A recent study found that 80% of women expressed having what they deemed unwanted hair. But what causes unwanted hair growth? How much body hair we have depends on our genetics, as well as our levels of testosterone. While there are a variety of hair removal techniques available to women, all those choices can make choosing a method of hair removal confusing.
Our hair removal guide gives you an overview of the most common hair removal techniques, including waxing, laser hair removal and threading, and what the pros and cons of each hair removal technique are. The removal of unwanted hair has never been easier!
Shaving is the most common way to remove unwanted hair. While its effects are temporary, lasting around one to three days, it is generally painless, fast and cheap.
Shaving involves using a razor and normally, a moisturizing shaving cream containing aloe vera and vitamin E, which reduces skin irritation. Side effects of shaving include: stubble, cuts, ingrown hair, skin irritation.
Contrary to popular belief, shaving does not cause hair to grow in thicker.
Waxing is another hair removal process, although its effects generally last from three to eight weeks, making it a good long-term hair removal solution.
Waxing involves using warm or cold wax that is applied to the skin and then quickly stripped off. It is an effective treatment but it can also get expensive, and is best suited for large areas of hair, including the legs and the pubic area (as in the Brazilian waxing process).
Negative side effects include pain, ingrown hair and scarring. Also, waxing should not be done on irritated, sunburned or broken skin.
Similar to waxing, sugaring involves a syrup made up of sugar, lemon juice and water that is heated and subsequently turns into a ball-like shape. Once placed on the skin, it is flattened and stripped away.
Because sugaring is made from natural ingredients, it doesn't stick to the skin as much and so therefore tends to cause less irritation. It lasts approximately five to six weeks.
An ancient technique of hair removal, threading is especially popular in Arabic countries; eyebrow threading is the most popular form of threading.
Threading uses a long twisted loop that is rotated to create coils that trap the hair, which is pulled from the skin and broken off.
Threading can lead to pain, scarring and ingrown hair. It is an inexpensive way to remove unwanted hair and results last about a week; however, threading has the added benefit of causing hair to become thinner over time.
Using depilatory hair removal products is another way to get rid of your unwanted hair. Depilatory creams contain alkaline chemicals that dissolve hair protein, causing it to break in half.
Depilatory products come in gel, cream and roll-on forms.
Not recommended for women with a lot of hair or with coarse body hair, depilatory products should also not be used on the eyebrows, pubic area or broken or sensitive skin. Side defects include an allergic reaction to chemicals in the product, ingrown hair and dry, itchy and sometimes burning skin.
Electrolysis is a hair removal process in which needles send an electric pulse into the hair follicle, thereby hindering future hair growth. This technique is especially recommended for those with more body hair as well as coarser body hair.
A slow process, electrolysis is nevertheless effective, offering more long-term results, although only after multiple sessions. It costs roughly $50 to $100 per session. Side effects can include scarring, pain and in rare cases, bacterial and viral infections.
Laser Hair Removal
A new hair removal technique is laser hair removal. It is a long-term hair removal technique, although four to six sessions are generally needed in order to remove hair on a permanent basis.
In this technique, a laser pulse is used to destroy hair.
However, laser hair removal can be very costly; small areas cost about $1000 while removing hair from the bikini area costs roughly $1200. Laser hair removal is recommended for women with more body hair that is also coarser in texture.