10 Things To Avoid When Removing Unwanted Hair

By:    Published: October 7, 2011

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Everyone wants to have a luxurious head of hair, but as for the hair that grows elsewhere, the goal is just to get rid of it. Whether you decide to pluck, shave or wax, the potential for mistakes is high if you don't follow the proper procedure. After reading through this handy guide, you'll know what the top 10 hair removal mistakes are and how to avoid them.

1. Getting Ingrown Hairs

If you are not careful when plucking or shaving, you could end up with an ingrown hair, which can be painful. Ingrown hairs are hairs that get trapped inside the hair follicle or grown back into the skin. The area will look like a red bump and may swell or feel sore. To avoid ingrown hairs, make sure you don't shave too close to the skin and don't skip the use of shaving cream.

2. Not Exfoliating Beforehand

Most people don't think to exfoliate the area beforehand, but it's a great way to remove dead skin cells. By sweeping away the dead skin, you'll also be decreasing the chance for ingrown hairs to grow back into the skin. No matter which method you choose of removing hair, exfoliating before you do so will be beneficial. Keeping the area moisturized after you exfoliate and remove the hair will also keep your skin smooth and less susceptible to ingrown hairs.

3. Waxing Improperly

The place where the most waxing mistakes occur is at home. Waxing may seem like an easy process but if you don't do it properly, it results in a nasty side effect. Before you put that hot wax on your skin, you want to make sure it's at the proper temperature. If it's too hot, it can burn your skin. If it's too cold, it won't pull the hair out of the follicle. Some spas recommend keeping the wax above 105 degrees, and although that may sound hot, the wax will cool considerably when it touches your skin. When pulling the strip, be sure to stretch the skin taut in the opposite direction. If you don't, you may end up with a deep bruise. Finally, don't wax just before, during, or just after your period. The hormonal shifts and increase in blood flow decrease your tolerance for pain.

4. Shaving at the Wrong Time

Although you may prefer to shave before or during your morning shower, that may not be the best time to rake a razor across your legs. When you sleep, your legs swell a bit and you won't get a clean, close shave. Shaving during a hot shower won't help either - legs also swell slightly in hot water - so take a colder shower or shave your legs first thing. The longer you wait to shave your legs in a hot shower, the more stubbly they will feel.

5. Not Having Enough Hair to Take Off

When waxing or plucking, you want to make sure that the hair is long enough to be removed. If you have fine hair, it should be about a quarter of an inch in length. If you have thick, course hair, it should be about a half of an inch in length.

6. Using a Dull Razor

A dull blade won't cut through butter, much less shave the hair off of your body. A dull blade can also lead to ingrown hairs, which are also called razor bumps. Switching to a new razor will garner a clean shave. Some dermatologists say you should get up to four uses out of one razor before moving on to a new one.

7. Shaving in the Wrong Direction

Most people tend to shave in the opposite direction in which the hair grows. To avoid ingrown hairs, shave in the direction that the hair grows.

8. Removing Too Much Hair

Epilators, which are devices that remove multiple hairs at one time, are good for larger areas but shouldn't be used on smaller areas like the eyebrows. An epilator won't give you a precise, clean look and can take out more hair than you intended. Tweezers or eyebrow razors can help you shape your brows better, but it's best to check your work as you go along. Many people make the mistake of over-plucking their eyebrows, and once that hair is gone, it won't be back for at least a few weeks.

9. Making Faces When You Tweeze

Tweezing can be painful and flinching from pain is a natural reaction. But making too many faces or moving your brows can distort their real shape, and you may be left with messy, unsymmetrical brows.

10. Not Quitting the Accutane

About a week before you wax, stop using Accutane or retinols. They leave skin sensitive and vulnerable to being pulled away with the waxed hair.

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