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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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Last Updated on November 12, 2020

Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re so tired and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

What Happens When You’re Too Tired

If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

  • Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
  • Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
  • Dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
  • Finding it more difficult to exercise.
  • Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
  • Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
  • Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

Why Are You Feeling Tired All the Time?

Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Here’s a quick overview of each common cause of fatigue and feeling tired all of the time:

  1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep, restorative sleep.
  2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness, which could be triggered by numerous health problems, such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea, or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
  3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance, or emotional trauma. It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:

Feeling Tired Vs Being Fatigued

If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

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Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety, or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive[5].

Symptoms of fatigue include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low stamina
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Low motivation

These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness, but they usually last longer and are more intense.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. However, there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

How Much Sleep Is Enough?

The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation, which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night[6]. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

Get the right amount of sleep to stop feeling tired.

    The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

    Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

    Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[7]

    If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is the most likely reason you feel tired all the time. That is actually good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

    It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities, such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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    4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

    Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

    1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
    2. Exercising regularly
    3. Using stressbusters
    4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

    After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

    I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

    Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

    • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy, including getting enough sleep.
    • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, ideally for six days a week.
    • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
    • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

    The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight, and to achieve overall wellness.[8]

    Living Healthy

    Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested, and better overall.

    In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life[9].

    As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

    Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

    1. Unplug

    Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.

    Try to turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

    2. Unwind

    Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath.

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    3. Get Comfortable

    Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

    Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep. Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

    Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed. If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[10]

    This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

    Exercise

    Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

    That’s what happened in my case, but when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my sedentary lifestyle.

    I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training during your daily 20-minute workout.

    If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

    Attitude

    Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

    When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted, but there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued: Breathing.

    But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” (or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

    Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:

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    1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
    2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air).
    3. Hold your breath while you mentally count to 7 and enjoy the stillness.
    4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it).
    5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep breath.
    6. Repeat 3 times, ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system.

    This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

    When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[11]

    Nutrition

    Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – after all, food is your main source of energy.

    If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.

    Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming though. For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

    Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

    1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
    2. Add a healthy fat or protein to any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
    3. Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy vegetables.
    4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice, and corn.
    5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars, and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
    6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives.
    7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive, and nut oils.
    8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts.
    9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice.

    Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

    That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

    Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplement.

    The Bottom Line

    If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, then there is tremendous hope.

    If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices. If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes discussed above.

    Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

    More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time

    Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
    [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
    [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
    [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
    [5] Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue
    [6] Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?
    [7] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
    [8] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
    [9] National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein
    [10] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
    [11] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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