Unwanted body hair can be bothersome (not to mention downright embarrassing), while removing it can help you feel fresh and attractive. Shaving, waxing, threading, and laser hair removal all have their pluses and minuses. Learn what works best on the hair you want removed.
Shaving. Shaving is a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to remove unwanted hair from your legs, underarms, and bikini line. To get top-quality results, start with an exfoliation session. You want to remove the dead skin cells so the razor is cutting hairs, not clogging up. Then shower or bathe — the soaked hairs will be better prepped for shaving. Choose a shaving cream, gel, or lotion with moisturizer — it will help fight both dryness and nicks. Shave in the direction of hair growth to prevent nicks and razor burn, or against hair growth for a closer shave if nicks and razor burn aren’t problems for you. Pat dry and finish with moisturizer.
Waxing.Waxing is a popular choice for facial hair (including eyebrows), which you wouldn’t dare shave, as well as for your underarms, bikini line, or legs. With waxing, you apply a warm wax to the skin. The wax wraps around the hair and dries, then you peel the wax away, removing the unwanted hairs along with it. Because the hairs are removed at the root, results last longer than shaving — generally two to six weeks. You can buy home waxing kits that include everything you need to wax yourself, or you can visit a spa or salon for professional waxing.
Threading. A centuries-old hair-removal method, threading is growing in popularity in the United States, especially for eyebrow shaping. With threading, a clinician doubles up a strand of ordinary cotton sewing thread, then quickly rolls and wraps the strands around your unwanted hairs, pulling them out by the roots. Results last about as long as tweezing or waxing, and you can thread again with just a sixteenth of an inch of hair to catch the thread. Speed, lack of products or equipment (other than thread), and low cost are behind the increased interest in this hair-removal method.
Laser hair removal. If you have facial or body hair you want gone for good, consider laser hair removal. While this procedure doesn’t guarantee total hairlessness, you’ll likely see up to an 80 percent reduction in unwanted hair. And with multiple treatments the hair may not grow back for months or even years, though it comes at a high cost (multiple treatments can add up to hundreds of dollars depending on where you live and who does the procedure). Laser hair removal works on any part of the body — legs, bikini area, underarms, chin, or upper lip. This process works by zapping your hair follicles with laser light, killing the hair follicle. It works best for people who are removing dark hair from light skin. Most people have laser hair removal performed by a professional, but at-home kits are also an option.
Most women find a mix of hair-removal methods work best to help them feel fresh and attractive.