Frequently-asked hair removal questions

My #1 question:

Have you heard of ________?

Probably. Use the search feature  to see what comes up. Below are a few of the “have you heard of” questions I get a lot.

If you aren’t finding the information you need on this site, please feel free to ask on my   hair removal forum.


Have you heard of…

transdermal electrolysis (transdermal hair removal)?

This method is a variation of the electric tweezer that uses a cotton swab and a gel or a conductive patch to transmit electricity to the skin. On July 20, 1999, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that there has been no clearance for these devices to make claims of permanent and/or painless hair removal. There is no published clinical data showing these devices can cause permanent hair removal or reduction.

transcutaneous electrolysis (transcutaneous hair removal)? See above.

hair removal that uses a patch? See above.

hands-free electrolysis (hands-free hair removal)? See above.

no-needle electrolysis? See above.

non-invasive electrolysis? See above.

radio wave hair removal? See above.

ultrasound hair removal? See above.

ultrasonic hair removal? See above.

microwave hair removal?

There are several methods of hair removal that use this type of energy. Only one, a method of needle electrolysis has been proven to be permanent. Electric tweezers and transdermal methods using high-frequency microwave energy have not proven they can work as claimed. Another microwave delivery system cleared to market in 2000 is not allowed for use on the face and has not proven it can perform permanent or long-term hair removal.

hair growth inhibitors?

There is a prescription cream called Vaniqa that has been shown to reduce hair growth in about 60% of women who try it. There are many over the counter products which claim they reduce hair growth, but none of them have provided published clinical data that backs up their claims. For this reason, I recommend avoiding hair inhibitors until they provide adequate scientific evidence.

a new cream that removes hair for good?

You’re probably thinking of Vaniqa, but no topical cream has been shown to remove hair permanently, even Vaniqa. If you stop using Vaniqa, your hair would return. Anyone claiming a topical can cause permanent hair removal is a scam artist.

a new cream that lets you shave half as often?

See my discussion of Jergens Naturally Smooth Shave Minimizing Moisturizer.

What’s the difference between a rotary tweezer and an electric tweezer?

A rotary tweezer is a handy little electric device for plucking lots of hairs quickly. Rotary tweezers are somewhat similar to electric shavers, but instead of cutting hairs, they pull hairs out by the roots. An electric tweezer is an unproven method. It grasps hairs in a tweezer which is connected to a power source. Electric tweezer makes claim the electricity then travels down a hair to the root. Electric tweezers often claim they can permanently remove hair, but there is no published clinical proof they can work as claimed.

What is the best method?

This can’t be answered simply– that’s why this site is so huge. Everyone has different goals and challenges with hair removal, so what might be right for you will not be right for others.

Why did you make this site?

Like most people with unwanted hair, I tried a few things before I found what works. After I shared my research, people started asking me questions. Eventually there was enough info to fill a website, and there’s still lots more to add!

Why are you so negative?

Compared to the sites that hype hair removal products or services, this site may seem negative. Actually, there are a lot of products I think are pretty good, like the Braun rotary tweezers, Tend Skin, several razors. Problem is, there’s a lot of salespeople talking about how great this or that hair removal method is, but there are very few consumer activists like me who look carefully at their claims. I expect them to have proof to back up claims, and I expect results. When salespeople don’t do that, I call them on it. I also really hate scam artists who prey on people’s desperation to make money, so I really let them have it. They deserve to be exposed for trying to trick us out of our hard-earned money, right?

Why don’t you have a message board?

This site is designed to contain only verified facts about hair removal. Whenever I cite a fact, I have documentation to prove it. On message boards, it’s hard to sort out the facts. Sometimes salespeople post fake consumer testimonials to promote their products or to disparage a competitor. What I’ve done is set up a separate site for a bulletin board. It’s called HairTell: hair removal forums. You’re welcome to post there, just remember that as with any internet bulletin board, some of the information may be inaccurate or unverifiable.


Have you heard of…

Vaniqa: The only topical preparation that has clinical proof and FDA approval to claim it can work to inhibit hair growth in some users.

Nad’s: A putty-like wax that most consumers find only works well on long, coarse hairs.

Emjoi: They have several products. The Gently Gold rotary tweezer is OK, but be careful not to get their electric tweezer scam. Better yet, get a Braun Silk-epil rotary tweezer.

IGIA: King of the electric tweezer scams. Don’t use any of their products.

Feminique: An electric tweezer scam.

Worldra: An electric tweezer scam.

Syrel: An electric tweezer scam.

Ultra Hair Away: A topical “hair inhibitor” with no proof it can work as claimed.

Epil-Stop: A topical “hair inhibitor” with no proof it can work as claimed.

Epizyme: A topical “hair inhibitor” with no proof it can work as claimed.

Hair Stop: A topical “hair inhibitor” with no proof it can work as claimed.

Finally Free Ultra: An electric tweezer scam that uses a transdermal patch.

Forever Free: An electric tweezer scam that uses a transdermal patch.

Vector by Divine Skin: An electric tweezer scam that uses a transdermal method with direct current.

Nu-Trolysis: An electric tweezer scam that uses a tweezer or transdermal patch.

Side effects

What should I do about…

Red bumps: This is common after shaving, waxing, plucking, electrolysis, sometimes laser. Use ice and Tend Skin to reduce bumpiness.

Ingrowns: Before treatment: clean area well. After treatment: use Tend Skin and neosporin. Between treatment: Use tend skin, moisturizer with alpha-hydroxy if tolerable, and exfoliate (scrub) skin when bathing. When releasing ingrowns, wash hands and gently scratch at skin. Do not dig if it does not easily release. Wait a day at try again after you’ve washed face.

White bumps: Before treatment: clean area well. After treatment: use witch hazel or Tend Skin and neosporin. Between treatments: do not pop or pick if possible.

Scabs: Before treatment: notify practitioner that you had scabs following treatment. Between treatments: Keep clean and use moisturizer. Do not pick at scabs– can cause scarring.

I’ll add questions as they come in– stay tuned!

If you’ve searched the site and haven’t found an answer, head over to my hair removal forums. and ask away!