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Solutions for Unwanted Hair

Shaving is often a tedious and expensive method of maintaining a hairless bikini line, legs, and underarms. Save time and money on razors and shave gel, and avoid nicks and cuts with one of the alternatives to shaving offered at the UPMC Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center.

The center offers several treatment options for the reduction of unwanted hair, some lasting a few weeks and others with more permanent results. Lynn Sullivan, a medical aesthetician, compares three methods — waxing, laser hair removal, and dermaplaning — available at the center.


Waxing is a popular method of semi-permanent hair removal that can last longer than shaving. A warm melted wax is applied to the skin in areas with unwanted hair. Once the wax cools and hardens, it is pulled in the opposite direction of follicle growth, removing the hair. Results last about two to six weeks, and waxing should be done regularly for the best results. The UPMC Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center offers facial waxing services.

“Mild to medium discomfort is associated with this technique, but most clients find it tolerable,” Lynn says.

Laser Hair Removal

If you’re looking for longer-lasting results, laser hair removal may be right for you. Lasers, such as Apogee® Elite or CoolGlide®, used for hair removal can effectively target and reduce approximately 70 to 99 percent of dark, coarse hairs with six to eight treatments.

Unlike other methods where each and every hair is treated individually, a laser can remove all the hair in an area about the size of a nickel in a single pulse. Laser hair removal treatments can take 15 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated.


Dermaplaning is a skin resurfacing method typically used to treat fine lines and wrinkles. Dermaplaning can also be used for the removal of fine, light hair, commonly referred to as “peach fuzz,” or touch ups between shaving, waxing, or laser hair removal treatments.

During this treatment, your skin care provider will gently abrade the skin, removing unwanted hair and the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing healthier, smoother skin. For best results, it is recommended that treatments be repeated once a month.

Although laser hair removal is ideal for dark, course hair, waxing or dermaplaning can address any coarse gray hairs or “peach fuzz” that may still exist after your treatments.

“Waxing and dermaplaning are safe, quick treatments that may yield results that can last for weeks at a time,” Lynn says. “Using these treatments as touch-ups with laser hair removal can also remove dull, dead surface cells, which means makeup goes on more smoothly, and your skin may feel softer.”

To learn more about hair removal options, or to schedule a consultation with one of our aestheticians, call the UPMC Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center in Shadyside at 724-940-SKIN (7546) or Wexford at 724-940-SKIN (7546).

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For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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