Which Hair Removal Method Is Best for You
There are many methods that help us remove unwanted body hair. You just have to choose a method that suits you best.
At 5-Minute Crafts, we would like to tell you, in detail, about different methods of unwanted body hair removal.
Depilation or epilation
Both methods are used to remove unwanted hair from the body. The difference is in the process of removal and in how fast hair grows back.
- Depilation is the removal of hair from the skin’s surface by chemical or mechanical means.
- Epilation is the removal of hair from under the skin’s surface, directly from the root, resulting in the gradual destruction of the hair follicle.
Both methods have pros and cons. The obvious advantage of depilation is that there is no pain involved, but the result doesn’t last long. Epilation, although painful, gives a more lasting effect. To make the best choice, analyze all your individual characteristics, such as:
- Pain threshold — some people don’t feel discomfort during waxing, while others can’t stand this procedure. If your pain threshold is low, consider painless depilation options.
- Skin and hair type — if you have very sensitive skin, this can limit your options. To avoid problems, test the chosen method on a small area of your skin in advance to see how it reacts. Shaving and depilatory products are suitable for all hair types. Waxes and epilators are not the most effective way to remove fine and light vellus hair. While laser hair removal is most effective on dark hair, it’s not suitable for fair, gray, or red hair.
- The area of the body from which you want to get rid of unwanted hair — this is a critical factor in deciding which method is best for you. For example, it’s desirable to remove facial hair with tweezers if there are few of them, or wax if there are many. Depilatory creams are most commonly used on the legs but can be applied to other parts of the body as well.
- Medical indications — there are a number of risks you should take into account. Consult your doctor before having a treatment in a salon.
- Convenience — how much time, effort, and money are you ready to spend on removing unwanted hair? Think over all the options and only then choose the one that suits you best.
Methods of depilation
- Pros: Shaving is one of the cheapest and most affordable hair removal methods. If your skin is not prone to irritation and ingrown hairs, you can shave your legs, armpits, and bikini line. With the right tools and techniques (shave against the direction of hair growth), you can achieve very smooth skin.
- Cons: Potential cuts and the need to replace blades frequently come along with shaving. Hair grows back quickly as the razor only cuts off the hair above the skin. Ingrown hairs may develop, especially in the bikini area.
- How to use: Replace the blade after every 10 uses. Shave against the direction of hair growth and pull taut in areas where the skin is less firm. Use shaving gel and light, gliding strokes with your razor. You can steam your skin in the bathroom beforehand.
- How long the effect of the procedure lasts: 1-3 days
- Pros: This method is suitable for legs, armpits, and the bikini area. There are also special formulas for the face. Using a depilatory cream is the least painful procedure, and, unlike shaving, there is no risk of cutting yourself. These creams can be used to remove hair from large areas of the skin or more hard-to-reach areas.
- Cons: If you have sensitive skin, you should read the instructions carefully. An unpleasant smell is also a significant disadvantage. Don’t apply the cream to damaged or inflamed skin and don’t keep the cream on the skin longer than the period recommended on the package. Be sure to test the product on a small area of your skin before using it.
- How to use: Depilatory creams or lotions dissolve the proteins the hair consists of. Choose waterproof products that are easy to rinse off. Apply the cream to the area you want to remove hair from and make sure it’s applied evenly.
- How long the effect of the procedure lasts: 2-3 days
Methods of epilation
- Pros: This is the best way to give your eyebrows a well-groomed look.
- Cons: This is a quite painful and time-consuming procedure.
- How to use: Opt for tweezers with a slanted tip to get rid of shorter hairs. Clean the tweezers with rubbing alcohol before and after each use to reduce the chance of infection. Always pluck hair in the direction of growth to avoid breakage, and never tug or pull. Separate the hair from the rest, lift it up, and then grab it from the root and pull it out.
- How long the effect of the procedure lasts: 3-8 weeks
- Pros: Waxing works well for legs, underarms, and bikini lines.
- Cons: This is one of the most painful methods of hair removal. The hair must be at least 0.25 inches long for the wax to grab it. So you have to grow your hair for a few weeks before the procedure. Wax should not be applied to damaged skin, sunburns, or moles, and they should use disposable spatulas in the salon.
- How to use: It’s better to entrust waxing to a specialist. If you decide to carry out the procedure yourself, be sure to check the temperature of the wax so as not to burn your skin, and don’t forget to pull the cloth strip against the hair growth. Don’t exercise and don’t expose your skin to the sun immediately after hair removal. To minimize potential risks, exfoliate your skin before waxing: dead skin cells can clog hair follicles and increase the risk of ingrown hairs.
- How long the effect of the procedure lasts: 3-6 weeks
- Pros: Just like waxing, sugaring can be used on any area. Sugaring paste is made from several basic ingredients (sugar, lemon juice, and water) and contains no preservatives or fragrances, so it’s unlikely to cause allergies or irritation. Since it’s softer than wax, reapplying to the same area doesn’t damage the skin usually. Sugaring is suitable for all skin tones and types.
- Cons: Hair must be at least 0.1 inches long. Don’t exercise or expose your skin to the sun after the procedure, just like after waxing.
- How to use: If you are doing this at home, all you need for sugar wax is 1 cup of white sugar, 1/8 cup of lemon juice, and 1/8 cup of warm water. It’s important to exfoliate your skin both before sugaring and in between treatments.
- How long the effect of the procedure lasts: 4-5 weeks
Laser or intense pulsed light
- Pros: Laser hair removal is truly one of the most effective ways to get rid of unwanted hair for a long time. Laser and IPL (intense pulsed light) work on any part of the body and are best for women with dark hair and fair skin.
- Cons: The method is not suitable for blonde, gray, and red hair. Swelling or redness may occur after the procedure. Since there is a risk of burns and scars, laser hair removal is best done in the presence of a doctor. IPL is also not suitable for women with naturally dark skin tones, as there is a risk that the light may react with the melanin in the skin rather than the hair.
- How to use: The use of IPL technology requires there to be no hair in the area intended to be epilated. First, you need to shave it since there must be a hair follicle in place, which will absorb the light from the device.
- How long the effect of the procedure lasts: It may take 6 to 12 treatments to permanently get rid of hair. However, you may need to repeat the procedure every 6-12 months.
- Pros: This device works fast, it takes 10 minutes or less to remove unwanted hair from the lower legs for most women. The epilators can be used on both dry and damp skin.
- Cons: Since epilation is about plucking individual hairs with mechanical tweezers, it can be a little painful. Epilators are more expensive than other methods of epilation, but they are a one-time purchase, as opposed to the constant recurring costs of other products.
- How to use: Buy a cordless epilator that has built-in lights and extra attachments. If you haven’t tried this method before, experts recommend starting with a device that can be used in the shower, as the warm water helps loosen the hair follicles, making it easy to remove hair. Start with an area that you may find less painful. Remember to exfoliate your skin. As the hair grows thinner, the likelihood of ingrown hairs increases. Regular use of a gentle scrub will help prevent this effect.
- How long the effect of the procedure lasts: up to a few weeks