Understanding hair removal methods and which one is best for you. 

Hair removal has been around since the dinosaurs. Dinosaur ladies would use tar to wax their bodies and cavemen used rocks as blades and shaved their faces. Cave women stole their man’s Gilette stone and used it on the legs while man was out hunting. Ok enough of the Jurassic jokes. Cavemen really did use a stone though… and the women probably “borrowed” it.

whyatt brazilian

Ancient Egyptians invented waxing. Except it was more like sugaring. If you don’t know what that is read on.

So here is an article discussing hair removal methods you might like to try and others may convert you for life.

For the money savvy and pain tolerant: Threading. 

brow threading

Threading is one hair removal method I find interesting as it's something grandma taught mum and mum taught you. That is if you come from one of the cool cultures that do that. It's basically a piece of cotton thread that's wound up 8-10 times and is etched across the skin as hairs are plucked out. It is a more rougher way of hair removal as you need to hold the skin very tight and you also have a piece of thread potentially slicing the skin or causing rubbing/friction. If your the client they make you hold your skin as the operator has no more hands as they too busy holding thread. The threader will also hold a section of thread in their mouth to keep the tension in the thread while she plucks your hairs out row by row. I think this is the most painful method and I'm not alone. However, lots of lovers out there disagree. I also think it's more time consuming than other methods. But lots of customers can't say no to the price and the authentic skill of the threading pro's. Threading isn't really done on larger areas of the body as it would take way too long. Common threaded areas are on the face, particularly the brows and upper lip. People love threading because they believe they can get the best defined brows and best brow arches like no other. I would have to agree to an extent… there are some other methods if not done properly, will not give the best brow definition. If other methods are done correctly your brows will come out just as arch-a-licious as if they were threaded. Another reason threading is so popular is because it can get short and fine hairs. The threading method can also be done at home! But, normal cotton thread is not as nice on the skin as professional thread and it's way more expensive at $30-40 per tiny spool! If you want to give it a go check out DIY vids on YouTube.

Priced at $5-20 for individual areas of the face

Best for those who:

  • Want a quick fix in their busy day
  • Are on a budget
  • Like to DIY
  • Can't wait until the hair is too long

For the lazy ones who want instant results with little effort, but no longevity. 

Crema-depilatoria

Depilatory creams. These are made with strong chemicals aimed at destroying the keratin within the hair. Its like a moisturiser/shaving cream texture that you lather on thick and wait 8-10mins for hairlessness. If you’ve ever used them you know the smell that comes with it and the look of eaten away-lighter in colour and stringy hairs that you are now removing with a water or a towel. Are these safe? Yes they are otherwise they would not be sold in Australia under our extremely strict Therapeutic Goods Act. Also some depilatory creams contain peroxide, so you can assume they are as safe as hair dye. Are they good? They ain't bad but your skin doesn't like them. As the chemicals are more along the ph level of 12 when the skin is around 5.5. So it’s going to have unideal effects on your skin. Sometimes after use there are hairs that are more destroyed than others and that can leave an uneven smoothness; which ultimately makes the consumer leave it on for longer next time round. But the worst thing is it grows back with a vengeance. The hair is trying to grow back with super strength to combat its next bout of hair kryptonite.

Priced at $10-15 for several uses.

Best for those who:

  • Don’t want pain
  • Want a quick fix in their busy day
  • Are on a budget
  • Travel
  • Like to DIY

For the rushers who shave…

SONY DSC

This is by far the cheapest, oldest and easiest form of hair removal. It's like the 'gateway hair removal trip' we have all started with. I might revoke the cheap as some lady blades run higher cost than the men’s range. We have all shaved once in our life. We know exactly what happens. It grows back. It can even make hair grow where there wasn’t much hair to begin with. Example: ever noticed a guy who has fine hair closer to his eye bags than to his goatee? That my friend is a guy who shaved in a rush and every now and then goes over it but says “oh well, I’ll do better next time.”

Some people find shaving apart of their everyday routine. See the problem there?

E-v-e-r-y-d-a-y!

Others who are luckier can go up to a 3-7 days! But the point is it grows back and fast. It is safe. Unless you do it after a bottle of wine when you decide you will go out instead of sitting at home, and you accidentally slice open your ankle, and it pisses blood for fifteen minutes while you reevaluate your life choices.

Then your left with a sexy scar. Boy have I seen a few of those on my clients legs. No judgement of course. We have all done it and all have the scars to prove it!

Priced at $2-$25 per shaver. Which should only be used a week or two then thrown out.

Best for those who:

  • Don’t want pain
  • Want a quick fix in their busy day
  • Are on a budget
  • Like the hugyene of a disposable
  • Travel
  • Want smooth hydrated legs in an instant (hydrated as most top of the range lady shavers come with awesome lubricating/moisturising strips).
  • Like to DIY

best-electric-shaver-for-women

Sidebar – electric shavers need a mention. They have the same results. However it’s one cost until the motor dies. It’s more hygeneic as you are required to clean it. It’s also more sustainable than razors. Electric shavers come with a variety of interchangeable heads for different areas of the body. Some also come with trimmers. So if you don’t want to remove the hair completely you can just trim it. Which ultimately also has the same effect as shaving but, depending on hair trimming can have less of a vengeance regrow than shaving.

Priced at $50-$250+

Best for those who:

  • Don’t want pain
  • Don’t want to potentially cut themselves shaving
  • Want a quick fix in their busy day
  • Want value for money
  • Travel
  • Like to DIY

Those who can only be bothered every 4-6 weeks. The waxers… 

waxing

This is the method stolen from ancient goddess Cleopatra. Many cultures have grown up learning how to make their own wax from grandma in the kitchen and learnt how to wax from a young age. These beauties are ones with little hair and the others envy their smart early depilatory choices in life. While we played in the playground after school, these young pre pubescent girls had one hell of a chore to do after school.

There are downsides to one of the oldest methods… if done incorrectly you can get hairs growing back at different paces so your always hairy, all month long. There are ingrown hair issues when the waxer removes it in sections larger than they should, or if the wax is cheap and nasty. Then there is infection chances from gross double dipping salons. It is more pricey than shaving and depilatory creams, but it gives longevity. If you find a salon who does leg waxing with hot wax (the wax that's ripped off without the strip) then go for it. Hot waxing large areas is often a little better than strip waxing. After all waxing, you come back with less hair to wax, hair that’s finer and sparser than ever before. Ultimately this method leads to having hardly any hair that grows back…. but it can take years to achieve. Bonus it exfoliates you unlike any other method.

Priced at $5-$60 depending on hairy area

Best for those who:

  • Want longevity
  • Want long lasting results from 4-6 weeks
  • Want a reduction in hair growth and thickness
  • Like a good exfoliation
  • Go on the 2-4 week holidays and don’t need to worry about hair removal while away
  • Like things done for them or you can DIY!

Side bar – Sugaring.

SugarPue-Body-Sugaring-Auftragung
Sugaring is also a form of waxing, except the wax isn’t very hot. Think of holding a ball of bubblegum… Except it's sticky like honey or… wax! It is held by the hand of the pro and pulled over the skin in the opposite direction or the hair growth (opposite to regular waxing) then flicked out in the direction of growth. I love this method. This was actually the method Cleopatra really used. She didn’t have wax pots and strips, she had servants who did this method without gloves like we do today. Can you imagine the hairy ball of Cleopatra wax in your hand!? Sugaring is making a comeback with the mainstream salons and that means ancient is on trend! It gives the exact same benefits as waxing. Although some claim it has more benefits because you get less ingrowns and chance of infection. I will agree less chance of infection, as it is only single use so no chance of gross double dippers. But ingrowns no. A good wax should be used with a good therapist and that is what gives near to no ingrowns. All hair removal causes some amount of ingrowns in that persons life time. My clients get them once in a blue moon and even in areas I never wax! But, it still happens as it's the nature of how a hair grows back and struggles to push through the layer of skin.  Trouble is ingrown hairs happen naturally regardless of any hair removal.

Priced more expensive than waxing as it’s a bit of an art form also the training and sugaring wax is expensive! Brazilians start at around $65

For someone who wants it gone and gone for good! 

Lasers are the latest in technology and probably the best form of hair removal for longevity as it permanent! Well almost. It requires top ups every 6-12months after a stint of sessions.

It is the most expensive method however, the price is coming down with the competition of laser clinics. If you don’t know what happens in a laser sesh I’ll tell you, you go into a room with a pair of eye protecting glasses and a pro has a laser and uses it section by section on your whole body. Imagine it to look like an ultra sound except the radiologist is placing the probe on you, zapping, then lifting up the probe and moving to the next area. The probes aren’t that big either. Some are even similar size to an ultra sound probe, you know the probe they use on your belly not the other long ugly probe! Unfortunately we haven’t advanced far enough to hop into a MRI-type-laser encased machine with our head sticking out while we get the whole body zapped. Just so you know I now have a patent pending on that idea and not enough money to back it. Laser machines can cost more than a house. Yep $250,000+ a machine. Well that's for the good ones are anyways. So here’s the downside and they are only minimal. If you are one of many who have not succeeded at becoming hairless in a few months of laser sessions then you are being taken for a ride. The machine is probably cheap, not the right one or not strong enough and never going to be. Or the clinic is using it on a low setting to keep you coming back. Laser hair removal will give noticeable results after a few sessions. Yes there are people who take longer or see results or even sooner. But if you see no results and you’ve gone through your 10 sessions say goodbye to the clinic. Oh and laser can be painful. If you have a good tech and she turns it up each time you go, you’ll be feeling the sting each time. Which means it’s working and your not wasting your money.

Another downside to laser… it's temporary and it’s not that bad. You have to shave in between sessions. Waxing the hair isn't recommended as laser works best on trimmed or shaved hair. So if you don’t time your laser appointment perfectly, you’ll be attending your best friends wedding looking like a hairy beast. Laser is not entirely full proof. I’ll explain. It will be full proof until you get a bit older or go through a hormonal change and you get more hair growing in a weird place. I.e.: you hit menopause and the backs of your thighs have 1 inch long hairs blowing in the wind. You’ll need a touch up set of sessions then, but you’ll be back to hairless in no time.

OMG I FORGOT THE BIGGEST DOWNSIDE OF ALL! Insert jealous sad face here>

It doesn’t work unless your hair is dark. The laser ONLY targets melanin pigment, the colour in the hair. Laser treatments work more effectively on those with lighter skin and darker hair. So if you have transparent blonde hair like mine there is no hope. Well there is now because they are apparently working on lasers for us fair maidens. Insert hopeful face here>

Priced anywhere from $30-100 depending on package or chosen hairy area. Sessions are generally very quick. Approximately 10-25mins long.

Best for those who:

  • Find waxing extremely painful due to coarse thick growth (often beauty therapists will recommend this instead of waxing)
  • Want a permanent solution
  • Have the cash, as a package of bulk sessions is always better value.
  • Don’t like doing it themselves

Rare and the only permanent method for fair maidens… (but works on everybody). 

electrolysis.jpg

Electrolysis. This method has been around since retro furniture was first created. It uses an electric current on an acupuntre type needle that goes into the hair follicle, zaps it, and the hair growth centre is destroyed. This method allows you to wax in time for your best friends wedding if you miss your appointment, however it’s a treatment that is rarer and rarer these days and hard to find. Cost is similar to laser. When lasers came out many people went back to electrolysis because it gave faster results. Now laser and electrolysis are neck and neck. It is painless except on some areas of the face like the upper lip. It does take longer than laser as its one hair at a time. But you can expect to have hairless underarms in a matter of weeks.

Priced at $30-$80 per session of 30-60mins.

Best for those who:

  • Find waxing extremely painful due to coarse thick growth
  • Want a permanent solution
  • Want a permanent solution in smaller areas as well as larger.
  • Have the cash
  • Don’t like doing it themselves

Remember the Emjoi Gently? 

AP-9PB.jpg

Electric epilators which are basically plucking machines and boy are they handy! They give the same effects as plucking or waxing and you can do it in your undies on the couch watching tv. There are so many on the market that come with the ability to be used wet in the shower or bath. It can take a while as most machines have 3cm wide heads. You only ever need to rinse it under water or blow the hairs off the machine. Hardly any cleaning.

It is value for money as it’s really only one cost which is the machine and some last a lifetime. It can be painful and annoying compared to other methods, but you get used to it pretty quick.

Cost $80-$400 indefinitely.

Best for those who:

  • Like to do it at home and DIY
  • Want long lasting hair removal
  • Want value for money
  • Travel

There’s one method I haven’t covered but I’ll mention. Tweezering and plucking. It is great but can be more annoying that the others. Perfect for precision if your on the go! It takes a while and it can be done on tiny short hairs.  The other methods require a longer hair, approximately 4/5mm long.

So you’ve heard them all. What do you think? Is there something you learnt? Is there something you want to try? Have I given you enough info for a backup method should you have your best friends wedding and be stuck in a hairy pickle?

Hair-Removal-Methods.jpg
I hope so. 

To be completely honest I have tried every hair removal method except laser because as I said earlier, I’m too fair haired for the laser itself. So don’t waste your money unless your hair is dark brown – black. I love waxing and electrolysis. Recently I have just added to my hair-free abilities with an electric epilator. I can use it when I travel especially because I can’t bear to pay someone to wax me when I can do it myself. Plus I prefer to do it myself as I’ve seen way to many gross double dipping salons! I know I’m very hygienic! Hey I learnt from all the bad mistakes committed on my body by other salons before I was a beauty therapist.

Anyways, stay beautiful and hairless until next time…

Much love

Jayde x

Photo credits:
Featured image – witty feed.com
other images – hover hover each image for credit.

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