If you’re like most women, you wage a battle against unwanted hair on a regular basis. On our lips, legs, bikini lines, eyebrows, chins—all over—we use wax, blades, needles, and rays in the war to remove that never-ending, always-growing hair. If you’ve only used a pink razor since the day Mom presented you with it, take a look here for alternatives to nick-and-cut land.
How can I remove hair from my legs permanently?
The light pulses more like a disco strobe than a doctor’s instrument, obliterating offending hair from the patient’s bikini line. This is laser hair removal, the latest and most technologically updated hair removal method gaining popularity from coast-to-coast. Zaps of light that feel like a rubber band hitting your skin damage the hair follicles, thereby disabling them for a long time, slowing and thinning hair growth to a lighter color and a finer texture.
More info: How To Make Your Hair Grow Super Fast
Laser hair removal has yet to prove entirely permanent though; moreover, the treatment should not be performed on dark-skinned individuals, as it can cause pigment imperfections like blotching or mottling. The treatment works best on fair-skinned, dark-haired individuals. Although expensive, laser hair treatments take less time than the one-hair-at-a-time electrolysis process, actually zapping multiple hair follicles in minutes, thereby sparing you a hairy area for months and months.
But you can’t zap all the hair follicles at once. Proper hair removal typically requires three to eight treatments, because only about eighty percent of hair follicles on any given day is actually in a growth stage and receptive to the laser’s effects. A touch-up treatment may be necessary every six to twelve months after the initial treatments to maintain the effect.
Just how much can laser hair removal treatments set you back? Rates vary with your geographic area, the treatment area, and the type of laser used. Obviously, a set of four armpit treatments will cost less than four upper-thigh appointments. But generally speaking, don’t expect to pay less than $700 for the armpits. And the legs? Try $2,000! Whatever the cost, make sure you check that the technician is laser trained or find a licensed doctor to perform the procedure.
What is the best way to remove hair?
Electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal system so far. In electrolysis, a needle is inserted into each hair pore where a combination of radio energy and heat damage the follicle directly. It stings but works. Keep in mind that, just like laser removal, electrolysis requires several sessions for a forever hair-free you. Electrolysis can only zap exposed strands. Dormant strands go undamaged each session.
Though less expensive than laser removal—fees start at about $1 per minute—if the technician applies too much heat, or your skin is particularly sensitive, scarring may occur. And with a one-hair-follicle-at-a-time pace, you shouldn’t underestimate the time commitment. You may spend months on the electrolysis’s table to clear an upper lip or bikini line. But again, electrolysis is permanent. Once you rid yourself of all the hair, it won’t grow back. That’s smooth!
How do you remove hair with a Waxing?
Waxing is widely available; you can either purchase your own materials and wax away to a smoother you or make an appointment in a salon. Whatever you choose, the procedure is really quite simple: Wax is melted and applied directly to the hair in the direction of growth. Once the wax cools, it is pulled and (ouch!) the hair lifts from the roots with the wax. In salons, a muslin strip is typically placed on top of the wax strip for easier grip. It hurts, but it works. Softer regrowth often occurs after waxing as well.
Compared to other bank-busting removal options home waxing is cost-effective (about $10 a tub) and, if you don’t want to wax yourself, you can easily book an appointment at a salon. Depending upon the area you want waxing and where you live, salon fees run anywhere from about $5–$10 for an upper lip or your chin to $60–$75 for a full leg wax. A word of caution though—if waxing at home, be sure to test the melted goop for cooldown.
This hair removal system is by far the yummiest of all hair strand destructors. Proponents also profess that “sugaring” hurts less than waxing, even if the principle remains the same. In “sugaring” a soft, taffy-like mixture of sugar, lemon, and water are kneaded together, then applied to the hair and pulled off, just like waxing. Unlike waxing, where the melted wax may sometimes prove blisteringly hot, sugaring is lukewarm or room temperature. Sugaring does not result in permanent removal, but the hair will grow back slower and finer over time. As with waxing, sugaring may be done with a home kit purchased from a grocery store, drug store, or beauty supply, or can be done in a salon.
Lotion or Cream Depilatories
We’ve all seen it—the commercial. Chemical lotion or cream depilatories are simply applied to the skin and then dissolve the hair. But don’t try this method on coarse hairs. Chemical depilatories work best on soft, fine hair strands, such as those found on the upper lip or forearms. Moreover, always test a little on your skin first. Lotion and cream depilatories can cause burning, redness, and irritation—in some cases, a serious allergic reaction may occur. Also, the hair does not grow back finer. So what’s the upside of a lotion or cream depilatory? It’s cheap (only about $10 a bottle) and easy.
Important!: As with any procedure, always check with your doctor before pursuing any hair removal treatment. Some illnesses or medications may cause an adverse effect with certain hair removal methods.
So now, armed with an arsenal of hair removal remedies, you’ll need to find a new phrase next time the big bad wolf comes knocking. How about, “Not by my hairless chinny, chin, chin!”