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Study: Hot Wire Hair Removal No Better Than Shaving


Razors, waxing, depilatory creams, and laser hair treatment are only a few of the countless hair removal products Americans sink their hard earned cash into each year. In 2010 alone over 5 billion dollars were spent on de-fuzzing the body, and experts suspect numbers for 2012 will be even higher. But how many of the newest gadgets actually offer an improvement over the time-tested razor and lather? More specifically, how does the increasingly popular “hot wire” hair removal technique stack up against shaving?

One of the most recent products to enter the hair removal fray is the No!No! brand home hair system, produced by the hair removal technology company Radiancy. The product uses a singeing “Thermicon technology” where hair is cut by a heated nichrome wire that claims to deliver “a gentle pulse of heat to the hair," which "instantly removes hair and slows the rate of hair regrowth with no pain." This method of thermal follicle destruction disrupting hair growth cycles is plausible as many peer reviewed hair removal methods such as laser treatment and microwave electrolysis work by similar means.

But according to a study sponsored by Skin Disease Education Foundation and the cosmetic giant TRIA Beauty, no!no!’s hot-wire products offer hair removal results disappointingly similar to regular shaving. A small scale study conducted by Dr. Brian S. Biesman, Director of the Nashville Centre for Laser and Facial Surgery, had seven men and sixteen women try no!no! products as well as traditional razor shaving on two separate but symmetrical patches of leg skin containing at least fifteen hairs. All participants were instructed to strictly adhere to the no!no! product instructions, including passing the device four times over targeted skin. Photos of treated areas were taken at weekly intervals during the study, four days following the final treatment, and at intervals of four, eight, and twelve weeks after treatment.

Participant photos were assessed by Dr. Biesman for efficacy and longevity of hair removal. Four days after the final treatment the mean percentage difference in hair count was 19% for the hot wire site compared to 14% for shaving; at four weeks the two methods tied at 41%; at eight weeks hot-wire led 31% compared to 28% with shaving; and twelve weeks yielded 32% for hot wire and 37% for shaving. At no point did the hot-wire treatment show more than a 5% advantage over shaving, leading Dr. Biesman to conclude, “relative to shaving, treatment with the hot-wire device did not produce statistically significant differences in the percentage change from baseline in hair count, duration of hair removal effect.” The study also noted no significant changes in hair color or thickness in hot-wire treated hair.

While Dr. Biesman says that the idea for the study itself arose from a lack of hot-wire product testing in peer-reviewed literature, it is important to note that Dr. Biesman’s study was conducted on a small-scale sampling of twenty-three individuals and has yet to be published by a medical journal. TRIA Beauty, one of the study’s funders, offers a line of competing home hair removal products which has led to suspicions of bias in the study, but this can be neither confirmed nor denied until larger peer-reviewed research is completed on no!no!’s hot-wire products.

Whether or not you chose to discount no!no! products based on Dr. Biesman’s study, know that clinically proven permanent laser hair removal options are available nationwide. If you’re interested in learning more about effective hair removal solutions, contact us! Our Hair Removal Forum Representatives can schedule you a free and confidential appointment with a certified hair removal specialist near you!

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