I know, it’s already the end of the summer and I should have written this earlier, but better late than never. Besides, it's always summer summer somewhere. I have decided to gather all the hair removal methods that I know and share some of my experiences with them. Since I personally hate technical reading (boring!), I chose videos that demonstrate the use for each hair removal method instead of describing the method with written words. I hope you will find this post useful and please share any other hair removal methods or products you know of, especially ones you like.
I believe it is the most common and easiest way to remove hair, though the results do not last long. I personally am not crazy about this hair removal method, mainly because I found the hair to grow thicker and coarser, which requires shaving more often. For some people, shaving also causes ingrown hair, skin irritation, and bumps. Try using numbing cream such as Bikinizone to see if it makes your skin feel better. There are different sizes of razors, the thinner ones are designed for the bikini line, which is an area that requires more flexible maneuvering. One of my friends told me that she uses these bikini razors to remove the dry skin from her heels. If you like shaving but you don’t always have access to soap and water try an electric razor.
Hair removal pads remove the hair when they are rubbed against clean skin. The pads come in different sizes: bigger pads for legs and smaller for the face. Many women, including me, find these pads to overly dry the skin. Since the pads remove only the top part of the hair, the smooth results do not last long.
If you don’t want to remove your facial hair, just wished it would be invisible, bleaching might be an option. The most popular facial bleaching product is Jolen. I don’t recommend using bleach if you have sensitive skin, or use Retin-A, since the chemicals might irritate your skin and even cause a burn, as was the case for me. It also has a very strong chemical odor that I cannot believe is healthy. As for the results, you might feel good with your look for a day or two, but then the new dark hair that grows looks thicker and very dark against the blond. It looks like cat hair that has different colors. When I was bleaching, I remember that on those days I did not want to leave the house, and when I had to, I wished the earth would swallow me so no one would see my black mustache roots.
There are several hair removal creams in the market, Veet and Nair to name two. This is a short-term hair removal method, but I find the smooth effect last slightly longer than in shaving, and the hair seems to be less prickly when it grows back. Like in the case with bleaching, if you have sensitive skin, or if you use Retin-A, this might not be a good option for you.
Some women stay away from waxing fearing the pain. From my experience good wax and skilled hands can significantly reduce the pain and the discomfort, especially when it come to the bikini area. One of the aestheticians I used to go to used to spread oil or lotion on the back of the wax strip before pulling it off to, it significantly reduced the pain. If you live in one of the US metropolitan cities and are looking for a recommended waxing salon, check allure magazine salon reviews. If you want to do it yourself, invest in good quality wax and a wax warmer. My favorite brand is the French cirepil. I love using the blue wax for the body and the strip-less sap rose wax for the face. Surprisingly I used the sap wax in conjunction with Retin-A without ripping off my skin. Removing hair with wax yields longer-term results than when shaving or using hair removal cream and the the new hair grows thinner, but to repeat the process it requires the hair to grow back to a certain length. This could be a frustrating wait time.
Sugaring is a hair removal method similar to waxing, by the fact that it sticks to the hair and pulls it out. Sugaring is a common Middle Eastern hair removal method, in which sugar and lemon are melted together to a sticky caramel paste that can be used multiple times. Some make the sugar mixture more liquid-like and it’s applied to the skin like wax.
Tweezing is great for removing hair from a small area when you need to be precise – such as eyebrows. It’s also good to use for facial hair between waxing and threading. Make sure to invest in good tweezers. Tweezerman, for example, is a repeatedly recommended brand by beauty experts. I love to keep on hand two kinds of tweezers: flat and pointed, for really hard to pluck hairs. An enlarging mirror with light is a great companion for this delicate job.
Threading is a great option for women who cannot use wax or hair removing creams to remove facial hair. Use a strong thread made from a combination of cotton and polyester, so it wont tear easily. The problem with this method is that the thread tends to dig into the skin of the fingers holding it, sometimes leaving cuts. The second video shows a nice tool called Helix designed to solve this problem. I did not try this tool, but from the reviews I read online it works well but the thread tends to get torn faster than with using the fingers because of the friction with the plastic. Even if you don’t plan on using this tool I found the video to be very informative for how to use threading in general.
Did you know that two male engineers in a kibbutz in Israel invented the first electric epilator? I was one of the first users. The epilator works by locking two metal bodies on the hair and pulling it away from the skin, like multiple tweezers working at once. This invention offered long term hair removal without the sticky mess involved with waxing or sugaring. It is painful and it leaves red dots where the hair was plucked. I could never use it on my upper thigh – it was too painful, but it did well on the lower part of my legs. The hair removal is not always perfect, some hairs get torn instead of plucked, but it’s a great tool to use on the go if you don’t want to shave.
This is a very slow and painful way to remove hair. A needle is inserted to each hair follicle and zaps the root with an electric shock. It is claimed to be the only way to remove hair permanently, but this was not my personal experience. If you have dark skin this method might cause you hyperpigmentation.
Laser Hair Removal
I must say that my laser hair removal was one of the best things I have ever done for myself, it gets into my Women's-Lib list. I had the Soprano laser machine used on me, which works best on dark hair against light skin color. I had 5 treatments, which were spread over 4 years. The most dramatic result was after the first treatment. I did not have any hair growth for almost a year. To prepare for the laser treatment I had to return to shaving to make my hair grow thick again, after years of waxing. For the treatment I had to come with four days of hair growth, which was zapped during the treatment. After the treatment I was told that I could shave but not wax. I found it impossible to shave the burnt coarse hair, but it wasn’t too bad, since it all fell out within two weeks. There is also a small laser machine for use at home.
IPL Hair Removal
Hair removal process using IPL is similar to laser hair removal, though some argue that the results are not as good as with the laser machine. I know several women who used IPL for hair removal and were very happy with the results. Remington and Silk'n has an IPL machine for use at home.