If you’re trying to decide on a hair removal method, you’ve come to the right place! Unless of course, you’re a man, in which case you should check out our article on hair removal methods for men.
Every woman is different, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method. Maybe you have a low tolerance for pain. Or maybe you’re super busy and just want a method that is quick and easy. Your preferences and lifestyle will have a big impact on which one you choose.
So without further ado, let’s look at some of the most common methods!
Cheap. Effective. Painful. Waxing is one of the most popular (and dreaded) hair removal methods throughout the world. It has a relatively low cost, and it truly works. You can use it on almost any part of your body, including the face and bikini area.
Yes, it hurts. But the truth is, a lot of the pain is caused by simply doing it wrong. Also, if you wax regularly, it will start to get less painful as your hair roots become weaker.
2. Sugar waxing
Sugaring has been around for a long time, but recently it’s been growing in popularity. It’s very similar to waxing, although the process of applying it is a bit different. Many people find it less painful than traditional waxing, and since it’s water-soluble it’s much easier to clean up. You can even make sugar wax at home with sugar, lemon juice, and water!
Tweezing is another popular method. It’s just as effective as waxing, and it’s even cheaper (tweezers only cost a few dollars, and you only have to buy them once).
The most obvious downside is that it only removes one hair at a time. So you wouldn’t want to tweeze a large area like your legs. However, it can be a great way to “clean up” an imperfect waxing job, and it is also good for precision work like shaping eyebrows.
4. Depilatory creams
Depilatory creams (like Nair and Veet) work by dissolving proteins in the hair. If you aren’t ready for waxing or tweezing, hair removal creams can be a good option. While they don’t remove the hair from the roots, they can remove some of the hair a bit below the surface of the skin. So the results may last longer than shaving.
However, this method does have its downsides. Although most creams are cheap, you’ll have to restock pretty frequently (especially if you’re removing hair from your whole body). It also requires precision – if you don’t leave it on long enough, it may not dissolve the hair, and if you leave it on too long, it can cause chemical burns.
Most women (and men) have tried shaving at least once. So you probably already know the downsides: stubble, ingrown hairs, cuts, overpriced razor cartridges, etc. But despite the disadvantages, almost all of us come back to shaving from time to time because it’s just soooo convenient!
If you normally use another method like waxing, you should try to use that method all the time. Avoid the temptation to “cheat” by shaving in between waxing sessions. Although shaving shortens the hair, it doesn’t remove it at the root. So the hair still has a chance to grow and thicken – and your next waxing session will probably be more painful.
6. Hair growth inhibitors
Hair inhibitors (like Completely Bare and Gigi Slow Grow) don’t actually remove the hair, but they cause it to grow back much more slowly. You’ll still need to use another hair removal method like waxing or depilatory creams, but the good news is you won’t need to remove hair as frequently.
Another option is Vaniqa (Eflornithine), although it requires a prescription. It’s specifically used to reduce facial hair in women. Like other hair inhibitors, you’ll need to use Vaniqa along with your normal hair removal method.
7. Hormone treatments
Excessive hair growth can sometimes be caused by hormones. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is fairly common, and many women are prescribed birth control medication (or other hormonal treatments) to help reduce symptoms. These treatments can greatly reduce the amount of facial and body hair, but of course you would need to talk to your doctor to get a diagnosis.
An epilator looks like an electric razor, but it works very differently. Instead of cutting the hairs, it pulls them out with rotating electric tweezers. Unlike manual tweezers, it can pull out many hairs at once, allowing you to use it on almost any part of your body. Unfortunately, it’s still just as painful as using manual tweezers, but since it’s much faster it will at least be over quickly!
9. Laser treatments
Laser treatment is one of the most effective methods of removing unwanted hair. By shining a laser beam onto the hair follicles, the roots are destroyed, preventing the hair from growing again (for a while, at least). For noticeable results, you’ll need at least 5 to 10 sessions, but after that you’ll only need to do it once a year.
Unfortunately, laser treatments don’t work with all skin tones or hair colors. It works best with lighter skin and darker hair (the laser works by targeting the melanin in the hair). Also, it can cost a lot of money to get laser treatments at a salon, and the home version ain’t cheap either!
It doesn’t get any more permanent than electrolysis. With all other methods, you’ll need to continue treatments to keep the hair from coming back. With electrolysis, the hair follicles are permanently destroyed, so the hair can’t come back.
There has to be a catch, right?
Yyyyep. Electrolysis works by inserting tiny needles into the skin (right next to each hair) and sending an electric current to the hair follicle. Some people compare the pain to getting a tattoo, but it really varies depending on the person and the salon.
Also, it requires many, many treatments – it works one hair at a time, after all. So get ready for a long, expensive journey.
If you want to see what the treatments look like, this video will give you the general idea:
So there’s no such thing as a perfect hair removal method. They all have their pros and cons. At least there are a lot of choices, so you can hopefully find a method that works for you!