Major problems associated with shaving and depilating
Common complaints encountered when shaving or depilating hair are;
- In the case of shaving, developing shaving rash or razor bump and
- Most commonly the formation of ingrown hair when shaving or depilating.
These are best shown in figure 1 2
There are many various methods employed for hair removal:
- Shaving using sharp blades and a “soap”
- Plucking the hair out
- Waxing (whereby a layer of wax is applied followed by a rapid removal of the wax layer)
- Using a scrubbing material to vigorously massage the follicles out
- Laser burning of the hair strand
- Electrolysis (which involves the insertion of a fine needle into the hair follicle down to the hair root. A mild current is then passed down the needle to the tip. This then cauterizes the hair root enabling the hair to be withdrawn).
All these methods have the potential to develop some form of ingrown hair problem, although the electrolysis method has a higher success rate at removing the hair permanently with very few side effects. The method discussed in this blog is on the use of shaving products for face and body.
Most shaving products use the philosophy of hardening the follicle then running a razor blade over it. This will initially tug the hair out slightly from the skin so that it can then be cut by the blade. The problem with this method is numerous.
- The method of stiffening the hair follicle results in a spear like fibre piercing the skin when it springs back into the root. It can then be trapped under the skin rather than being freely able to grow through the orifice naturally occurring for it.
- Another issue is that some hair follicles will stiffen up but recoil like a spring and curl under the skin. This then develops a lump where the hair continues to grow in a coil pattern under the skin and not able to be released. This is particularly problematic for the African/American type skin where the hair has a tendency to curl naturally.
Many of these shaving products come as soap bars, sticks, lather creams, foaming aerosols and oils. They are usually very high pH products having pH values around 9 to as high as 11 in combination with stiffening waxes (not the shave oils which would have an apparent neutral pH) which are not really suited to the pH of the skin as they would tend to dry and strip the skin of it's natural oils. The pH is kept high possibly under the premise that it minimises any irritations to the skin from the shaving.
Ortron Corporation has developed and is marketing a unique shaving cream (Tetrashave™). This skin care product goes against all of the above mentioned principles of how a shaving product should function. Unlike the anionic properties (negative ions) of the stearic acid in combination with the triethanolamine to neutralise and form the basis of the emulsion, the Tetrashave™ has a totally unique and innovative formulation.
The Tetrashave™ is a type of skin conditioner and not an anionic soap. It is a cationic (positive ions) formulation which incorporates a slightly high pH in combination with tea tree oil and herbal extracts. The conditioning effect of the cation along with a pH around 7 to 7.5 helps to soften the hair fibre of the beard or body and does not harden them.
Therefore when the blade passes over the follicle and cuts a soft hair there will be no recoiling or springing of the hair. The tea tree oil assists in the healing process of the skin after a blade has abraded the skin. Tea tree oil is critical in the formulation as it helps avoid infections of the skin and hair root.
This cream then acts as a type of skin moisturiser by trapping moisture onto the skin surface and therefore is a great skin care product. Men and women would not need to use any moisturisers after using Tetrashave™. The subtle herbal fragrance will also not interfere with any aftershaves or perfumes that people may want to use. Women could safely use this product to shave their legs, underarms and even the scalp.