Hair Types

December 7th, 2014
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Electrolysis works on all hair types

There are Hair Types?

Sounds like our friend here might want to look into a little electrolysis, yeah?  Or maybe not, because he goes on to sing the praises of all kinds of hair.

Wait. There are different kinds of hair? Yep, there sure are! And they serve different purposes, grow on different parts of our body, and appear at different times in our lives. Hair, whether a long flowing mane that you brush to gleaming, or an annoying stray one on your chin that you can't wait to get zapped, is wonderful and weird.

Lanugo Hair

We all start our lives hairy! The first hair we all have is a thick, downy covering called lanugo. It is very fine and usually colorless. It is the first hair our follicles produce, appearing at about 4 or 5 months gestation. Much like peach fuzz, lanugo is meant to protect delicate skin, like a fuzzy armor. It usually falls out by around 7 or 8 months gestation, replaced by another kind of hair, but sometimes some remains. Ask your Mom if you were a fuzzy baby! Presence of lanugo in adults usually indicates a serious illness.

Vellus Hair

A close relative of lanugo is vellus hair. Vellus hair is fine, downy, and often lightly colored. Like lanugo, vellus hair covers the entire body, but it's not a thick pelt. It's most visible on children and women, but we all have it. Ladies, stroke your cheek. That soft fuzz is vellus hair. Vellus hair acts as an insulator and a wick to pull sweat away from the body. Too much vellus hair can also indicate illness.

In adults, much of our vellus hair will be displaced or covered by androgenic hair and terminal hair.

Androgenic Hair

Androgenic hair is just what it sounds like – hair whose growth is triggered by androgens (sex hormones). This begins at puberty, transforming the facial vellus into adult – or terminal – hair, and triggering the growth of hair in the armpits and on the pubis. These hormones sometimes are overproduced, which is why you will sometimes find women headed for their electrologist to get rid of unwanted facial hair. Kathy Bates' character on American Horror Story is a good example of someone whose androgens stimulated excess hair growth.

Terminal Hair

Terminal hair is longer than vellus, thicker, and darker. You'll find terminal hair on your head, your arms, and on your face as eyelashes and eyebrows. Is it thick and strong, and darker than peach fuzz? Then it's terminal hair. Is androgenic hair terminal hair? Yep, it is! The difference between androgenic hair and plain old terminal hair is that androgenic hair growth is triggered by puberty and is considered a secondary sex characteristic, and regular terminal hair just shows up with age.

Electrolysis Works On All Hair Types!

So,what hair types are electrologists getting rid of for us? Usually androgenic and terminal hair. Electrolysis is great for reshaping your hairline, tidying up your eyebrows, clearing unwanted facial hair, and treating ingrown eyelashes. Longer treatment cycles can attend to leg, pubic, back, chest, and armpit hair, eliminating the bother of shaving or the continued expense and potential for skin damage of waxing. Electrolysis is the only permanent option for any facial hair or body hair that you just don't want, regardless of hair types or skin type.

Hair removal treatments are also dependent upon the stage of the hair's growth cycle, which we'll talk about in a later post!

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