Hair removal is a topic that tends to elicit strong opinions. While some people like to celebrate "No-Shave November" all year round, others cringe at the thought of stubble. Body hair is a fact of life and 100 percent normal. However, if it's not really your thing and you want to eliminate those pesky unwanted hairs once and for all - we've got you covered.
Here are five methods of hair removal for women to try:
Shaving is one of the cheapest and most easily accessible methods of hair removal because you can do it yourself in the bath or shower - and it only takes an extra minute or two to cover large areas such as your legs.
Shaving is the process of eliminating hair with a sharp razor to cut the hair off at the skin's surface. This popular method of hair removal can be used to effectively get rid of unwanted hair on any body part, but be sure to purchase a top-notch razor. A sharp razor will make a world of difference when it comes to shave quality and potential discomfort.
Pros: Shaving is an inexpensive way to get rid of unwanted hair fast. If done correctly, it should be painless.
Cons: Shaving may get rid of all your unwanted hair in a flash, but it will only keep hair away for a couple of days in the best-case scenario. This method is not ideal for those with really dark body hair, because you may still be able to see the hair root just below the skin after shaving. Also, keep in mind that because you're working with a sharp razor, you're susceptible to razor burns and cuts - ouch!
Bottom line: If you need to get rid of undesirable body hair in a pinch, shaving is your best bet. Just beware that your hair will reappear quickly, and if you don't use a steady-hand while doing the job, you can cut yourself. Find a good quality razor that is made specifically for women, which is designed to handle the curves around the knees and ankles. Replace the blade frequently, and lubricate your skin well with a creamy shave gel or foam to help minimize any potential damage.
Waxing is an age-old hair removal method that entails putting warm, melted wax over an area of undesirable hair. Then, a paper strip or cloth is smoothed over the wax and then pulled off quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth. This method is effective because the heat causes the hair follicles to dilate slightly, making it easier for the entire hair - including the root - to be removed.
Pros: With waxing, hair tends to grow back much more slowly, because you are removing each individual hair directly by the follicle. You'll typically be fuzz-free for about two to eight weeks, depending on your personal hair growth cycle and the texture of your hair.
Cons: Unfortunately, waxing comes with quite a few side effects. To start, it can be extremely painful. Of course, everyone is different, but depending on the area you are looking to treat, and your tolerance for pain, removing hair with hot wax hurts. And if the wax is too hot, it can ultimately burn your skin, leaving behind a nasty wax burn. Lastly, waxers beware - waxing is also notorious for causing painful ingrown hairs, and in some cases, bacterial infections.
Bottom line: Waxing is a great method for keeping unwanted hair at bay for a few weeks at a time, but be prepared to feel a small amount of pain to achieve silky smooth skin. Ingrown hairs and bacterial infection are common with this method of hair removal, so be sure to always keep the treated area clean to avoid these nasty side effects.
Depilatory creams are super easy to use and an effective way to get rid of unwanted hair. They are chemical-based creams that remove hair by breaking down the hair structure itself. These powerful creams are applied to an area of unwanted hair and removed after 5-10 minutes, usually with a warm washcloth or clean towel.
Pros: A depilatory cream is a quick hair removal procedure that can be done easily from the comfort of your home. They are relatively inexpensive to use and work in any area of the body.
Cons: Some people - especially those with sensitive skin - find that the chemicals in these hair removal creams can cause irritation. To minimize redness, be sure to read the instructions and not leave the cream on longer than necessary. Most require roughly five minutes on the skin in order to work, but if your skin is sensitive, err on the side of less time.
Bottom line: If you want to remove unsightly hair quickly with minimal pain, then a depilatory cream is a good option. Just be cautious not to leave it on for too long.
Laser Hair Removal
Unlike the other popular methods of hair removal that we've mentioned, laser hair removal treatment is one of the few ways to eliminate hair permanently. This high-tech cosmetic procedure targets hair follicles with heat from a laser, damaging them to prevent future hair growth. It's the most expensive method of hair removal, but it also has the most long-lasting results.
Pros: Laser hair removal treatment comes with many advantages. For one, you'll never have to fuss with dull razors, messy wax strips, or smelly depilatory creams ever again. This increasingly popular method is superior when it comes to removing unwanted hair because it will leave you stubble-free for months just after a few treatments. In addition, since laser hair removal treatment works by destroying the hair follicle, you can kiss ingrown hairs goodbye!
Cons: Laser hair removal treatment doesn't come with too many side effects. In some cases, irritation and swelling can occur following a laser session, but this usually goes away after a day or two. An over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen and an ice pack can help immensely with any pain that you might be experiencing. Aloe can help as well to soothe irritated skin.
Bottom line: Laser hair removal is a more permanent solution to getting rid of unwanted hair. Just be sure to find a laser technician that is experienced and qualified to provide treatment to help minimize any side effects that could occur like laser burns.
At-Home IPL Hair Removal
IPL - or intense pulsed light - has been used for many years as an effective way to treat a variety of skin concerns like sunspots, acne, spider veins, and unwanted hair.
IPL works similar to that of a laser hair removal treatment. It heats up hair to cause damage to the follicle, which then prevents hair from being able to grow back in the future. Back in the day, you had to schedule an in-office visit at a clinic for an IPL treatment. Today, getting rid of unwanted hair is easier than ever with at-home IPL hair removal devices.
Pros: At-home IPL hair removal devices like the KENZZI IPL Hair Removal Handset is an incredibly easy way to obtain silky smooth, hair-free skin without having to go for an in-office visit. The KENZZI was designed for users to see results in as little as three treatments and is gentle to be used on any body part, including the face and Brazillian.
Cons: There are a ton of at-home IPL devices available on the market. Be sure to stay far away from cheap products that are not backed by a warranty.
Bottom line: At-home IPL hair removal devices work well to effectively get rid of unwanted hair. However, not all products are created equal, so be sure to purchase from an honest and reputable company like KENZZI that offers a warranty.
When it comes to eliminating unsightly body hair, there are a ton of methods to choose from. Shaving, waxing, IPL hair removal - the list goes on! Try each hair removal method to find what works best for you and enjoy velvety smooth, hair-free skin, though when it comes to which method gives you the most bang for your buck and lasting results, IPL beats out the rest!