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#10736 - 12/04/03 10:57 PM Removing hair for a competition
Aitaronz Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 79
Loc: New Zealand
I'm hoping to do a comp next year, and wanted to ask a few questions about hair removal first...

1) Previous attempts at waxing kept me relatively hairless for a decent period of time (about 6 weeks from memory), particularly when I used a "hair regrowth inhibitor".
  • The problem was that I got some really nasty ingrown hairs - at least, I think that's what they were - lumps like zits about 1/2 an inch across, looked pretty bad, and took ages to go away... Not the kind of thing you want for a comp! Would this have been my technique at fault, and if I got it done professionally would it have been any bettter? Or is this just a part of waxing to be expected?
2) My trial run at shaving hasn't been a lot better.
  • I just did a trial patch at the top of each leg (inner thigh, where I figured the skin was most tender, and it was an easy area to hide, if things went wrong! [Razz] ) Thank god I did, because it came up in some pretty severe razor burn... The follicle of each hair was really irritated - to the point of being like little zits that, when squeezed, oozed and popped (apologies to those with weak stomachs... [Smile] )
    Now I know that skin can take a while to become accustomed to shaving, but irritation like that's ridiculous! Besides, it gets prickly after 12 hours, and I think you can still see the hairs, which are dark and coarse, under the skin (at least, when the irritation goes down)...
Basically, neither method seems to give the results needed for a comp.

I'm actually toying with the idea of getting laser... It's hideously espensive, but if I just get a session done for every comp, somehow it feels a bit cheaper!
All that's needed is a few days of being smooth and hairless - no stubble, no bumps, etc... Would laser do this?
  • I'm assuming laser works by completely removing ALL the hair for a time? (even if a percentage of it does grow back later)
  • If so, how long does it take before the regrowth starts?
  • Would I have a problem with ingrown hairs, blotches, or other skin "imperfections"?
  • Finally, if I'm doing multiple competitions, am I supposed to wait a certain period of time in between laser treatments, or could I just get it done before each competition, whenever that might be?
Thanks, in anticipation!

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#10737 - 12/08/03 06:14 AM Re: Removing hair for a competition
RJC2001 Offline

Top Ten Contributor

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 1513
Loc: USA
Sorry I took so long to respond but since this section isn't very active I do not check it as often.

I work out with weights religiously, but I don't compete. However, I go hairless year round because it feels and looks better.

If you only want to be hairless for competitions your best and cheapest option is to get professionally waxed. Get some Tend-Skin and use it about a week after getting waxed and then keep using it. This will cut down on the ingrown hairs.

I wanted to be hairless all the time so I went with laser. I've had my chest, abs, back and arms done. My legs aren't that hairy so shaving does a good enough job for now. I eventually would like to have my legs done too.

I dont recall if you mentioned your skin and hair color, but laser works best on dark hair and light skin. I have a great practitioner and I have been successfully treated with the Lightsheer diode laser. My skin is type IV. I get very dark in the summer and cannot get laser treatments until winter in spring. It takes 3 months for my tan to fade after I stop tanning for the season.

If you tan using sunlight or a tanning bed before contests that may rule out laser for you. If you can set aside a 4-6 month period where you don't compete then you can fit laser treatments in.

My chest was extremely hairy and I had 50% permanent reduction after the first treatment. It made shaving much easier, with much smoother skin with a lot less ingrowns. My chest hair is 95% gone now and I want it all gone so that is why I still get treatments in the winter.

I have had white hairs that the laser can't get removed with electrolysis but this probably won't fit your situation. It requires a lot more time to treat an area with it, but it does work on all colors of skin and hair.

Some hairs I didn't get treated in the growth stage and they grew back finer. I have switched to the Aurora IPL/RF system because of the finer hairs that remained on my arms, along with a few on my chest. The Aurora does work better on finer hairs than the Lightsheer and I really noticed it on my arms. The skin on my arms is darker than on my chest so I only used the Aurora on them because it is less likely to cause scabbing and blotchiness. I will continue to have treatments with the Aurora as I deem necessary. Then I may have my legs done.

If you go with shaving there are a lot of things you can do to get better results. You can use Tend Skin for the ingrown hairs. Use the best razor you can afford. I like the Mach 3 Turbo. Another good choice would be the Schick Quattro. Use a soy based shaving gel like Positively Smooth from Aveeno. I like to mix it with Moore's Unique Hydroglide Shaving Solution. If you shave in the shower Suave Bodywash Moisturizing Formula works well, as does the Dove brand.

You could also try a good electric like the Braun Synchro 7505 or 7526, This is what I normally use on my legs. If it's hot and humid and I'm going to the beach I prefer to use a blade though.

Contrary to popular belief, you will get fewer ingrowns if you shave every day, because you are not giving the hair a chance to grow back into your skin.

Hope this helps.

RJC2001

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#10738 - 12/08/03 10:44 AM Re: Removing hair for a competition
Aitaronz Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 79
Loc: New Zealand
Like you, I much prefer being hairless - so, providing the finances allow(!), my first choice would be laser... I think.

I didn't mention my skin type, I'm sorry. I have dark hair, and tan moderately - I wouldn't say it's either easy or hard... I don't really know what skin type that puts me in.

I haven't approached anywhere for a consultation, yet. I'm still trying to work out whether laser is suitable, first. But I think my preferred clinic is http://www.laseratgreenbay.co.nz/ I've only seen their website, but thought that felt friendly and professional.

This is what they say about their laser:
quote:
The Coolglide Excel is a class of laser known as long pulse Nd:YAG. This class of laser is taking over the market for hair removal in the Asia Pacific region because of its speed and effectiveness. Most lasers can remove dark hair in those with pale untanned skin but ours treats all skin types including tanned skin.
Obviously, I would try to avoid having tanned skin as much as possible. Do you know anything about those lasers?

So, from what you've had done, do you think I am likely to experience problems with ingrown hairs, blotches, or other skin "imperfections"?

How long does a treated site take to grow back? And would I able to fit my treatments around my competitions, or is it best to stick to the hair regrowth cycles for best results?

Thanks,
Aitaronz

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#10739 - 12/08/03 11:28 AM Re: Removing hair for a competition
Andrea Offline
hairtell.com founder
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 4149
Loc: Los Angeles
You have to be careful with tanning both before and after laser. Be sure to discuss this at length with your practitioner to avoid marks that can last as long as several months.

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#10740 - 12/09/03 12:36 AM Re: Removing hair for a competition
RJC2001 Offline

Top Ten Contributor

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 1513
Loc: USA
My practitioner won't treat me with laser if I am too tan.

The Coolglide has a good reputation and it would probably be less likely to cause blotches than other lasers on tan skin. I have never been treated with a Nd:YAG laser so I cannot speak from experience on it.

My practitioner does have a Sciton 1064 laser which is similar to the Coolglide. They determined that I would get better results with the Lightsheer. They mainly use the Sciton for type V and VI skin.

I would like to try the Sciton on tanned skin at least with a test patch just to test the claim it works on tanned skin.

RJC2001

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#10741 - 12/09/03 10:16 AM Re: Removing hair for a competition
Aitaronz Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 79
Loc: New Zealand
Well, having done some more research today, I'm more confused than ever!

The manufacturers of the CoolGlide say the machine was "Cleared in January 2001 for Permanent Hair Reduction." (But they don't say who did the clearing...)

But the website of the clinic I'm looking at says:
quote:
There are few clinical studies in this area (lasers were only discovered to remove hair in 1995 and have evolved rapidly since then). One study of the Coolglide did show that the 50% hair reduction attained after two treatments remained after 15 months. Longer term clinical studies are not available. At this stage it seems that most people will need one or two topup treatments every 9 to 12 months. Laser Hair Removal is not permanent but results in Prolonged Hair Removal.
I'm not sure I understand why the topup treatments would be needed, if the hair reduction is permanent. Or would they be talking about what's needed to achieve complete hair REMOVAL?

If so, will those hair that have grown back be finer than before, or will they be just as coarse but fewer of them?

I guess what I'm saying is that I'd be happy with either permanent hair REDUCTION (provided it's the coarseness that's reduced, and not just the quantity of hairs) or permanent hair REMOVAL (provided almost all the hairs were completely removed, and only a few stragglers remained). I'm not willing to fork out thousands for something that basically turns out to be an expensive wax job!

I hope that makes sense! [Big Grin]

Aitaronz

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#10742 - 12/10/03 10:09 PM Re: Removing hair for a competition
hairfetish Offline
Member

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 122
Loc: Florida
Hi: I just replied to a similar post regarding type IV skin and laser hair removal in the Laser Hair removal board. The CoolGlide machine is perfect for all skin types, but particularly for types III to VI. It is the highest powered of the NdYag machines out, being that it can effectively reach the 60jules/10milliseconds milestone for hair removal. I am presently treating a gentleman for total body hair removal. Each treatment area (we have sectioned it out to 3 areas) is treated every 8 weeks. He should have permanent hair reduction of about 70-90% after 5 treatments, with possible yearly follow-up treatments necessary. The remaining hair wil be patchy and finer, and will either need Aurora RF or electrolysis. If effective fluence and pulse width levels are used, then the follicle that is destroyed is just that - gone. FDA is the agency that approved the Coolglide for hair removal. Laser is very operater-dependant, just as is electrolysis. I have seen many clients who have been treated with electrolysis for many years with little result (despite using different practitioners), as well as those who have had great results. The same applies to laser hair removal. Hope this helps [Wink]

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#10743 - 12/11/03 01:17 AM Re: Removing hair for a competition
Aitaronz Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 79
Loc: New Zealand
That was helpful, thankyou... It's just this bit I don't understand:

quote:
Originally posted by hairfetish:
He should have permanent hair reduction of about 70-90% after 5 treatments, with possible yearly follow-up treatments necessary.

If the reduction is permanent, what are the followup treatments for? [Confused]

I'm sorry - this feels like a very basic question, but I just don't get it!

EDIT: Actually, one other question, too... You've said you'll be treating this person every 8 weeks. Why is that? I would have thought the time between treatments would have varied depending on the growth rate which changes from body part to body part... (As per this thread)

[ December 10, 2003, 06:57 PM: Message edited by: Aitaronz ]

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#10744 - 12/14/03 11:31 PM Re: Removing hair for a competition
Balius Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 102
Loc: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Well to throw in my two bits.

If you have the right combination of tolerant skin and a hair color that absorbs the laser energy well then the laser will lead you to a permanent state of hair removal. I am not saying every hair will be gone but a majority of them will be. At this point shaving or waxing may be all you need to look smooth for any competition.

I would not recommend getting any laser done just prior to a competition for two reasons.

1. After a laser treatment it may take as long as two weeks (usually a few days) for the red markings around the treated hairs to subside.

2. If you are prone to ingrown hairs now you will for sure get them as the hairs grow back weeks after a treatment. I found that I had a lot more (but still tolerable amount of)ingrowns from the laser treatments (and electrolysis) then I ever did form epilating or shaving. This stands to reason as the laser treatmenst are designed to cause damage to the follicle and a damaged follicle might impeade a newly emerging hair from easily reaching the surface, therby becoming ingrown.

If you do go the laser route in the long run these issues of ingrowns and red spotts will become less so as the density of hair that is left to be treated drops. I am satisfied with my results to date.

Chris

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#10745 - 12/15/03 07:18 AM Re: Removing hair for a competition
Aitaronz Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 79
Loc: New Zealand
Thankyou Balius... that's what I needed to know!

In fact, you're the first I've heard mention laser causing ingrown hairs. I'll definitely keep that one in mind.

My problem now, then, is that with my first competition in July 2004, I could be running out of time to find a clinic, get them to do a test patch, let the test patch grow back to observe the results, and then proceed with the full treatment, while leaving enough time before the competition for any ingrowns to grow out, etc...

How much time before the comp would you recommend I allow for this?

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#10746 - 12/17/03 06:26 AM Re: Removing hair for a competition
Balius Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 102
Loc: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Timing might be a bit tight for the summer. I would allow more time then might be required just to be safe so you don't go into a competition all spotted up from ingrowns or the treatment.

Most of the occurance and marking from ingrown hairs is finished about 6 to 8 weeks after a laser or electrolysis treatment. It seems that just the first batch of regrowth following a treatment seems more prone to becoming ingrown. We are not taking a huge number either (you don't look like you have chicken pox) but if your skin is light it can spoil the smooth hair free look. Initially I was averaging around a few dozen per leg, maybe a dozen on the chest and with susequent treatments that has dropped to just a few on each area of the body.

Chris

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#10747 - 12/17/03 11:49 AM Re: Removing hair for a competition
Aitaronz Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 79
Loc: New Zealand
Hmm... If it's mostly just a matter of colouring, ingrown hairs shouldn't be too much of a problem. The fake tan bodybuilders use is industrial strength, and they use it liberally! It is often literally painted on. So small amounts of blemishes would probably be hidden.

What would concern me, however is if the ingrowns caused large lumps. As I said in my first post, my attempt at waxing left me with big zit/welt-like swellings on the back of my legs - not something that could be covered by fake tan!

I think these were ingrown hairs... [Confused] ... does that sound like the kind of reaction you'd expect to see?

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#10748 - 12/30/03 07:54 PM Re: Removing hair for a competition
Baldie Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 5
Despite what methods you choose to remove hair, you can get ingrowns. They're the result of the hair being removed below the surface, and sometimes they just grow back in crooked. I've had laser and electrolysis under my arms (I just shave everything else), and the results are better with electrolysis. I also have less ingrowns with more treatment as your last responder said. My electrologist would love to make her life easier with the much quicker laser machine, but has many people come in for treatment who have been lasered. For all its claims, it simply is not permanent. It will reduce hair, but she makes plenty of money off of the fact that most laser customers are not satisfied in the space of a year or less, and seek a truly permanent solution. A key for you to reduce ingrowns may be the use of such soaps as Neutrogena Body clear with a 2% Salicylic acid. Don't use this more than 3 times a week as it tends to dry. Also, if you shave and/or wax, and then sweat alot at the gym, you will clog pores and get ingrowns. Keep the skin dry after whatever methods you use, no moisturizers either. Don't use perfumed soaps in the shower. Use Dr. Bonner's Tea Tree Oil Bare or liquid soap—you can find it at most health food stores. Also, keep in mind that your body chemistry changes about every seven years, and problems you never had, especially with skin, can just pop up out of nowhere. As of last summer, I can no longer wear my lifting gloves (no matter how many times I get new ones) as I get a rash called contact dermatitis between my fingers. I've switched to grip pads, which work fine, but aren't as well padded. I also am noticing more callouses on the palms of my hands as I get older and dryer. Another problem I never worried about in my 20's. However, I can lift more and do more reps than I did in my 20's, and I guess that's a good thing that kind of makes up for the bad. I hope this helps some. Good luck and stay away from the juice. All my old pals who used to do it 10 years ago are all f***ed up.

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#10749 - 03/25/05 09:15 PM Re: Removing hair for a competition
Veinlover Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 121
Loc: Chicago
I, too, would like to do something other than shave my pits, as the hair is thicker, and looks a bit "beard like" after shaving. Other body hair when shaved looks like nothing ever was there. It seems laser has pretty well done in electrolysis in my area, as I can't find anyone who does it. Waxig and laser appear to be what remains. Waxing pits is useless, as there is a long stubble time between waxing, and I don't like pit stubble. It makes them look dirty. I got one absurd quote of $1,200 for lasering the pits, which seems absurd. I can shave the twice a day for that price. Electrolysis sounds tedious, however. You just hold your arm up as long as you can while she does one hair at a time, is that how it goes? Sounds like a good shoulder workout, if nothing else.

Pits are important to bodybuilders, as they are so visible when you flex, and you want them to be nice and smooth, free of stubble and of ingrowns. It makes you look much more professional if your pits are well groomed.

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