique can cause regrowth and scarring. Avoid home-electrolysis devices. Improper use causes burning, infections and scarring. When done properly, hair is gone for good. Some areas may require more than one session.

LASER TREATMENT

What is it? What does it cost? What complications are there? How long does it last?

Hair follicles are disabled by use of a laser beam. Choose a practitioner who is also a doctor or a registered nurse. Make sure eye protection is provided. Make sure the system being used has FDA approval. Wait several months after having a chemical peel or using Accutane, an acne drug, before having a laser procedure. Also avoid use of Retin-A or AHA’s around the time of the procedure. Some laser techniques can lighten dark skin. No concrete studies show hair removal is permanent, however estimates say one treatment can elimate up to 40% of hair for up to a year. Regrowth will have a finer texture.