FOLLOW THESE TIPS AND TRICKS TO SAFELY REMOVE UNWANTED HAIR FROM YOUR BODY AND FACE.
While you want as much hair as possible on the top of your head, the rest of your body is another story. Removing unwanted hair can be an ongoing battle. Learn more about the various hair removal methods available and choose the right process for you.
Hair removal by shaving
The most common way to remove hair from a man’s face and a woman’s legs or underarms is by using a razor. Razors are simple and inexpensive; however, they can also leave you with nicks and cuts, ingrown hairs and razor rash. (Electric shavers tend to minimize these effects.) To get a close, clean, healthy shave with a blade, follow these simple tips.
Don’t ever dry shave. Shaving cream, oil or lotion will moisturize your skin and make shaving easier. Soap can be drying and doesn’t allow the razor to glide as easily as shaving cream does. Allow the cream to sit on your skin for a couple minutes — your hair will stand up, ensuring a closer shave.
Exfoliate first. Before you start shaving, slough away dead skin cells, which can clog up your razor. With a loofah, skin brush or sponge, use a circular motion to exfoliate your skin, raise stubble and stimulate circulation.
Use a sharp blade. Discard disposable blades after about five uses to get the closest shave. Shave with the grain of your hair, not against it, in order to avoid ingrown hairs, irritation and razor rash.
Moisturize post-shaving. After you shave, use a product to soothe, calm and moisturize your skin. Make sure your aftershave products don’t contain any alcohol, which will sting and irritate your skin.
When using an electric razor, follow these suggestions for the best shave:
- Soften your beard (or other area you are shaving) by washing with warm water or soaking with a hot washcloth.
- To shave, pull the skin gently with one hand while rubbing the shaver against the hair growth with the other.
- If you are using a rotary shaver, make small circular motions to get the closest shave.
Although shaving is convenient, many other methods of hair removal also are available.
Hair removal by waxing
Many women choose to wax their legs, armpits, bikini line, eyebrows and upper lip. Waxing isn’t a pleasant experience, but the hair removal lasts longer than with shaving, because it removes the hair at the root. Whereas shaving may last only a few days, waxing provides hairless legs (and other body parts) for several weeks. You can head to the salon for a wax job or buy a DIY kit to wax at home.
When applying wax, make sure it’s not too hot. It should be warm enough to spread easily but not so hot that it burns your skin. To remove the hair, spread wax over the area with a tongue depressor or provided tool; then apply strips over it. When you pull off the strips, your hair will be removed with the wax. Pull the strips in the same direction as your hair growth.
If waxing is too irritating for your skin, consider sugaring instead. With a sugar paste, the substance attaches to just your hair — not your skin — so the process is much more gentle.
Hair removal by epilators
If shaving is too temporary and waxing is too messy for you, an epilator might be the answer to your hair removal problems. An epilator is a small handheld device with a high-speed, spinning disc that basically tweezes your individual hairs and plucks them away. Plucking so many hairs at the same time can be painful, and this method usually takes longer than waxing; however, your hair will likely not return for a few weeks. You can purchase an epilator unit at your local drugstore for around $50-$75.
Hair removal by electrolysis
For a permanent hair removal option, electrolysis may be your best bet. A fine needle is inserted into each hair follicle and then an electric current sent through, destroying the follicle and stopping hair from regrowing. This method of hair removal can be very time consuming and expensive for large areas of the body. For example, electrolysis on your legs would take several appointments and more than 50 hours of treatment to permanently remove all your hair. The fees are oftentimes upward of $25-$50 per hour.
Hair removal by laser
With laser hair removal, a beam of light shocks and damages your hair follicles, stopping them from regrowing hair. Laser hair removal works best on people with light skin and dark hair because the laser is attracted to dark pigment. If your complexion is dark and your hair is light, laser hair removal may not be successful for you. With this method all your hair may not be permanently gone, but when it does grow back, it will be much lighter and thinner than it was originally. You will need to repeat laser treatments every few months. The cost of laser hair removal depends on the area of treatment. Expect to pay several hundred dollars for laser hair removal on your legs.
Other methods of hair removal
Depilatory hair removal creams and lotions actually use chemicals to dissolve your hair. These products are readily available and inexpensive; however, they can be very irritating. You should use these creams only once a month because they also strip off the outermost skin layer. Test a small patch of hair first to see how your skin reacts, and never leave the product on longer than recommended in the instructions.
Threading is an ancient hair removal practice stemming from Egypt and India. It has become more popular in the United States in recent years and is usually used to shape eyebrows. With this method a thread is pulled along the hair, and then the professional uses a twisting motion to create a little lasso that lifts the unwanted hair from the follicle. Threading lasts for up to six weeks. The process is fast and chemical free.