Hair removal

Hair removal

Hair removal describes any method of removing hair, especially from the human body.

Hair removal might be considered a “cosmetic” issue, but managing or removing unwanted hair can go beyond being a simple “cosmetic” problem.

Many cultures have an aesthetic “ideal” amount of hair for males and females. For some of us, unwanted hair that exceeds this arbitrary standard can cause real or perceived problems with social acceptance.

The information I’ve compiled would fill a book, so if you’re researching a specific method, you can go right to that topic. For a more thorough review, I recommend reading the background information.



Depilation is any temporary method of hair removal that affects the part of the hair above the surface of the skin. Common methods include:

  • Shaving (manual or electric)
  • Trimming (manual or electric)
  • Depilatories (creams or “shaving powders” which chemically dissolve hair)
  • Friction (buffing away hair using rough surfaces)


Epilation removes the entire hair, including the part below the skin.

“Permanent” methods

Permanent hair removal is a common goal that can be difficult or expensive to reach, and the word “permanent” is used in a number of confusing ways by advertisers.

Permanent hair removal for most

Permanent hair reduction for most

Lasting hair inhibition for many (requires continuous use)

Restricted methods

Some methods are experimental of have been banned because they have been determined to be harmful.

Doubtful methods

Some methods of hair removal make claims that have not been backed up with published medical data.


United States hair removal practitioner listings

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