All hair on the body has approximately the same growth rate, about half an inch per month, or six inches per year, according to Hairfinder.com, an online source of information on a variety of hair topics. However, though its growth rate is the same, body hair has a much shorter “active” phase or growth period than hair on the scalp, according to the American Hair Loss Association. For this reason, body hair is usually much shorter than hair on the head.
Hair may grow faster or slower depending on age, genetics and hormonal state (pregnancy seems to affect hair growth), but half a millimeter per day is a good average.
Human hair is a protein that is part of the integumentary system. It grows out of hair follicles embedded deep in the dermis. The only part of the hair that is alive is the root. The rest of the hair shaft is made up entirely of dead cells called keratin, which is a type of protein. There are three different types of hair: terminal, vellus and lanugo. Terminal hair is the fully developed, thick hair found on the head, underarms and pubic area of humans. Vellus hair is the short, very fine hair also called “peach fuzz” that covers almost every part of the human body except the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, back of the ears, certain external genital organs and the lips. Lanugo hair is the hair that covers a fetus, and is also sometimes found on anorexics as a way for their bodies to retain heat.
Hair generally grows an average of 1/2 inch per month, with growth generally predetermined by a person’s genetic code, meaning that it can only grow so fast. As a person ages, hair growth can slow due to cell division also slowing. Hair growth is a result of cell division when new hair cells form in the root and push the hair forward. The new hair is always added at the root as the older hair inches downward slowly. Hair can grow slightly faster in the summer. The process of cell division accelerates during the warmer months which is why salons generally see regular clients visit them more, for hair removal in summer.
Smooth, soft, sexy skin with waxing is the leader, but there are alternatives that can be considered.
Waxing or Shaving?
Waxing pulls hair out by the root while shaving leaves the hair root, only removing hair from above the skin. Shaving and waxing vary dramatically in treatments and results.
Let’s start with Waxing. While it generally takes two to eight weeks for hair to grow back, this procedure has different waxes with varying waxing applications.
Hot wax is applied on the body, allowed to cool and solidify. It is then peeled off, pulling the hair out with it. The hot wax adheres to the hair shaft and is ideal for sensitive skin. Strip wax is applied in a thin layer that is lifted off by a strip of cloth or paper. The wax for a strip wax adheres to the skin and is highly effective in removing fine hairs. Cold wax can be bought from shops with the wax already applied onto the paper strip. The wax which is in a semi-solid state is pressed onto the skin and then lifted off by pulling the strip off quickly.
Shaving is normally quite painless, but it can cause razor burns, razor bumps and cuts. Hair grows back quickly, thicker and stronger after shaving. It can also cause ingrown hair growth.
Waxing or Tweezing?
Plucking, using tweezers to remove hair follicle by follicle, takes a lot more time.
So tweezing is best for much smaller areas like upper lips, eyebrows, unwanted stray hairs and regrowth after waxing.
Tweezing does beat waxing when it comes to messiness. A that is needed is a pair of tweezers compared to wax, heater, strips, applicators, powder, and wax remover.
Many women use both, waxing bigger areas like legs, arms, underarms, upper lips and bikini line, and plucking eyebrows and extra facial hair.
Waxing or Hair Removal Cream?
Synthetic hair removal creams are chemical creams, whereas waxing is a blend of paraffin or beeswax with a lubricator and resin. Busy lives have led to men and women wanting fast and easy ways to remove body hair and depilatory creams are a convenient option.
However, testing the PH level and possible skin reactions is an important first step. Using a small spatula, small amounts of these creams should first be tested on the problem area to ensure comfort as well as the ideal result.
While hair removal creams can be considered the easiest and cleanest option, waxing continues to be the most effective in terms of controlling regrowth.