Recognized as the only permanent method of hair removal, electrolysis involves the insertion of a needle into the hair follicle and killing it with a zap of electricity.  The average cost is around $100 per hour (which translates into $1,000 for permanently smooth legs.)  There is also a fairly lengthy timeline for the process as the coarser the hair, the more treatments are required to kill the follicle.  Additionally, hairs go through a dormancy period so certain areas have to be gone over several times to ensure every follicle is treated - plan on about a year from start to finish. There is no such thing as painless electrology since a network of nerve endings surrounds each hair follicle. My advice, electrolysis is best suited for small problems areas such as upper lip, chin and brows. 

The latest darling in the game, a laser beam is used to sterilize the hair follicle, preventing regrowth. Generally, three to five sessions are required to effectively neutralize any particular area and an average session costs around $500. The most important aspect of laser hair removal is that it is not for everyone: one's hair must be darker than the surrounding skin. Tanned patients with dark hair must wait until their tan fades before they can be treated. Dark skin absorbs too much laser energy and this is not considered safe for African-Americans at all.  The technology is still in its infancy:  I plan on waiting until it grows up a little.

The word "barber" comes from the Latin word "barba," meaning beard. Barbarian sprang from the same root, the inference that sporting too much hair was uncouth.  Modern society seems to preserve this same prejudice for the overly follicled, only today, getting rid of the hair does not have to be barbaric at all.

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