Electrolysis (ee-lehk-TRAWL-oh-sihs) and waxing are two methods of epilation (ep-ih-LAY- shun), or removal of hair below the skin's surface. So far, electrolysis is the only hair removal procedure that's considered permanent by the FDA (F-D-A). In this technique, a thin, steel probe may be inserted into each hair follicle and one by one, the hairs are electrified with a low-voltage current. When performed properly, the current runs down the hair shaft to the root, destroying the follicle. The dead hair should then easily pull out. Another method uses an electrified tweezer to grip the hair and send the current. Multiple visits are needed to treat all cycles of hair growth successfully. Depending on the area and hair density, the complete process may take a few months to over a year, and can also be expensive. A temporary but more affordable alternative is waxing. Either cold strips or hot wax may be used. The wax is applied to the skin, covered with a strip of cloth, then yanked off in the opposite direction of hair growth. The procedure can be painful, though it may become less uncomfortable over time. Waxing usually leaves skin hair-free for about three to six weeks.
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