Top grooming tips for dealing with unwanted hairs

Image: AMI ALEXANDRE MATTIUSSI

ZAP IT!

While manscaping is a common grooming practice, with many grooming establishments offering treatments such as waxing and hair removal, laser treatments do offer another solution. “Laser hair removal is popular among men to remove unwanted hair,” says Sonette Donker, founder of local skin clinic Skin iD.

“When doing laser hair removal, a course will be recommended based on the area and hair growth, thereafter a maintenance programme will be suggested,” says Donker. The process is relatively painless due to the use of Soprano Laser System technology, which targets hair from the follicle by using low-level energy that is rapidly pulsed and distributed evenly in a circular motion.

This is quicker, less painful and doesn’t damage the skin. Before you book, ask whether the specific laser used is safe to use on dark skin tones, as most have been known to cause pigmentation and scarring in the past. It is also recommended to do a patch test on the arm or a small area of the skin to check if your skin has any adverse reactions or sensitivity to the treatment, before committing to a larger area.

Cost: From R230 a session, depending on body area, thelaserbeautique.co.za

TOTAL RIP OFF

Unwanted hair on the face is usually located on sensitive areas such as the nose, ears, brow area, and cheeks. The most popular hair removal method is waxing as it keeps hair at bay for about six weeks. However, it can be quite painful and can cause ripping of the skin and sensitivity to occur if done harshly or unprofessionally. To reduce the pain, pre-trim longer hairs to about 1cm to decrease tugging on the skin. You should also lightly exfoliate the skin before going for a wax to remove any dead skin cells. Treat the skin post-waxing like you would after shaving and avoid alcohol based products. Use products containing skin soothing ingredients such as aloe or tea tree.

Threading can keep regrowth at bay for about two to six weeks, with hair growing back thinner. It involves the hairs being individually caught between two pieces of thread held together by the therapist and quickly pulled from the root. It can be painful, but it offers the benefit of intricately shaping stray hairs on areas such as the eyebrows, cheeks, and edges of the beard. It also does not cause ingrown hairs.

Try: Brows and cheeks threading, R180, sorbetman.co.za

Try: Smoothalon For Him, R950, nakedcherry.co.za

A treatment consisting of a full-body wax followed by a body wash to help prevent ingrown hairs, and herbal leg massage to relax the muscles.

HOME CARE

If you prefer to do it yourself, there are also tools that can effectively and painlessly remove unwanted hair, from the comfort of your home. These range from broad clippers for removing hair from larger body areas such as the chest, legs, and back, to trimmers for smaller areas such as the nose, ears and cheeks. Bear in mind that regrowth occurs within a few days, so this may not be for you if long-term hair removal is your goal.

It is important to keep your tools clean before and after grooming to avoid infections or skin irritation. Brush off any hairs left in the blades and, using a dropper, dispense some methylated spirits directly onto the blades. Switch on your device for a few seconds to allow the methylated spirits to coat all the blades.

Shake off any excess and leave the device on a flat surface to air dry. Once you have removed all your unwanted hair, make skin feel extra smooth by exfoliating with a salt or sugar scrub to remove any dry skin. Lastly, slather on a lightweight body lotion with ingredients such as vitamin E or antioxidant vitamin C that will protect the skin from the elements and effectively hydrate it without making it feel sticky or greasy.

This article first appeared in print in the Sowetan S Mag September 2019 edition.

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