I was out with my mother the other day and the topic of waxing or shaving came up. I realized that some people have trouble deciding which method to use. It’s no wonder why. There are so many different ways of removing excess/unwanted hair for women. How do you pick which method is the right one for you?
I’ve made this entry in the hopes that I could help you choose which to try by informing you about the different methods of hair removal.
Tweezing/PluckingPain level: (though it hurts the first time) Cost: How long before the next: A day to a little less than a week. It really depends on your hair cycle. Best for: Small areas like your eyebrows, or for plucking stray hairs
I recommend tweezing and plucking as a means of upkeep after having your eyebrows professionally waxed/threaded/shaped. It’s a little time consuming, especially if you have OCD but it’s the cheapest out of all the methods because all you really need are good tweezers and a good light source (like the sun!).
Tweezers have different tip shapes, how do you know which tweezers to use?
Pointed tips are very good for fine hairs and plucking out those nasty ingrowns.
Square tips are for the coarse, rough hairs. With these tweezers, you can pull out more than one hair at a time.
Slanted tips are the best choice for beginners. If you’re going to invest in only one pair of tweezers, buy a good pair of slanted tip ones. They give you the best control when you pluck.
When you first start tweezing it may hurt more. But you get used to it after a while (to the point where it doesn’t even hurt). Here are a few things I’ve heard you can try out when you have your first tweeze:
- Numb the area out with an ice cube (worked for a friend of mine)
- Do it right after a hot shower so that your pores are open and the hairs are easier to pluck out (worked for me)
- Use a topical anesthesia (I’d honestly rather just grit my teeth and take the pain)
ShavingPain level: (unless you get razor burn/nick yourself) Cost: How long before the next: About a day or two Best for: Legs and underarms. GIRLS, DO NOT SHAVE YOUR FACE. I’m serious.
Apart from razor burns and nicks, shaving is a painless method of hair removal. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and it can be included as part of your daily bath routine. Unlike many of the other methods, shaving does not pluck out the hair from its root. Rather, it simply cuts the protruding part of the hair. This is why when it grows back it seems thicker (but really, it’s not). Rather than having a tapered edge, the hair now has a flat, blunt edge.
It’s important to use a sharp blade and some shaving cream when you shave to lessen instances of razor burn. If you don’t have shaving cream, here are a few alternatives:
- Soap or Body Wash
- Hair Conditioner (I use this over shaving cream. It’s much cheaper and works just as well)
- Shea Butter (Not as good as conditioner, but it moisturizes the skin)
- Baby Oil
If you experience a whole lot of ingrown hairs and red bumps a few days after you shave, you’re not alone! Make it a habit to use a bath towel everytime you soap and moisturize after your bath. Exfoliating with a bath towel can help get rid of the skin that’s trapping your hair inside the pores. This isn’t going to solve the problem on your first bath (usually you won’t notice a difference the first time). Give it at least two weeks to a month.
If it doesn’t lessen the amount of ingrowns you have after a month, shaving might not be for you.
Hair Removal Creams/DepilatoriesPain level: Cost: How long before the next: A few days to a week Best for: Arms and legs
Before slathering on depilatories on your skin, it’s VERY IMPORTANT TO DO A TEST PATCH FIRST. The chemicals in the hair removal creams are strong and can really irritate your skin. In 5-15 minutes, the chemicals break down the hair follicle so that you can easily wipe it off with a towel, or with one of those plastic things shaped like a razor.
Honestly, I’ve tried depilatories once and never went back again. It smells bad and the results are similar to shaving.
WaxingPain level: Cost: (Home) (Professional) How long before the next: Two weeks to a month Best for: …everywhere
Waxing is probably my favorite method of hair removal. You have to suffer through only a few seconds of pain for two weeks of hairlessness. The cost differs depending whether you want to have it professionally done or opt to do it at home. If you really really really want to remove hair on your face and geting them lasered off is either too expensive or too scary, this might be the hair removal method for you.
The drawback of waxing is that you have to let the hair grow enough for the wax to pull it out. But the good thing is, it doesn’t grow back as stubble. It’ll have a tapered tip, making the hair growth less obvious than when you shave.
ThreadingPain level: Cost: How long before the next: A couple of days (you can opt to clean out the growing hairs with tweezers) Best for: Small areas like the face
A friend and I decided to have our eyebrows threaded one day, and by the end of it, both of us were tearing up and crying from the pain. Another friend of mine felt no pain at all. I guess the pain depends on the person.
The way I would describe threading is similar to tweezing, only you’re pulling out multiple hairs at a time. It’s considered one of the more sanitary forms of hair removal because nothing touches your face but the thread itself. No hands, no chemicals.
The time it takes to remove the hairs depends on the threader. Some can do eyebrows in 3 minutes, while it takes 5-10 minutes for some others. Make sure to look for an experienced professional to thread for you.
Laser Hair Removal
Pain level: Cost: Number of treatments: 4-7 sessions Best for: Anywhere in the body
Pardon the lightsaber.
Laser hair removal is only suggested for women with dark hair and light skin. It’s not as effective for those with light hair. It’s reported to remove about 80%, but it doesn’t always work for everyone. The thing about laser hair removal is that if you spend a lot of money removing hair using other hair removal methods, it might be a viable option for you. Think of it as a one-time-big-time splurge where you can get rid of most of your hair and save money in the long run. Another benefit is that if you constantly have ingrown hairs everytime you wax or shave, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get them with this method.
Don’t look for cheap deals. Look for professional clinics to do this method, because scarring and burning from the laser can happen if done wrong. In addition to the 4-8 sessions, touch-ups are recommended once a year.
ElectrolysisPain level: Cost: Number of treatments: 10-25 treatments Best for: the Face, but it can be done anywhere
Electrolysis is the only method of permanent hair removal. A tiny needle slides down the hair follicle and destroys the cell responsible for growth. A lot of treatments are needed but the duration of each treatment is very short. It’s said to hurt, but local anesthetic creams can help.
Make sure to look for a professional when doing this. Done wrong, electrolysis is ineffective and can cause scarring.
Well, I hope this post has helped inform you about the different hair removal methods so you can pick which one is right for you!