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The Ultimate Hair Removal Guide

The Ultimate Hair Removal Guide
Ellie Taylor
Writer and expert3 years ago
View Ellie Taylor's profile

It might not be the most glamorous of tasks, but hair removal can still be a big part of our beauty routines. With lots of myths around what you should and shouldn't do, we're giving you the low-down on everything you really need to know about shaving, waxing and even at home laser hair removal!

The Different Types of Hair Removal

If you choose to get rid of your body hair, then there are a ton of hair removal options to choose from. We're breaking down the pros and cons of each of them so you can decide what works for you and find the best products.

1. Shaving

Shaving is probably the most common form of hair removal. Most of us are likely to have picked up a razor at some point.

The Pros

  • Affordability. Shaving is relatively cheap, with the cost of razors and shave cream being the only necessity
  • Easiness. This is one of the quickest and easiest forms of hair removal, and pretty much everyone can manage it.
  • Painlessness. If you are careful not to nick or cut your skin as you go, you shouldn't feel a thing.

The Cons

  • Longevity. Shaving only removes hair at skin level, so it will grow back pretty quickly; usually in just a couple of days.
  • Ingrown Hairs or Razor Bumps. These are especially likely if your blade gets a little blunt or you don't use a good shave cream.

Tips for the Best Shave

We've already shared all our favourite products for getting that perfect shave everytime, but there are some basics you should always follow:

  • Exfoliate well. Keep scrubbing everytime you jump in the shower to help prevent ingrown hairs.
  • Shave with an oil or cream. It will help prevent nicks and cuts, as well as razor burn.
  • Keep your blades sharp. Replace your blades about every 5-10 shaves to get a closer shave and help prevent things like shaving rash.
  • Store your razor in the dry. It is more hygienic if the blades can get fully dry between each use and will help blades stay sharper too so remember to take your razor out of the shower after each use.

2. Hair Removal Cream

Hair Removal or Depilatory Creams are anther popular option for whisking away those pesky hairs. They work by dissolving your hair; you apply the cream, let it settle and then wipe it away along with your hairs.

The Pros

  • Affordability. Like shaving, this is a relatively affordable option for hair removal.
  • Painlessness. There is no risk of nicks or cuts, making it pretty much the most painless option you can find!

The Cons

  • Sensitivity. The chemicals in hair removal cream can be quite strong, causing sensitivity in some people. Look for sensitive formulations and wash it straight off if it feels like it burns.
  • The Smell. There is no hiding the fact that hair removal creams do not smell the nicest and it isn't always the nicest experience as a result.
  • Longevity. Like shaving, hair is removed only at the skin surface so regrows fairly quickly.
  • Effectiveness. On particularly coarse hair, depilatory creams don't tend to work that well; they are better suited to those with fine hair.

3. Waxing

Whether you go to a salon or do it at home, waxing is a popular hair removal choice for many. Whether you use strips, hot wax or hard wax, it it works by pulling hair out of the skin by the root, for an ultra silky finish.

The Pros

  • Longevity. Because hair is removed from the root, the results last longer- sometimes up to 3 weeks.
  • Long Term Results. Over time, waxing can help hair become finer, less noticeable and easier to remove.

The Cons

  • Pain. There is no denying that waxing is painful but the results can be worth it when you only need to wax every 4 weeks or so.
  • Regrowth. For hair to be waxed effectively, it needs to grow to at least a quarter of an inch long, which can be annoying for some.
  • Difficulty. Waxing is relatively simple on the legs but can be harder to achieve yourself on areas like the armpits and bikini line.

Home Waxing Tips

If you do want to try waxing your self, then these are the tips we swear by for making it a little easier.

  • Exfoliate well. It will help release any trapped hairs and leave your skin soft and silky.
  • Check the heat. If you're using hot wax, make sure it isn't too hot. If it is, then it can cause extra sensitivity and damage to your skin.
  • Try a talcum powder. Before starting to wax, lightly dust your skin with a body powder to help make sure wax sticks only to your hairs rather than your skin.
  • Pull things tight. Apply wax in the direction of hair growth and then pull it away in the opposite direction. Holding the skin taut as you pull the wax off will help remove the hairs more effectively.

4. Epilation

This isn't as common a method of hair removal but it is becoming more popular in the beauty world. An epilator it actually made up of a lot of electronic tweezers that pluck the hair from the skin. Lots of the benefits are similar to waxing and it has been designed to be simple to achieve yourself.

The Pros

  • Ease. Unlike waxing, epilation is pretty simple- just run it over wherever you want to remove hair. Many also have a different heads to make epilation for smaller areas like the face or bikini line easier.
  • Less Regrowth. Epilators work on shorter hairs than waxing, requiring less regrowth time. Plus, they can be used repeatedly to remove hairs at different points of the growth cycle.
  • Longevity. With hairs being plucked from the roots, skin tends to stay hair free for around 4 weeks at a time.

The Cons

  • Pain. Epilation is uncomfortable, however it does decrease the more you use your epilator, as there generally are less
  • Cost. Most epilators, especially those with multiple heads or wet/dry options are quite expensive at around the £100 mark but they do last a long time.

5. At Home Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal has been big for a long time and now brands like Tria are making it an option to do at home. The technology uses IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), which damages the root of your hairs and works to stop them growing.

The Pros

  • Longevity. This is the most permanent method of hair removal, as when repeated over time it actually inhibits hair growth.
  • Ease. Like epilation, home laser hair removal units are usually pretty simple to use.
  • Painlessness. Whilst some people may feel a prickle or heat, generally this is a painless hair removal method.
  • Price. It is substantially cheaper tan investing in in-salon laser or IPL treatment, which usually starts from around £600 for your legs.

The Cons

  • Not Universal. Unfortunately IPL isn't suitable for everyone. It works on those with lighter skin tones and darker hair, and isn;t advisable on dark skin.
  • Price. At around £300 for a hair removal tool, it is an expensive option, however it may save you money over time.

Shop all hair removal at LOOKFANTASTIC.

Ellie Taylor
Writer and expert
View Ellie Taylor's profile
As a beauty fanatic I'm always on the lookout to try and experiment with new products! I’ve been writing about everything beauty for over 3 years and specialise in skincare so have plenty of tips and tricks to help put blemishes at bay and get your complexion glowing. Whilst being a content writer at LOOKFANTASTIC I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with incredible brands including Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana and La Mer, taking my understanding of the industry to the next level. In the past I’ve been a freelance makeup artist and have collaborated with brands including NYX and Revolution Beauty on a personal level, sharing my makeup creations for the world to see. My ride or die brands have to be PIXI, Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown and I can’t live without my trusty MAC Velvet Teddy!