Sugaring is a hair removal method that may suit some people better than others, depending on their skin type, hair type, pain tolerance and personal preference, and it can be a good alternative to waxing for those who are looking for a natural, organic and less painful way to remove unwanted hair from their body. But is the whole process truly applicable for those who have sensitive skin? Read on to find out more.
1. What is ingrown hair and how can I prevent it?
Ingrown hair is a condition where a hair grows sideways or curls back into the skin, causing inflammation, irritation and sometimes infection. Ingrown hair can occur anywhere on the body where hair is removed, but it is more common in areas with coarse or curly hair, such as the bikini line, legs, armpits and face. To prevent ingrown hair, you should exfoliate your skin regularly, use a sharp and clean razor or blade, shave in the direction of hair growth, moisturise your skin after shaving, and avoid tight clothing that can rub against the skin.
2. What is hair shaft and why is it important for hair removal?
Hair shaft is the part of the hair that is visible above the skin surface. It is made of keratin, a protein that gives strength and structure to the hair. Hair shaft is important for hair removal because it determines the type and thickness of the hair, which affects how easy or difficult it is to remove. For example, coarse or thick hair shafts are more resistant to removal than fine or thin ones. Hair shaft also affects how long the hair removal results last, as thicker hair shafts tend to grow back faster than thinner ones.
3. What is our body hair growth cycle?
The body hair growth cycle is a complex process that involves four distinct phases: anagen, catagen, telogen and exogen. Each phase has specific characteristics and duration that determine the length and quality of the hair. The cycle is influenced by various factors such as age, genetics, nutrition, hormones and environmental conditions. Anagen is the active growth phase of the hair, lasting from 3 to 7 years for scalp hair and much shorter for other types of hair. During this phase, the hair follicle produces keratin, a protein that forms the hair shaft, and grows at an average rate of 1 cm per month. About 90% of the hairs on the scalp are in the anagen phase at any given time. Catagen is the transition phase of the hair, lasting about 10 days. During this phase, the hair follicle shrinks and detaches from the dermal papilla, a structure that supplies blood and nutrients to the hair. The hair stops growing and enters a dormant state. Next, Telogen is the resting phase of the hair, lasting about 3 months. During this phase, the hair follicle remains inactive and holds the hair in place. About 10 to 15% of the hairs on the scalp are in the telogen phase at any given time. Exogen is the shedding phase of the hair, lasting about 2 to 5 months. During this phase, the old hair falls out from the scalp, often aided by washing and brushing. The hair follicle also prepares for a new cycle by producing a new dermal papilla. It is normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs per day during the exogen phase.
4. What are cold sores and how can they affect hair removal?
Cold sores are small blisters that form on or around the lips or mouth. They are caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus (HSV), which can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or object. Cold sores can affect hair removal in two ways: first, they can make hair removal more painful or uncomfortable, as they create an open wound on the skin that can be irritated by waxing or shaving; second, they can increase the risk of infection or spreading the virus to other parts of the body or to other people, as waxing or shaving can break the blisters and release fluid that contains HSV. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid hair removal on or near cold sores until they heal completely.
5. Why do some people have less body hair and some have more?
The quantity of body hair a person has is determined by a number of factors, including genetics, hormones, age, and ethnicity. Certain individuals inherit genes that cause them to have more or less hair than others. In addition to testosterone and oestrogen, hormones can also influence hair growth and distribution. Men typically have more body hair than women because their testosterone levels are greater. Age can also affect hair growth, as hair follicles become less active with age and generate hairs that are thinner and lighter. Due to environmental factors such as climate and exposure to sunlight, some ethnic groups have evolved to have more or less body hair than others.