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The History Of Hair Removal And Modern Methods

Updated on June 4, 2013

Since the prehistoric times, hair removal has been an integral part of grooming. Prehistoric cave men used flint to get rid of unwanted hair from their face. And we all know what hair removal has become to our day to day activities. Some say it is for practical reasons and some say it is for fashion. May be it is to fulfill both purposes.

Now this hub is not for reviewing ancient hair removal history rather we are going to check out the history and development of some hair removal methods that are used extensively these days.


History tells that the Egyptian women were first to utilize a technique similar to waxing to remove hair from the body. The method was called sugaring. They used a homemade sugar solution to strip away unwanted hair.  The formula is still used as a natural alternative to waxing. Waxing gained popularity in the U.S. when hair removal waxing services in New York started to offer Brazilian waxing. Today, there are many variations of waxing services available in New York and all over U.S. But Brazilian waxing still is the most popular one. Both men and women can take advantage of this method to remove unwanted hair from their body.

The procedure is pretty simple. A thin layer of wax is laid over the skin together with a strip of cloth. When the wax becomes firm it gets attached with the hair and the cloth. Then the cloth is striped off in the opposite direction of the hair growth to remove the hair from the root.

The process is a long term solution for hair removal and works normally for 3 to 8 weeks. However, some pain is inevitable when the cloth is striped off from the skin. Getting it done through the help of a professional would make the process lee painful and effective.


This is a method of hair removal that hasn’t changed much since the ancient times. It was popular among women in Indian and Persian culture. This is kind of tweezing hair with the help of a thread or something similar. Women at that time used whatever tools were available for tweezing unwanted hair.

Today professionals use a string to pluck hair. It can be done one by one or an entire row of hair at a time. However as you can assume it can be a very much painful experience. 


This process is not that old and uses modern technology to remove unwanted hair. It was first invented in 1875 by Dr. Charles. It is said to be a permanent solution for hair removal.

The process is quite sophisticated. The expert inserts a thin hair like needle in each hair follicle and delivers a zap of current to the area. It damages the cells that generate hair thus stops hair growth permanently.

However, the process can be a bit tedious and uncomfortable and if not done properly can cause adverse effects on the skin. This process is not recommended for large areas of the body like legs, back, bikini etc. But can be a great option to use in facial areas like upper lip, chin and cheeks.

Laser hair Removal

It is the most recently developed hair removal method. It began its journey in the 1960’s but the first commercially available laser hair removal machine came in to the market in the year 1970. After FDA rejected a few earlier versions of this machine, the method finally got its permit from FDA in 1995.

This process uses a similar principle as electrolysis to restrict hair growth permanently. The laser is concentrated on the root of the hair (follicle) to damage the follicle by heat while not affecting other parts of the skin.

Laser works by targeting a material present in the skin known as melanin. The presence of melanin is responsible for hair color (black or brown). And this method works only for people with light skin and dark hair combination.  

Many laser sessions are required to remove hair completely and each session increases the risk of damage to your skin. Finding an expert who has done this a lot of times before would be a good idea. However, laser is an expensive method and a lot of sessions would sum up to a huge amount. Be prepared to pay couple of thousands of dollars to get your legs done.

You will find these hair removal treatments in NYC as well as in other states. Many people go for the permanent solutions, however, though temporary but waxing is by far the safer and better hair removal method available in spas and salons. As most of us are used to go to spas and salons for getting pedicure, manicure, body massage and other skin treatments, having some kind of waxing service like Brazilian waxing once a month won’t bother you much.

Have you tried any of the hair removal methods mentioned here, if yes, which one?

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    • Vishaaa profile image

      Vishaaa 7 years ago from Somewhere on this earth..

      But using electrolysis give permanent results? It seems so painful too. Inserting a needle.... Awwweeeeeeee

    • Alhamora profile image

      Alhamora 7 years ago from North

      @Vishaa, as I have mentioned in the hub, you can use electrolysis in facial areas like upper lip, chin and cheeks and for eyebrow threading is popular. Hope it helps!

    • Vishaaa profile image

      Vishaaa 7 years ago from Somewhere on this earth..

      Its great as you have suggested,we can choose waxing. but how can we remove facial hair?

    • SognoPiccolo profile image

      SognoPiccolo 7 years ago from Wilmington, Ohio

      very informative hub! I tried waxing once but the ripping sound killed it for me lol... I think I will stick to my tweezers hehe... voted up!