Hair removal methods for a hair-free body. Most women prefer getting rid of excess body hair using different hair removal methods. While shaving and waxing are popular choices, there are many other ways to get rid of unwanted hair.
1. Shaving for Hair Removal
2. Hair Removal Creams
3. Waxing for Hair Removal
4. Electrolysis for hair removal
5. Laser Hair Reduction
6. Tweezing for Hair Removal
7. Threading for Hair Removal
8. Epilation for Hair Removal
9. Bleaching Hair
10. FAQs on Body hair removal
Shaving for Hair Removal
Shaving works by cutting off the hair at the skin level. It’s the most commonly used method of hair removal. You can choose between electric shavers and disposable razors, depending on your budget.
Advantages: Shaving is painless as long as you are careful to not cut yourself. Make sure you use shaving cream or soap and sharp blades. That way you can decrease the chance of having razor burn or post-shave irritation. It is also the least expensive and fastest way to remove unwanted hair.
Disadvantages: Since the hair is only removed at the skin level, it tends to grow back soon.
Where does it work best: Shaving works on various body parts but many women avoid shaving their face for the fear of thick hair growth post the session. However, shaving your legs, arms, underarms and even pubic area is safe.
How to use it: Shaving in the shower especially when you are using disposable razors is the best way to get a smooth, hair-free body. Wet the area you want to shave and then lather it up with shaving gel or cream. Then, wet the razor with water and shave in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Hold the skin taut if needed for a smoother glide. This step is essential when using an electric shaver as there is no cream used. Once done, pat dries the skin and apply moisturiser to prevent dryness.
How long will it last: The hair tends to grow back faster with this hair removal method. Depending on your hair growth, you will notice tiny hair growing back anything between two-three days to a week’s time post-shaving.
Hair Removal Creams
Hair removal creams, also known as depilatories, have chemicals that break down the hair structure. In this method, you apply the cream to an area, wait for 5 to 10 minutes for it to break down the hair and then use a towel or a plastic scraper to remove the cream along with the hair.
Advantages: Hair removal creams provide results that will typically last longer than shaving but less than waxing.
Disadvantages: The chemicals in hair removal creams are strong and can irritate your skin. So do a patch test first and if the skin is fine with no irritation or redness, continue to apply it on a larger area.
Where does it work best: Hair removal creams can be used on large areas like legs and arms and also on patches that are difficult to shave or wax-like your upper lip or elbows.
How to use it: Simply apply the cream in the direction of the hair growth and leave it on for the required time as mentioned in the instructions. Then wash it off and pat dry your hairless, smooth skin.
How long will it last: These creams can keep your hair growth away for up to a week depending on the thickness.
Waxing for Hair Removal
Waxing is a hair removal technique that uses wax to remove hair from the root. It is done by applying warm wax over an area and then using a strip of cloth or paper to remove the wax along with the unwanted hair.
Advantages: You have to suffer through only a few seconds of pain for at least two weeks of hairlessness. And it doesn’t grow back as stubble. It’ll have a tapered tip, making the hair growth less obvious than when you shave. Waxing also leaves your skin feeling silky, and over time re-growth of hair is likely to be finer and slower.
Disadvantages: The drawback of waxing is that you have to let the hair grow enough for the wax to pull it out.
Where does it work best: Waxing for hair removal that can be done on every part of the body including the face and pubic area. It works best when the hair is fully grown so that it can be pulled out in one stroke.
How to use it: It is best to go to a salon and get waxed but you also get home waxing kits that have strips coated with wax. You need to apply these strips in the direction of the hair growth and hold the skin taut. Then, in one quick motion, pull the strip in the opposite direction to get rid of the hair. In salons, the wax is applied to the skin using a spatula and the same process is followed.
How long will it last: Waxing keeps you hair-free for two to three weeks at least, and in many cases, it can be four weeks too.
Electrolysis for hair removal
In this method of hair removal, a needle is used to deliver a short blast of an electric current into the hair follicle. It’s said to result in permanent hair removal after just a few sessions. Unlike lasers, electrolysis works for any type of hair and skin.
Advantages: The main advantage of electrolysis is that it provides permanent results. But this procedure has to be performed only by a professional. There’s no way you can do it on your own. Electrolysis is also much less expensive than laser hair removal and requires fewer follow-up visits.
Disadvantages: During electrolysis, the hair is removed one at a time. This makes it a much slower process than laser hair removal. There is a stinging sensation for each follicle that could be painful, again depending on your threshold.
Where does it work best: Since the process is long, it works best on smaller areas like the face, neck and underarms.
How to use it: This process cannot be done at home as it requires expertise and special devices. You will need multiple sessions to see the best results in any area.
How long will it last: Electrolysis provides excellent results and in most cases, they are permanent after a set number of sessions. If not, the hair growth is minimum and lighter in appearance.
Laser Hair Reduction
Laser hair reduction is a long-term option that involves destroying the hair follicle with light. Doctors claim it’s permanent, and it usually reduces the amount of hair and makes it finer. The laser is set to damage pigment cells, which is why it works best on those with darker and thicker hair growth.
Advantages: While lasers a few years ago did prick every time the ray of light was passed, with newer technology, they have become relatively pain-free.
Disadvantages: Lasers only affect hairs that are in the active stage, but a hair follicle will produce more than one hair at a time. It may take months for hairs that are still growing within a follicle to be ready for more laser treatments. This is why laser hair reduction is performed in sessions over several months. Also, it’s the most expensive way to get rid of unwanted body and facial hair.
Where does it work best: Laser hair reduction works on almost all body parts including upper lip, chin, sidelocks and bikini line. The effects are better where hair growth is thicker in appearance. The hair on the legs and hands can also be treated easily with this method.
How to use it: Again, this is one treatment that cannot be done at home. It requires a trained professional and is done after body hair analysis by a dermatologist.
How long will it last: The laser hair reduction method gives long-lasting results after a few sessions of treatment. The resulting hair growth is finer and lighter.
Tweezing for Hair Removal
Unhappy with your unruly, bushy eyebrows or wondering how you will get rid of those stray coarse hairs on your chin? All you need is a pair of tweezers and you are good to go. Tweezing is an easy way to get rid of individual hairs by the root.
Advantages: You can do it yourself at home. And since you are pulling hair out by the root, it takes longer for the hair to grow back.
Disadvantages: Unfortunately, you cannot tweeze hair from a larger area of your body, as it is a time-consuming process. Besides, if the hair breaks off, it could grow back under the skin, causing ingrown hair.
Where does it work best: Tweezing works best on smaller areas like the eyebrows, upper lip, chin and neck.
How to use it: Tweezers are easily available in the market. You need to grab the hair using this instrument and then pull out the hair from the root. Don’t forget to apply some cold aloe vera gel or rub an ice cube on the tweezed skin to soothe it.
How long will it last: Since the hair is removed from the root, it takes time to grow back so you can stay hair-free for up to two weeks.
Threading for Hair Removal
This is an extremely popular way to give great shape to your eyebrows and to get rid of the coarse hair on your face. It can be used to get rid of unwanted hair on your upper lip, neck and chin. In the process of threading, a twisted thread catches hair, pulling it out as it is rolled across the skin.
Advantages: Threading is least likely to damage your skin, as it is gentler on the skin than tweezing. Unlike tweezing which lets you pluck one hair at a time, threading can help you remove short rows of hair all at once.
Disadvantages: It takes time and cannot be done in bigger areas of the body. It is also slightly painful.
Where does it work best: Threading works best for the eyebrows, upper lip, chin and neck.
How to use it: Unfortunately, it is difficult to thread your own skin especially if you want to shape your eyebrows. So it is best to visit a salon where you can get it done in a matter of 10 minutes. If you want to try it on your own, you need to learn the right technique using a high-quality thread.
How long will it last: Threading leaves your skin hair-free for a good week to 10 days. It can be longer too depending on your hair growth.
Epilation for Hair Removal
Epilation is a hair removal method that can be done at home. It involves using an epilation device called an epilator which is battery-operated. You need to place and move the epilator on the hair to remove it from the follicle.
Advantages: The good thing is epilation leaves your hair smooth and hair-free for weeks because the hair is pulled out from the root. It is one of the most effective at-home methods of hair removal. It also makes the following hair growth finer.
Disadvantages: You need a higher pain threshold when epilating as it pulls out each strand of hair at a time. This means, there is a pricking sensation during the process. This is one of the reasons why many women do not epilate their skin even though it is an effective method.
Where does it work best: Epilation works well on larger areas like the legs and arms and gives long-lasting results.
How to use it: You need to buy an epilator to try this method. Place it at a ninety-degree angle on the area to be epilated, switch it on and then move it ahead for it to work. You can take breaks if you find it to be too painful. When doing it for the first time, it is best to start with the legs, preferably with the calf region which is less sensitive.
How long will it last: Epilation keeps you hairless for up to three weeks or longer depending on your hair growth.
Technically, bleaching isn’t a hair removal method but it is a way to conceal the appearance of hair on the skin. A cream bleach is applied to the hair to change its colour to your natural skin tone so that is not visible any longer.
Advantages: This method is long-lasting and is nearly painless as there is no pulling of hair. The bleached skin also looks less pigmented and tanned as it evens out the skin tone. You also look one shade lighter due to the change in hair colour on the skin.
Disadvantages: Bleaching can cause mild discomfort and irritation due to the chemicals in it. It can also lead to slight redness if the skin is extremely sensitive. Bleach cannot be used on inflamed skin or breakouts as it can aggravate the condition.
Where does it work best: While bleaching can be done on most body parts, many sticks to using it for the face and neck where the hair is finer and lighter in appearance.
How to use it: Bleach is easily available in the market and comes with pre and post use creams as well. You first need to create the formula by mixing the cream with the powder when you plan to bleach your skin. Next, apply it to the desired area using the spatula given and then let it stay for a few minutes as prescribed in the manual. Remove it using a cotton pad and then splash cold water to get rid of any residue. Your hair would have changed colour and will no longer be visible.
How long will it last: The effects of bleaching stay for at least two weeks but in many cases, women do not have to bleach for up to four weeks as well.
FAQs on Body hair removal
Q. Is it possible to remove hair permanently?
A. The truth is, there is no 100 per cent guaranteed permanent hair removal method. However, there are certain options that are considered to be better than others with regard to permanency. One hair removal method that can be considered permanent is electrolysis. The procedure requires burning the hair follicles and damaging them so much that your body is unable to repair them. With the follicles damaged, they cannot sprout new hair. But, it does not last forever. People who undergo this type of hair removal end up re-growing body hair after a few years. After about 10 years have passed since the completion of electrolysis, hair follicles have been found to have re-grown at least a percentage of body hair. It may not be as dark or thick as it was before the electrolysis, but it’s still visible.
Q.How much does it cost for laser hair removal?
A. The cost of laser hair removal varies depending on the size, complexity and other factors of the area treated. Prices for a single session range from Rs 1,000 to Rs 30,000. It may also depend on the city you reside in, the type of clinic or hospital you visit and the equipment used.
Q. Is it better to shave or wax hair?
A. Both shaving and waxing have their pros and cons. However, you can opt for a method that is best suited to your skin. Whichever method you choose, make sure it does not irritate your skin too much. If you have sensitive skin, then it is better to opt for shaving as waxing will result in a lot of redness. If you have thick hair growth, opt for waxing as it will slow down the hair growth and also make it fine gradually.
With inputs from Kriti Saraswat Satpathy
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