Everything you need to know about how to get rid of unwanted body hair! Different methods that are both permanent and non permanent. All the pros and cons of each and how they work.
Everything You Need to Know about Hair Removal
By Christine Wheaton, Sassable staff writer
There are several respectable methods of removing unwanted hair from the body.
Hair removal can be a pesky task, it’s true, but once you find the method that works for you, it will become second nature.
1) Probably the most popular method of hair removal is SHAVING. Shaving is the act of severing your body hair with a razor right at the surface level of your skin. Shaving is somewhat of a pain in the rear but it has it’s shining moments too.
You have to do it often, every 1-3 days depending on the rate of your hair growth, and it grows back prickly, thick, and possibly even a little darker.
You can get skin irritations like ingrown hairs (where the hair grows back all weird and sideways under the skin) and rash-like bumps, especially in your bikini area.
The great thing about shaving is that is it relatively fast, painless (unless you are using a shoddy razor and accidently cut yourself), and easy to do.
It’s small, easy to travel with, and can be done anywhere...sometimes convenience is priceless.
It’s very inexpensive, even if you bought the best razors on the market, it would most likely only run you about $10 a month.
2) Going down in hair removal popularity, next up would most likely be WAXING. Hot or cool wax is applied to the skin and then a strip of cloth is pressed onto top of the wax. When the strip is quickly removed (pulling in the opposite direction then the hair growth). This method is usually done on facial hair and the bikini area but it can be used on the whole body.
Can be painful depending on your tolerance.
Not suitable for very sensitive skin.
Skin might be left red and irritated temperarily.
Kinda messy and sometimes leaves sticky waxy residue on the skin.
You have to grow your hair in between waxings so that it is long enough to wax each time.
Waxing can get pricey depending on how often you go and how much hair you remove.
Lasts for a while, 3-8 weeks.
Because it pulls the hair out from the root, over time it grows back thinner, lighter, and in some cases not at all.
The applied wax not only hardens around the hair follicle but also on dead skin, when the strip is ripped off, you will get smooth, hairless, AND exfoliated skin-bonus!
- Next up we have DEPILATORIES. Usually in the form of creams, lotions, gels, foams, or liquids. All a depilatory does is remove hair on a relatively surface level just like shaving. It does not remove the hair root unlike epilatories (below the surface level) like waxing or tweezing. It works because it contains an acidic combination of hair removing chemicals that breakdown the structure of the hair and destroys it, literally “eating” it so that it becomes detached and able to be washed or wiped away after about 5-15 minutes. Just like with the wax, the depilatory will also break down dead skin and exfoliate it for you. Add the usual vitamins and hydrating ingredients present in modern day products and you’ve got some siiiilky skin. FYI, You cannot use this hair removal method on anything but healthy skin, meaning, no open wounds, acne, skin disorders, etc.
It is a chemical compound and really, anything that dissolves your hair and dead skin cannot be wonderful for your health. Your skin will absorb these chemicals and although it has not been confirmed, many advise against using depilatories while pregnant or nursing...sooo that’s not the best sign.
Could produce an allergic reaction.
It has a strange smell, and by strange I mean awful, it’s like...well, it’s like burning hair. It is only temporary, lasting maybe 24 hours or so, but I wouldn’t do it before a first date or anything.
Easy, quick, and convenient.
Lasts longer than shaving because it gets into the pores (average 3 days to 2 weeks).
When hair grows back it is not blunt like shaving so will not be as prickly to the touch.
4) Moving on to TWEEZING. I’m sure you guys know what that is already, so I won’t bore you to death. But I will put in my two sense as far as what type of tweezers to use. Tweezerman tweezers are the best. Plus if you send them back to the address on the package they will sharpen them for free for life! A good pair of tweezers will last you forever. They should be sharp and both sides should come together flush in order to grip the hairs strongly. When you pluck the hairs, pull in the direction of hair growth. It is always easier to pluck after a shower or bath as the skin is softer. Generally tweezing is done on smaller areas such as the brows, some facial hairs, stray hairs that might be on the stomach, etc.
Tweezing can give a slight prickling feeling in certain areas.
You can only tweeze one hair at a time so it is time consuming.
Sometimes it can be irritating to sensitive skin.
It is cheap, fast, and effective!
Perfect for on the fly fixes.
The hair grows back fairly slowly 1-4 weeks depending on your growth rate.
- Here comes the big guns...LASER! The laser gives off a beam of light that is received by the hair follicle in the form of heat which destroys it. Since the life of a hair is in three stages, it is necessary to get several treatments in order for the process to really be effective because laser treatments are received the best while the hair is in the growth stage. Unfortunately each hair could be at a different part of the cycle and therefore, you will probably need more than one treatment to get them all. And even then, you will hardly encounter a laser specialists that will claim to give a 100% permanent hair removal...but they usually come up pretty close with a success rate in the high 90 percentile.
Several treatments are needed.
Can be pricey at about $500 per session with the average being at 3-5 sessions.
Feels uncomfortable-like a sting or pinch.
Does not work as well on lighter hair or darker skin since it relies partly on recognizing the contrast of the skin to the hair.
Almost permanent hair removal.
- Electrolysis-check out electrolysis’ very own article here. Yep, it’s fancy pants.
- Epilation-who is also big time has it’s own article here.
- Threading-part of this brow article.
So now that you have read up on various hair removing ways to get rid of your inner Sasquatch, I release you! Go get yourself some smooth hair-free skin!
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