Photo Courtesy of Pixland/ThinkstockSo it may not be the summer time, but with the holidays right around the corner, we can only hope that you’re still hitting the gym or yoga class to stay on track during the eat-and-drink-athon ahead— or maybe you’re lucky enough to have scored a beach-side vacation to break up this dreary winter season. Either way, one part of your luxury beauty routine probably involves hair removal. But what kind of hair removal? These days, there are so many different methods that your head is probably spinning. Here, we rounded up the best methods of hair removal, what they are, and when and where you should use them.
Shaving is an easy option for hair removal because it’s cheap and fast for covering large areas like the legs and underarms. It’s a painless method, unless, of course, you end up nicking yourself— so be sure to always use a clean, sharp razor with shaving cream, lotion or oil. The downside to shaving? Stubble grows back quickly (usually within one to three days) because it only cuts hair off at the skin’s surface. One more thing to remember? Shaving is not to be done on the chin, upper lip, or eyebrows! Photo Courtesy of Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock
Waxing is done by applying a sticky substance to the skin, followed by a strip of cloth, and yanking said cloth off in the opposite direction of hair growth. If it sounds painful, you’re right— waxing isn’t a walk in the park. But for some people, the pros weigh out the cons: hair is removed at the roots and grows back after a few weeks. Waxing can be done on all areas of the body, from legs, to bikini, to the face. Photo Courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Sugaring is very similar to waxing, however its mixture and application is a bit different. Made from a blend of lemon juice, sugar and water, the putty-like substance is applied in smaller patches to the skin before being quickly removed without a cloth. Because it’s removed in smaller portions and the material is a bit softer (a bit more gel-like,) sugaring is a tad less painful than waxing, but it still removes hair from its roots, so it will involve a little bit of pain. With waxing and sugaring, though, hair doesn’t grow back for 2-6 weeks, and it grows in noticeably thinner after each session. Photo Courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Laser hair removal is ideal for dark hair that sits atop light-colored skin, because the laser targets the melanin that is found in dark hair. Basically, the hair is trimmed down to a few millimeters before a laser targets the hair follicles. Afterwards, your skin may be a bit sensitive, and the dark hair will fall out over the few days following the treatment. The laser method can be done on the face, legs, arms, underarms, and bikini line— while smaller areas like the chin and lip can be completed in less than a minute, larger areas like the legs or back can take closer to an hour. Most areas need five to six treatments, which need to be spaced four weeks apart. So while laser hair removal is usually successful (nothing is guaranteed— it depends on the color, thickness, and location of the hair being treated, as well as your skin color) the process can be lengthy and pricey. Photo Courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Tweezing is another old method that’s tried and true for the brows. While it’s easy to do at home with a simple pair of tweezers, it’s not as fast as waxing or shaving. And for those who don’t have a reasonable pain tolerance, tweezing may not be the best choice since it is tedious and time consuming. Photo Courtesy of Creatas Images/Creatas/Thinkstock
The hair removal method of threading is an ancient practice that originated in the Middle East and is now gaining popularity in the United States. The process entails pulling and twisting unwanted hair with a cotton thread to lift hair out of the follicle. The pain of threading can be compared to that of tweezing, however it’s supposed to be a much faster and more precise process. And depending on the skill level of your technician, you may experience little discomfort. Threading isn’t performed on the body, only on the face— and it’s an ideal method for those who don’t want to or can’t have chemicals on their skin, because the thread is the only tool that’s used and it’s thrown out after use. Photo Courtesy of Jupiterimages/Goodshot/Thinkstock
Electrolysis is an extremely tedious process because it focuses on individual hair follicles instead of an area of hair. While this guarantees results by killing every treated follicle, electrolysis is mostly done on smaller areas like the brows, upper lip and chin because of the time factor. Patients typically need 15-30 half-hour sessions to guarantee results, meaning you may want to get a head start on your appointments now in order to be ready for bikini season. Photo Courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock