It’s got to be the holy grail of de-fuzzing – the permanent removal of unwanted hair. Just imagine a life without what feels like constant shaving, waxing, zapping ripping and plucking. Bliss! Many brands of super fantastic sounding permanent hair removal cream have come onto the market in recent years, making bold claims that they can rid you of your hair permanently with no pain or fuss. Sounds too good to be true? Well let’s take a closer look at the claims made by contenders for the best permanent hair removal cream.
Permanent hair removal
OK, I’m going to have to burst the bubble straight off the bat. The only method of hair removal that has been proven to remove hair permanently is electrolysis, where individual hair follicles are zapped and destroyed for good. Even laser hair removal doesn’t remove hair permanently, it’s only been proven to achieve permanent hair reduction, so a thinning of hair regrowth.
So can a cream succeed where lasers have so far failed? Thinking about it, I’m not sure I’d actually want to rub a cream onto my skin that was powerful enough to reach and destroy the follicles lurking beneath forever! And, despite any claims you may have read, there are currently no creams out there that can achieve such a feat. So perhaps you’ve been trying to thin out that chest rug of yours … that permanent hair removal cream for men you’ve been eyeing up – what does it actually do? If you read the claims in a bit more detail you’ll usually find the slightly less impressive boast that applying the cream can lead to the gradual reduction of hair growth over time. This would make it a hair growth inhibitor, rather than permanent hair removal cream.
So what’s a hair growth inhibitor when it’s at home?
Inhibitors don’t destroy hairs outright like depilatory cream. Instead, you’re meant to apply them to the skin, usually after your unwanted hair has already been removed by the roots (so through waxing or epilating) to allow the inhibitor to reach right to the hair follicle. Ingredients can vary, but the basic principle is that new hair growth is affected, with fresh hairs growing back thinner and thinner and, eventually, not at all.
OK, so this isn’t permanent hair removal, but creams that, over time, can thin out hair to almost nothing – that still sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Again, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the only cream that has been FDA approved and clinically proven as a hair growth inhibitor is the prescription cream Vaniqa.
Vaniqa is only meant for use on the face and under the chin, so it’s not going to be the answer to everyone’s excess hair woes, but it has been proven to do a very good job of significantly reducing hair over time. It contains eflornithine, an active ingredient that can block the action of the main enzyme needed for hair growth. You need to apply Vaniqa twice a day and should start seeing results after eight weeks, with more noticeable hair reduction over a longer period of time.
So for women battling with problem facial hair, Vaniqa may not be a miracle solution (it does take a while to start working, it isn’t cheap so may hit your bank balance hard, and your unwanted hair will start creeping back once you stop using it) and, no, it’s not a permanent facial hair removal cream either, but it can lead to impressive results and have a really positive impact if excess facial hair is getting you down.
What about the other ‘permanent’ hair removal creams out there?
Just a quick search online will bring up a huge array of creams, with manufacturers making various claims that they can reduce hair growth with repeated applications. Vaniqa aside, there just isn’t the evidence to back these claims up though. Details of exactly how they’re meant to work are often vague, and pages of glowing reviews don’t always quite ring true. Anecdotal evidence isn’t proof enough, and manufacturers’ own tests and trials aren’t always comprehensive or reliable. Don’t be fooled by money back guarantees either, they aren’t necessarily an indicator of a trustworthy product. In a nutshell, don’t get sucked in by hype – there may well be happy customers out there who’ve been pleased with the results they’ve seen, but unless there’s solid evidence behind the claims, save your hard earned cash for hair removal methods you know will be worth the spend.
So I’m afraid you may left disappointed if you’re on the hunt for that glorious permanent hair removal cream. In fact you may end up with a lotion that barely removes the hair it touches, never mind preventing regrowth. If you’re looking for an effective cream for use on the face then it’s worth asking your doctor about Vaniqa but, for the time being at least, it’s probably worth leaving the creams with unsubstantiated claims on the shelf.