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From flint razors to lasers: a timeline of hair removal methods

Authors


Correspondence: Keyvan Nouri, MD, Mohs/Laser Unit, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1475 NW 12th Avenue, Suite #2175, Miami, Florida 33136, USA. E-mail: knouri@med.miami.edu

Summary

Today, most do not go a day without practicing or hearing about new hair removal methods. However, little is discussed about the history of hair removal and the development of most hair removal methods since the period of cavemen. Avoiding decapitation and fitting in with society are two of many reasons for the development of this now normative practice. Knowledge of the hair growth cycle is vital in understanding the efficacy of various hair removal methods as well as the difference between epilation and depilation. While laser hair removal (LHR) is one of the most common cosmetic procedures practiced in the world, according to the FDA, the only current permanent form of hair removal is electrolysis. These two methods as well as various other ones are discussed in this article. Further developments are being made every day to better treat the removal of blonde and white hair as well as to diminish the pain of hair removal. With these developments, dermatologists will better understand the advancement of hair removal methods and the reasons why patients may seek treatment.

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