Learn the Difference Between These Hair-Removal Processes

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There are a range of hair-removal options, each with pros and cons, that are often performed at medical spas. 

Electrolysis
This process stops hair growth by destroying the growth center with either chemical or heat energy. Then, a probe is inserted into the hair follicle, and the hair is removed with tweezers, says Todd Schlifstein, M.D., owner of Fountain Med Spa (New York City). 

Best For: Patients with blond,  red, or grey hair. It is also used to treat smaller skin surfaces like the outer ears, the areola, fingers, hands, feet, and toes. 

After Care: No post-treatment care needed, but there may be scabbing, says Schlifstein. 

Dermaplaning
“Dermaplaning is an advanced technique for exfoliation of the skin,” says Alan Durkin, M.D., CEO of Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery (Vero Beach, FL). “In this technique a physician, nurse, or esthetician uses a flat number 10 or number 15 scalpel blade to remove the dead skin overlying the normal, healthy dermis.” 

Best For: Thin hair seen on the cheek, ear, and neckline. The hair that is known as “peach fuzz.” 

After Care: Dermaplaning will remove these thin hairs for weeks at a time, though it is not permanent, says Durkin. 

Laser Hair Removal
“The laser creates a beam of high-intensity light that penetrates deep into the skin tissue, where it delivers a controlled amount of targeted therapeutic heat,” says Jenya Titova, director of med spa operations at Hochstein MedSpa (Aventura, FL). 

Best For: Clients with light skin and dark hair. Thanks to advancements this can also be a solution for those with darker-toned skin and lighter hair. 

After Care: The patient may need ice or a cooling lotion, says Schlifstein. Also, make sure the client is not wearing self-tanner before beginning. 

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