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How to Determine Which Hair Removal Technique is Right for You

How to Determine Which Hair Removal Technique is Right for You

Unwanted hair is something that plagues everyone — whether it’s hair on the face, chest, arms, legs, or anywhere else. If you want to remove hair from certain areas of your body, take a look at these eight ways to decide which ones are best for your short-term and long-term goals.

Shaving

  • Length of Results: 1-5 days
  • Approximate Cost: Less than $5 per month, $50+ for an electric razor

Shaving is the most common way that people remove unwanted hair from the body, but it’s also the least effective in keeping the hair away. For instance, most men have to shave their face daily, and the average woman shaves her legs and underarms every other day.

Shaving can be done with an electric razor or a handheld razor. Many people prefer an electric razor because it minimizes cuts, doesn’t involve the use of creams or gels, and is more cost-effective than buying a pack of razors every month. However, you can conveniently use a handheld razor in the shower while getting a closer shave.

In this case, an electric razor probably works better for the guys and the handheld razor works better for the gals, being that the former is used only on the face and the latter is used in different areas of the body like legs and armpits.

Plucking / Tweezing

  • Length of Results: 1-2 weeks
  • Approximate Cost: $5 for a pair of tweezers

Plucking involves using a pair of tweezers to remove hairs one-by-one by pulling them out of the follicle. It’s most commonly used on the eyebrows for routine shaping. However, most people prefer not to pluck because it’s painful and time consuming. Additionally, plucking can cause painful ingrown hairs, especially if you pull the hair out against the grain. Wash and exfoliate your skin before plucking to minimize discomfort.

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When deciding whether to use this option, weigh out how much it would otherwise cost to wax your eyebrows instead. Waxing is an effective method for eyebrows, especially because it’s a small area that’s done fast and efficiently. If it’s too much, then perhaps the cheaper alternative is the way to go.

Hair Dissolving Cream

  • Length of Results: 1 week
  • Approximate Cost: $10-$20 per bottle

Hair dissolving creams break down the protein structure of your hair so that it easily falls out of the follicle when the cream is wiped off. They contain chemicals that include calcium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide. The chemicals can cause skin irritation, and you can’t use them on broken skin or acne, but the results last longer than shaving.

Hair dissolving creams sound good in practice, but they’re only effective for certain skin and hair types. Thicker hair doesn’t dissolve as well, and areas with a higher saturation of hair are also difficult. Hair dissolving creams can be used all over the body, but the face is the most common area.

Epilating

  • Length of Results: 1 week, but varies
  • Approximate Cost: $20+ to buy an epilator for home use

An epilator is similar to an electric razor, but the hair is ripped out of the skin instead of just being cut off at the surface. For an epilator to work, you have to have some hair growth visible, so it’s best used on the legs.

There are different kinds of epilators — some use a spring system, some use a rotating disc system, and others have more of a tweezer design — but they all work about the same way. Many people complain about discomfort when using an epilator. You can avoid this by waxing first and then using an epilator to control regrowth every three or four days.

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Waxing

  • Length of Results: Up to a month
  • Approximate Cost: $10-$50 per treatment, less at home

Waxing is the preferred method for people who want to remove hair from the bikini line, chest, or back. It can be done at home or at a Salon. You should let your hair grow out for at least five days before waxing so that the hairs can be gripped. There is hard wax and soft wax, but both involved applying the wax to your skin, letting it sit for a short period of time, and then pulling it off to rip the hairs out of your follicles. Over time, waxing thins the hair so that less grows back.

Waxing is painful, especially for people with coarse hair. However, the pain only occurs during the treatment. For areas like eyebrows, the pain happens once, which makes it a great option. For broader areas like chest and back, perhaps trying another method might be better.

Also, there can be hygiene problems with the wax because bacteria can grow inside of it. So, make sure that your salon does not double dip strips.

Threading

  • Length of Results: 6 weeks
  • Approximate Cost: $10-$50 per treatment, plus gratuity

Threading is an ancient technique practiced in Eastern countries to remove facial hair. However, in recent years, it has become popular in the West, too. A trained professional pulls cotton thread along unwanted hairs with a twisting motion that traps individual hairs like a mini lasso. This causes the hair to lift out of the follicle.

Threading is typically only performed on the face and it’s hard to find a salon that does it. You can perform threading at home, but it’s a hard skill to master. Many people claim that threading is the best way to get perfectly shaped eyebrows, but unfortunately the results are not permanent.

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Because of how hard it is to find someone who does this method or to perform it yourself, it’s probably best to stick to plucking, shaving, or waxing when it comes to getting hair off your face.

Laser Hair Removal

  • Length of Results: Long term and nearly permanent
  • Approximate Cost: $200-$500 per treatment, $150-$300 for touch ups

Laser hair removal is when hair follicles are killed by heat, and then the hair falls out of your skin. Most people opt to have this procedure done at a salon; there are some home kits but they are less effective. According to Statistic Brain, the average number of laser hair removal treatments needed is four. Hair regrowth is so minimal that touch ups are only needed every six months.

There are several types of lasers used at salons for hair removal. For instance, one Miami salon and spa may use the Candela Nd:YAG laser system for hair removal because it is regarded as the safest and most effective, but another salon might use a some more intense form of laser beam. Make sure to research the method of the salon before going because you don’t want to put your skin at risk. You can also find laser acne treatments and wrinkle reduction treatments.

In all the permanent hair techniques known, this was is the least consuming and least painful. Although, this treatment doesn’t work as well with people who have lighter toned hair, and you’ll have to go in for multiple sessions. So, if you have dark hair and time, this is probably the best option for you if you want to remove your hair for good.

Electrolysis

  • Length of Results: Permanent
  • Approximate Cost: $500+

Electrolysis is the most effective way to remove unwanted hair and is also the most permanent. During electrolysis, a small needle or probe is inserted into the hair follicle and then an electric current passes through the follicle, killing it. This prevents the hair from growing back.

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Even though electrolysis is the most effective, it is also the most expensive and the most painful. It’s not a good treatment for people with low pain tolerance because you must endure a shock for upwards of 15 seconds on each hair follicle. There are at-home electrolysis kits, but people report varying levels of success. Also, if it’s not done correctly it can discolor your skin.

If you have lighter toned hair color, this is the best option for you. Although it’s more painful than electrolysis, it’ll give you guaranteed results. This is also the only permanent hair removal method recognized by the Food and Drug Administration, so that should help with the pain knowing that it’s approved by an authoritative agency.

There’s no one best way to remove unwanted hair; you have to determine which one meets your goals and pocketbook best. Have you tried some of the more permanent hair removal techniques like electrolysis or laser hair removal? Were you satisfied with the results? Share your experience in the comments below.

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How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

His motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • He riles up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

Becoming the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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