Hair Removal for Red Hair - What's a Redhead to do?

There's good news and bad news for redheads out there. is a bit different than for other shades, because the skin tends to be very sensitive to heat, light and pressure. Painful methods like can feel like torture and can lead to swelling and even scarring. So what are hair removal options are available to people with red hair?

First the Bad News - Laser Is Ineffective

My friend with dark hair recently underwent laser hair treatment and she loved the results! The bad news is that using is ineffective on red hair.

Dark hair absorbs the energy from the laser and directs it into the hair follicle where it's burned. For some people like my friend, the can even be permanent.

However, red hair reflects the laser light, preventing the energy from being directed down into the follicle. If an irresponsible clinician were to hold the laser in a spot for longer than normal, the skin can actually get burned.

Now the Good News - Another Option

There are options for . The most effective is electrolysis. A tiny probe is inserted into each hair follicle and an electric current zaps the hair-producing cells dead. In most cases, the effects are permanent or will last for at least 6 months.

The downsides are the pain & cost of . Sensitive skin can easily get irritated and even bleed. Make sure to get this treatment done well in advance of going out so the skin has time to heal. Also, the process is very labor-intensive and requires each and every follicle to be zapped. It can get pricey, even on small areas of the body like the or the .

Other Methods for Redheads

  • Shaving is one option to get rid of unwanted body hair but it's a definite no-no for . The hairs are left with a sharp tip and will regrow as a bristly scrub. Since hair follicles on the face are closer together than on the legs, even women may develop a 'five o'clock shadow'.

  • Epilators are tools of the devil. They rip out multiple hairs at the same time and take out the root as well. For other people, this may be an effective method but people with sensitive skin may find it too difficult to take this much trauma all at once. Even the top selling unit from Braun, with its vibrating massage bars, isn't likely to alleviate the pain by much.

  • Be cautious if using . Even gently formulated 'sensitive skin' lotions may cause a chemical burn if left on too long.

  • Waxing is an option, but a painful one. Hair is ripped off in an entire strip, all at once. The resulting bald patch of skin can be left swollen and blotchy for a couple days after treatment.

People with red hair who have sensitive skin need to be extra-careful. Hair removal for red hair can be painful and very expensive, and the only way to find the most effective method is to simply try them out. Good luck.


About Help for Hair Removal:
This website offers tips on treatment options for both men and women. Learn about the various alternatives for removing unwanted body hair so that you can decide which option you might want to try.