Bikini Line – Hair Removal Options

A significant and most time consuming part of a women’s beauty regime is hair removal. However, some areas of the body might require more attention and care than the others. The bikini line is one such area where one needs to be extra careful when trying to clean off the hair and is also one of the most difficult areas to remove unwanted hair. The skin in the bikini hairline is most sensitive and can easily develop irritation, rashes, bumps and red marks if the hair removal method is harsh or not appropriate. There are many options available when it comes to hair removal techniques in this area and the trick is to figure out which one suits your skin best.

Options, Pros and Cons

Each of the below options have their own set of pros and cons and also vary in degree of comfort as well as costs involved.

Shaving, Razors and Trimmers: Using shavers, razors or trimmers are the least expensive and simplest forms of bikini line hair removal. These applicators remove the hair growth from the base of the skin but not from the roots. You can do this anytime and anywhere all by yourself. This lasts a short span of time and is a repetitive on-going process which requires regular removal. Also, this method can be a bit uncomfortable as it can leave cuts, rashes, shave bumps and ingrown hairs.

Depilatory Creams: This is the most pain-free method of hair removal which involves applying a thick layer of cream directly onto the hair growth area on the skin and leaving it on for a few minutes. These creams have active agents which break down the hair bonding making it soft and easy to remove by wiping it off. The downside of this method is that these have hard chemicals and can cause allergic reactions or burns if left for longer. It’s always best to test a small patch before using these creams.

Waxing: These methods are usually done at salons by trained professionals and have two ways of removing hair – normal waxing or Brazilian waxing. These are similar to body waxing where a layer of wax is applied to the area and the hair is pulled out from the root in one swift motion with a cloth. Although this is one of the most painful methods, it also tends to last the longest as the hair is completely uprooted as well as leaves the skin soft. The con of this technique is it is painful and also costlier than the creams and razors. People with sensitive skin might also experience some slight irritation and there are chances of hair ingrowths.

Laser and Electrolysis: This FDA approved method is the costliest but also the most effective. Laser involves directing beams of heat which kills the hair follicles and reduces growth. Electrolysis is a method of delivering electrical currents into the hair follicles via small thin needles. Both methods require several sittings but the results last the longest compared to other methods mentioned above. Both these techniques can be undergone only under the care of trained professionals and are very expensive.

Male Hair Loss Signs, Treatments and Preventative Measures

What is male hair loss?

The most common cause of male hair loss is androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness. This can affect in excess of 50% of all males over the age of 50 and a significant percentage of men in their younger years.

Whether you are going to suffer from male pattern baldness or not, is to a large degree, dependent upon your gene pool. If either or both of your parents, carry the baldness gene, you are very likely to suffer from it also.

Recognising the signs of androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness

The earliest indication that a person may be suffering from male pattern baldness is a receding hairline. The hairline is that part of the scalp above the forehead, at which the head hair begins to grow.

With male pattern baldness, the hairline begins to recede to the left and right sides of the forehead, resulting in the distinctive U shaped pattern of hair to the front of the scalp. At the same time or slightly later, the hair on top of the head will start to thin, eventually forming a bald patch which will grow in size to meet the receding frontal hairline.

The result is the typical and really quite common, “friar tuck” hair formation of full thickness hair to the sides and back of the head but complete baldness to the front and top of the scalp.
To understand fully how male pattern baldness works it is first necessary to understand the normal growth pattern of hair.

The normal growth pattern or life cycle of hair

Each strand of hair has a specific growth pattern or life cycle and a healthy, well functioning follicle will push the hair through this cycle on a continuous basis.

The first phase of this cycle is known as the Anagen or Growth Phase and, as the name suggests, this is the phase in which the hair does its growing. Nearly 85% of the hair on your head is growing at all times and this phase lasts from anywhere between 2 and 6 years. Growing at a rate of 10cm per year, this means that even if left uncut, hair is unlikely to exceed 60cms before entering the second phase of its cycle.

The second phase of this normal growth cycle is called the Catagen or Transition Phase. Whilst in this phase of its cycle, the follicle will shrink to approximately one sixth of its normal size and the dermal papilla, which feeds the follicles with oxygen from the bloodstream, breaks away to rest. This phase usually lasts from 1 to 2 weeks and afterwards the follicle enters the third phase of its cycle.

The third phase of the life cycle of hair is called the Telogen or Resting Phase. During this period, lasting some 5-6 weeks, the hair will not grow. The follicle simply rests and waits to be rejoined by the dermal papilla. When the whole cycle starts again, a new hair is produced and the old one is pushed out, if it has not been shed already. These are the hairs you will find, in your sink, in the shower or in your brush or comb and are a part of the natural cycle of hair growth.

With male pattern baldness, this normal growth cycle is damaged through the effects of androgens on otherwise perfectly healthy hair follicles. These naturally produced chemicals, contain Dihydrotestosterone or DHT which is carried around the body in the bloodstream. They attach themselves to the sensitive hair follicles in the scalp and these follicles then react by shrinking, shedding their hair and closing to the point where they cannot produce another strand. The follicle is, in this way, prematurely forced into the Telogen Phase and is then, unable to produce another strand of hair.

Hair loss – the reaction

Some men react to baldness with the philosophical view, that age comes to us all and that, for a man, losing ones hair is simply a natural part of the aging process. Modern, short cut or shaved hairstyles have been created that glorify and even accentuate baldness. Others are unwilling or unable to accept this line of thinking and would rather do something about it.

Is hair loss preventable?

The trick is to catch it early, the earlier the signs are recognised and acted upon, the more that can be done to save your crowning glory. It is important to get into a hair loss prevention programme at the earliest opportunity.

Treatments for male hair loss

If you wish to prevent full baldness there is a range of natural hair loss treatments available that help to reduce hair loss, prevent further thinning and even lead to regrowth. Treatments generally help to stimulate blood flow to the scalp, block the hormone DHT, strengthen the root and cleanse the hair follicle. In most cases, treatments need to be used for around six months to start producing results.

Hair weaving or non-surgical hair replacement

If you are in the advanced stages of hair loss then hair weaving is at present the only option open to you other than the use of wigs/toupees or surgery. This treatment is suitable for both males and females and will not damage your existing hair.

Each unit of hair is tailored to match exactly with you existing hair so that when it is fitted, it looks completely natural. Also, since it is made of real human hair, there is no need to buy any special cleaning products. You simply continue to use the same ones you’ve always used. To maintain the best results following this treatment it is advisable to revisit your clinic every 4-5 weeks or so, in other words, about as often as you might visit your salon.

Surgical hair replacement

With this form of treatment, healthy hairs are removed from unaffected areas of the scalp, typically the back and sides, and transplanted to the affected areas. Hair type and hair colour as well as the nature of the hair loss itself, need to be considered here, prior to treatment.

Scalp reduction

This surgical technique is offered to those with smaller bald patches on the top of their scalp. A small area of the bald scalp is surgically removed, upon which the elastic properties within the skin bind and knit it back together. This will bring the healthy hair producing follicles closer together. When used together with transplant surgery, the treatment should result in a fuller, healthier head of hair.

Scalp flap surgery

Scalp flap surgery utilises the existing healthy hair follicles to the back or sides of a person’s head. Small amounts of this healthy hair and scalp tissue are removed and transplanted to the affected area.

Basic Tips for Dyeing Your Hair at Home

As women, we generally like to experience the freedom of changing our hair on a regular basis. And this includes the color of our hair as well. The good news is that there are a number of dye kits available at stores that can allow you to try out a wide variety of color options.

Unfortunately, just picking a box with the hair color we want does not always work. For the novice as well as the experienced colorist, there are a number of things to consider. Are you planning a drastic change such as turning a dark hair color (brown, black) to a light blonde? Is your hair very coarse and difficult to dye such as those of African descent? Do you have a bunch of pesky grey hairs? These are all important things to consider. So let’s first begin by making a general rule: if you are seeking to make a dramatic change, it is best to see a professional because this will prevent unwanted colors (orange, green) and will keep you from accidentally over-processing and severely damaging your hair.

As a good rule of thumb, when looking at hair colors, first find your current natural color in the box, then you can safely go up or down (lighter or darker) two or three levels. Additionally, have you chosen a warm or cool tone? This makes a difference because the dyes used for cool tones have a green tint in them, whereas warm colors will have a red tinge. This is important to know because these underlying colors will become evident in your hair when you dye it.

As you look at DIY kits, you will notice there are numbers assigned to each product – 1, 2 or 3. One is non-permanent; it washes out quickly and is best when you want to keep the same color you already have and you are simply trying to freshen it up for a special event. Two is semi-permanent and will require a few washes to get rid of the color effects. It is also primarily used to embolden the color you already possess. Three is permanent; this does not wash out and has the most potential to cause damage to your hair.

Here are a couple of random tips to follow. First, never color your hair after washing it. Give your hair at least 24 hours between shampooing and coloring. When you shampoo your hair, it strips the natural oils and leaves it susceptible to damage. You will also want to color your hair before you have it cut. The slight damage to the ends of your hair when you dye it will quickly be snipped off and leave you with nice, clean lines.

The actual process of dyeing your hair is simple, and your box will come with instructions to follow. First separate your hair into four areas, as this makes dyeing easier. Once you have mixed your color solution, begin applying it to the first section of hair, and once it is saturated move on to the next section. Continue with all sections until you are done, and remember to always wear the protective gloves you are provided with in the box. Never leave the processing solution in your hair for longer than the recommended time. Rinse the dye solution out completely and be sure to use the conditioner provided, leaving it on for the full time required. Finally, dry your hair and enjoy!