Hair removal-related injuries in the United States, 1991–2014

Academic Article


  • Background: Hair removal practices have changed in frequency and location on the body. Previous research on hair removal injuries has focused on a specific body region, age, or gender. Objective: This study sought to take a broader perspective of hair removal-associated injuries in the United States which sought treatment at emergency departments. Methods: Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) from 1991 to 2014 were used to identify hair removal-related injuries. Incidence rates were determined for the overall population and stratified by gender and age category using US Census Bureau population estimates. Results: From 1991 to 2014, there were an estimated 292 053 hair removal-associated injuries in the United States. The overall incidence rate was highest in 2013 (9/100 000). Those aged 65+ had the highest incidence from 1991 to 2010 with those aged 19–34 having the highest rate starting in 2011. When stratified by body region injured, males had highest injury rates to the face and females had highest rates to the lower limbs. Starting in 2010, those aged 19–34 had higher incidence particularly for pubic and trunk regions. Conclusion: The incidence of hair removal-associated injuries seen by emergency departments increased nearly ninefold between 1991 and 2013. Due to the increased incidence among 19- to 34-year-olds, caution should be taken particularly for this age group when undergoing depilatory practices. Overall, individuals should practice safe and acceptable usage of hair removal products to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Swain TA; Tully AS; Redford T; McGwin G
  • Start Page

  • 444
  • End Page

  • 451
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 4