6 Of The Best Ways To Remove Unwanted Hair

By:    Published: September 6, 2011

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Americans spend millions of dollars on hair removal products and services each year. Everyone wants to look their best, but sometimes it's difficult to tell which hair removal option is right for you. Read through this handy guide regarding the 6 best ways to remove unwanted hair that is suited for your lifestyle.

1. Shaving

  • How it works: A razor and shaving cream can be used to remove unwanted hairs. Depending on your hair growth rate, this method will last between 1-to-3 days.
  • Tips: Shaving is best for hair on the arms, legs and face. Most people find that shaving wet skin is easier. This makes the skin slicker so that razor can move easily over the skin. Additionally, the water can soften hairs, making them easier for the razor to slice through. When possible, shave in the direction of hair growth rather than against it to prevent irritation. Use fresh razors to prevent infection and avoid nicks.
  • Pros: Shavingis a relatively inexpensive, painless form of hair removal and can be done quickly and easily right at home.
  • Cons: Mistakes while shaving may cause cuts and minor bleeding.Shaving in the pubic region may cause ingrown hairs.

2. Plucking

  • How it works: Tweezers are used to remove unwanted hair from the root. The results typically last 3-to-8 weeks.
  • Tips: Pull the skin taut to get a better grip on each hair. Sterilize tweezers with rubbing alcohol to reduce the chance of infection.
  • Pros: Tweezing is the most inexpensive form of hair removal since only a single pair of tweezers is required. It's also easy to do at home.
  • Cons: Tweezing may be painful and rather time-consuming since only one or two hairs can be pulled out at a time. Some people see small red bumps or slight swelling on their skin just after plucking.

3. Depilatory Creams

  • How it works: A cream is applied to the skin's surface. These are usually left on for a few minutes while the cream dissolves the hair. Then the cream is washed or wiped away to remove unwanted hairs. The results typically last between a few days and two weeks.
  • Tips: Follow the product directions carefully. Be sure to check if the product is safe for use on the genitals before applying depilatory creams on pubic hair.
  • Pros: Depilatory creams are relatively inexpensive and easy to do at home. They work best for legs, underarms and the bikini area.
  • Cons: Some creams have an unpleasant odor. Those with sensitive skin may develop a rash or allergic reaction to the product.

4. Hot Wax Treatments

  • How it works: Specially formulated wax is applied to the skin. The wax may be warm or cold when applied depending on the product. Immediately after applying the wax, a cloth strip is laid over the area and pressed down onto the wax. Then, in a swift movement, the strip is removed. Hairs stuck to the wax are pulled out by the root. This hair removal method is available at many salons or through at-home products. The results last for 3-to-6 weeks.
  • Tips: Stop shaving for at least two or three weeks before waxing since this method works best on longer hairs. Waxing is best for hair on the bikini area, legs and eyebrows. If you have never waxed before, you may want to go to a salon to have an experienced professional perform this hair removal treatment for you.
  • Pros: Waxing lasts longer than many other hair removal methods. Waxed areas generally have lighter hairs grown in later on, as well. Those who are experienced with waxing can often do this method easily at home, though it does require more time than some other methods.
  • Cons: Waxing is often somewhat painful for many people. Many people experience redness, bumps and swelling in the area immediately following their waxing treatment. In addition, waxing can be expensive since salon treatments and store-bought kits are generally not cheap.

5. Laser Hair Removal

  • How it works: Laser beams or light pulses are directed at the hair follicles. After about four or six treatments, this generally stops the growth from that hair follicle completely. The results are permanent, although occasional touch-ups are sometimes required.
  • Tips: Make sure you get this treatment done by a licensed professional with high-quality equipment. Additionally, you may want to use cold packs to help with inflammation and tenderness after the treatment. Avoid going in the sun before receiving your treatment.
  • Pros: Laser hair removal is generally permanent, so it can eliminate the need for any future hair removal options. The treatments are painless for most people.
  • Cons: This hair removal option is one of the most expensive, with each treatment costing several hundred dollars. Some people may experience redness and inflammation after the treatment is complete. Another downside is the fact that not all people have success with this option since it works best on fair skin with dark hair.

6. Electrolysis

  • How it works: Needles are inserted into individual hair follicles. These needles send an electric current to the hair root in order to kill it. The results are permanent, although occasional touch-ups are sometimes required.
  • Tips: Make sure you get this treatment done by a licensed professional with high-quality equipment. Check that the equipment is sterilized before the treatment begins. Additionally, you may want to use cold packs to help with inflammation and tenderness after the treatment.
  • Pros: This hair removal method is generally permanent.
  • Cons: Electrolysis is extremely time-consuming - an area the size of the upper lip can take between 4 and 10 hours to complete. It's also expensive and is found to be painful by most users. Some people experience inflammation, dry skin, scabbing or scarring as a result of this procedure.

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