After a long time using it my epilator broke, so I decided to explore all of the other options. In my mind, I wanted to find the perfect solution: no ingrown hair, no pain, cheap and long-lasting. Spoiler alert it doesn’t exist ☹️
I researched wide and long for a solution and I think the best one is the best one for you, meaning that if you can handle something like pain, price or time choose the one that for you it’s the lesser evil.
Choosing one of these methods it’s very personal and probably you can actually find the best one for after you try a good percentage of them. I will tell you later which one I chose, and also I will include some tips for maintaining the skin after and before the hair removal.
Hair Removal Method 1: CREAM
Depilatory creams are generally safe to use on your skin, although you may be sensitive to some of the chemical inside, so it’s always recommended to do a patch test 24 hours before. Through a chemical process the cream dissolves the hair and leave the skin smooth.
“The way that depilatory creams work, is that they break down the keratin structure – the proteins, of the hair. This effectively thins and dissolves the base of the hairs to the point where they are weak enough to be broken off when the cream is wiped away. ” – from Veet (https://www.veet.co.uk/blogs/tips/what-are-depilatory-creams-and-how-do-they-work)
- No pain
- No risk of cutting ourselves
- Perfect for those just starting
- Takes only a few minutes
- Awful smell
- A bit smelly
- Needs you to be careful to the ingredients
- Not ideal for daily use it may sensitize the skin
- Not long-lasting, after a day or two may need to use again (the duration is just like shaving)
Read the instruction on the package very carefully and the ingredients as well, if you are not sure if some of them may be not suitable for your skin do a patch test 24hrs before. Apply the cream directly on to your skin and leave for the indicated amount of time, after that, gently scrape away the cream with the tool provided to remove the product(and hair). Voilá you’re done. It’s very easy and you could also do other stuff while you wait for it to be done.
Hair Removal Method 2: SHAVING
Shaving must be one of the most commonly used methods of hair removal for its efficiency in getting the job done. It’s safe to do but requires attention from the user, even though new razors are designed to avoid cuts you may find it very easy to accidentally hurt yourself if not careful enough. The razor leaves you skin smooth but it dries it out, so it’s recommended to use a moisturizing lotion after the treatment or use a razor with moisturizing bars on its head. Again, like all methods exfoliation is a must, shaving will create ingrown hair and the only way to avoid that is to exfoliate every day. I would recommend changing the blades every ten days to avoid infections on the skin
- Convenient, can be done in the shower
- Cause ingrown hair
- Have to be careful to not cut yourself
- Not long-lasting
- Creates spikes of hair very uncomfortable to touch
- Itchiness while the hair regrows
Shaving is pretty straight forward, glide gently the razor against the grain of your hair with shaving cream, balm or even standard shower gel. Exfoliate before and after.
Hair Removal Method 3: EPILATION
Epilation is another very popular method of hair removals, I used it for many years and it’s still one of my favourites. The machine has several little tweezers which pluck every hair individually. It’s very efficient and quite quick. the long-lasting effect is given from the plucking of the root of the hair, so it may take you weeks before having to do it again. The machine’s price varies from brand to brand and number of tweezers and overall performance, they are ranging from £20 to £200, but after this initial investment, you don’t need to buy anything else.
- Wax effect
- Thins the hair with usage
- Long-lasting, up to four weeks
- The machine gets hair as small as half a millimetre
- With continued usage may reduce hair growth
- No waste
- Initial investment but after that is completely free and it lasts for years
- for all hair types
- Can’t be used on sensitive parts like bikini and underarms (unless you can handle the pain!)
- Cause redness
- Cause ingrown hairs
- Take a bit of time
Turn on the machine and very gently, (don’t push it too hard on your skin), use slow movements against the grain of your hair (ankle to knee). Takes some time to do large zones like the legs. After epilating it’s normal to have red bumps on your skin, but they go away after a couple of hours. It’s recommended to use it before you have to go somewhere, for this reason, usually before going to bed it’s the best time. The secret for avoiding strawberry legs, (the dots on your legs after epilating) is exfoliating every day (again, I know).
Hair Removal Method 4: WAXING
Waxing is, without a doubt, the best method of all, it leaves the skin smooth and soft and it’s the most long-lasting of all. It doesn’t cause ingrown hair because the wax exfoliates while getting rid of hair. It can be used in all parts of the body and if done by a professional it could be not too painful.
- Instant smooth skin
- Very long-lasting
- Can be used everywhere in the body
- Makes your hair grow thinner, lighter and finer
- Removes dead skin cells
- Not cost-effective
- a bit messy if you do it yourself
- the skin may lose some elasticity over time if done repeatedly
Apply the wax in the direction of growth of your hair, and strip it close to your skin against the grain. It is important to remove it with a very strong and rapid movement with a supporting stretch of the skin with the other hand. After waxing do not use any product on your skin or expose it to the sun for at least 24 hours. The best results are seen when the hair is around 5 mm long.
Hair Removal 5: IPL
Ipl or intense pulsed light at home is a quite new method of hair removal. The machine is pretty simple per se, it emits light on your skin and burns the root of your hair to avoid to not let it grow again. There are quite a few in commerce now, although they vary in brand and price they all look very similar.
- Makes your hair grows slower and less
- not painful
- overtime should get rid of hair completely
- requires the use of razor
- not for all types of skin and hair: only light skin and dark hair can use this device, all the others may result in burns and discolouration of the skin
- tedious work: flash every part of the skin with a single window light
- requires you to do it frequently to achieve the results
Beforehand shave the part you want to treat, so the light can burn ONLY the root of your hair and not your skin, this is very important and you should not use black eyeliner to limit the zones if you must use a light coloured pencil (white is preferred). Then, on clean and dry skin apply the device light side down, making sure the window of the light is completely pressed on your skin and click the button. People who tried experienced a light zap on their skin but without pain. There are different levels of intensity of the light, so you can choose that depending on your pain threshold.
Hair Removal 6: SUGARING
Sugaring may be confused sometimes with waxing, the two methods are effectively very similar but they are not the same thing. Sugaring is much more gentle with the skin and hair, it exfoliates and removes the hair. A mixture of honey, sugar and lemon makes the perfect “glue” on which the hair and dead skin cells stick on. It doesn’t need any strip as you can apply it with your fingers and remove it just as easily. You make a ball and push it against the grain of your hair and then strip it with the natural grain, this way when the hair re-grows it follows the natural curve and doesn’t stick out as much.
- removes dead skin cells
- doesn’t get sticky, you can just wash it off with water
- very gentle to the skin
- perfect for sensitive skin
- super low cost (you can make it yourself)
- wax effect
- it’s quite difficult to get the perfect consistency if you make it yourself
- it needs practice on the application
Mix lemon sugar and honey in a pot and let stay on medium heat while continuously stirring, (if you don’t it may stick and ruin the pot), after this, you turn off the heat and continue to stir until it becomes a ball. You can store it in a pre-oiled container and use it when necessary, you can make it in advance for later use. When you are ready powder your skin so the sugar doesn’t stick to it but only to your hair, take a small ball of sugar and roll it on the part you want to treat while working it. Then with the grain of your hair growth strip it away and reshape it as a ball.
If your hair grows at a fast speed you can use a hair inhibitor growth to extend the duration of your free-hair days.
I talked about exfoliator on a number of times, you can try a sugar or salt scrub or a exfoliating mitt to use everyday in the shower.
Lastly, for you bikini zone, to avoid those annoying black dots you can also wear laser cut underwear, it doesn’t irritate the area and leaves it breathing.
Share it with your friends and let them see what are the pros and cons of these hair removal, if you have other that I have left out please let me know!