No beauty routine is complete without hair removal. Legs and underarms, facial fuzz and bikini line, you can go as far as you’re comfortable with (and beyond!) in your quest to achieve silky soft smoothness all over. If you’re not sure which hair removal method is best for you, and you’re not in the market for expensive laser treatments, here’s a recap of the 4 best tried and tested ways to deal with your unwanted fuzz.
Men have been shaving since who-cares-when, women only in recent decades. Any part of your body can be shaved as long as it’s accessible.
You need a razor, such as this one which is designed specifically for women, a shaving cream/gel/lotion of your choice, a bathroom sink full of warm water and a towel. Wet shaving involves carefully running a razor blade (or several) over wet skin lathered with shaving foam/gel against the direction of growth of the unwanted body hair in order to remove it. Clean the razor and repeat. Rinse skin and pat dry, finishing off with a nice body lotion.
I really wouldn’t advise dry shaving – the same process but without the shaving gel or water – unless it’s an absolute emergency. Dry shaving irritates the skin and can lead to shaving cuts and razor burn. Electric shaving is even more convenient than using a wet razor; just get a lady shaver (Braun do a nice one) and off you go.
The only thing shaving doesn’t do is produce lasting results. Similar to 5 o’clock shadow or designer stubble on men, the process needs to be repeated on a daily basis to keep your skin fuzz free.
Hair Removal Creams
Depilatory creams contain chemicals that dissolve the hair at the roots. Apply a layer over the area and give it a few minutes (see instructions on the packet), then rinse off and pat dry. Painless and pretty convenient to use, it’s a quick and easy solution to hair removal that you can do in your bathroom. Some creams can even be applied in the shower, allowing you to multitask.
However, be careful if you have sensitive skin or want to depilate delicate areas such as the face or bikini line. Test the product first to make sure you don’t break out, and look out for depilatory creams for sensitive skins.
There’s also the smell – it’s not so bad as to make your boyfriend run a mile, but it’s not exactly Chanel No. 5 either.
The basic idea is that warm, liquid wax is applied to an area of hairy skin, which is then yanked off with the help of a cloth strip. In terms of effectiveness waxing is hard to beat; it literally rips the hairs out by their roots, leaving you with days or even weeks of smooth skin and softer regrowth.
But: it can hurt. Depending on where you wax, pain levels can range from ‘not so bad’ (legs) to ‘excruciating’ (bikini line – and don’t even mention Brazil!), but with regular application you do get used to the discomfort.
You can buy ready-to-use waxing strips or wax kits for home use, or you can book yourself into a beauty salon and have it done professionally. If you’re not confident about home waxing, or are considering grappling with awkward or delicate areas, do yourself a massive favour and take a trip to the beautician.
Tweezing is easy. Get a pair of precision eyebrow tweezers (such as these award winning Tweezerman beauties) and pull out individual hairs by the root – that’s it. Perfect for eyebrows, to remove ingrown hairs and the odd body hair left over after waxing, tweezing gives good results for about 3-8 weeks. There is likely to be a little bit of sensitivity as you pluck each hair, but it’s really no big deal.
Tweezers are for personal hygiene, personal being the operative word here. You wouldn’t share your toothbrush now, would you? If you’re not sure whether someone has borrowed your tweezers or are worried about the risk of infection, you could clean them by rubbing with alcohol before and after.
If you’re looking to remove larger areas of hair, tweezing is not the right method.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working with London based beauty salon Luminate Watford, who were consulted over this post.