In honour of the season when we bear the most skin, 29Secrets reveals the skinny on hair removal. Although there are a plethora of options available, different hair removal techniques can be more appropriate than others for particular patches of unwanted fur. So lets examine the various instruments at your disposal along with the venues they should be used at.
The Razor: Razor burn coupled with darker, coarser hair triggers nothing but disdain in the hearts of many for the most common hair removal device. When you factor the cost of a decent razor and blade refills, it’s not always the most economical approach either.
Tweezers: Although time consuming and slightly painful, this little tool is a safe bet for facial hair as well as pesky ingrown hairs.
Threading: Threading involves pulling the hair from its follicle by twisting a thread through unwanted hair. It’s sanitary, quick and cost effective. However, this method is usually confined to facial hair removal.
Wax: Waxing consistently can result in finer hair and can prevent more ingrown hairs than shaving. Readily available at spas or as a DIY treatment, is the arguably cheapest, efficient way to cut down on stubborn hair growth. If you prefer the DIY method but can’t find a beauty store solution you like, try making your own wax with sugar, honey and lemon for an even more economical option.
Electrolysis: Electrolysis is the most time consuming and painful form of hair removal available. Electrolysis requires the penetration each hair follicle with a needle, which can be tedious on a large surface area. It costs around $60 per hour and requires anywhere from fifteen to thirty visits, depending on your hair type. That said, Electrolysis is effective on all hair/skin types and is a permanent solution to hair removal. If you have the time, pain threshold and the money, this is the most effective hair removal system on the market.
Laser Hair Removal: Laser Hair Removal targets patches of skin during treatments. Therefore it is less time consuming and painful than electrolysis. However, Laser Hair Removal is not totally effective on light hair or dark skin tones because the laser targets dark hair against lighter skin. Prices vary depending on hair type and surface area. It’s more cost-effective than electrolysis when dealing with a larger surface area. At-home laser treatments should be approached with caution as they lack the strength of professional systems and can actually lead hair the hair’s immunity to laser removal in the future.
Face: Waxing is a go-to facial hair remover for plenty of women. Unfortunately, waxing, with the exception of shaving, is possibly the worst way to remove hair from the face. Waxing lifts far too many layers from the skin; it damages collagen and can lead to major pigmentation of the skin when using any form of retinol. For most facial hair, tweezing is still the most economical approach and one of the safest methods. Threading is also another safe option and is economical at $12 to $50 for eyebrows and $6 to $20 for the upper lip. However, it takes a true artist to shape eyebrows when threading. For permanent hair removal, electrolysis is the best approach to facial hair removal. Relatively speaking, electrolysis is also more economical than other regions of the body due to the small surface area. Treatments range from $50 to $175 an hour, depending on area and density of the hair.
Underarms: Shaving is an option as long as you’re not prone to ingrown hairs. Waxing is also an excellent option. However, if tackling this area yourself, learn how to do it properly. Armpits can bruise and be quite painful if waxed improperly. Considering that the armpits are a relatively small surface area, electrolysis can be an option here at $60 dollars an hour. However, laser hair removal for armpits start around $50 and can go up to $175 per treatment, depending on the hair and density. This quicker, less painful approach requires fewer treatments, which equates to money saved in the long run.
Legs: A razor can offer a close smooth shave that will transform into porcupine needles within 24 hours. Sadly, this old standby is just not recommended if you’re hoping for sensual, smooth legs. Laser Hair Removal is ideal for perpetually silky legs. However, laser can become quite cost prohibitive considering what a large surface area there is to deal with. If you decide to splurge for the $200 to $450 per treatment cost of laser treatment, you can obtain sexy, smooth legs for life. If that’s too rich for your blood, don’t despair. Waxing is a great alternative to stubborn, coarse leg hair; regular waxing will also lead to lighter and finer hair. Treatments are fairly economical at an average of $35 to $65 a pop for half or full leg. Legs are the easiest area to wax. So try out a wax kit or create your own mix for a cheap DIY wax at home.
Bikini/Brazilian: This is the toughest area, hands down! Thanks to good ole friction, a shave gives you razor burn and a bad wax can lead to red bumps. Both options can lead to ingrown hairs in this super-sensitive area. However, there are salons out there that can execute a great bikini wax for 15 to 85 bucks. It’s best to follow up these sessions with a product like bikini zone that prevents ingrowns and red bumps. Always schedule a session a few days before that pool party or weekend at the lake to give the area time to calm down. Unfortunately, the bikini calls for permanent hair removal over any other. Laser Hair Removal is more costly due to the larger (and more intimate) surface area. Prices range from $100 to $325, depending on hair type and how bald you’d prefer to be. Four to five treatments will typically do the trick, and considering the drawbacks and cost of waxing this sensitive area, it’s an option to seriously consider.