We've made a decision: Whoever decided that women should be removing all of their body hair is our public enemy, No. 1. Ever since women started tweezing brows, shaving legs and waxing off just about everything in between, us ladies have had to suffer the pain, frustration and discomfort that comes with hair removal. It's expensive, it's time consuming and it'll often leave behind a rash that looks like an ancient disease rearing its ugly head once again.
That being said, we can be total suckers for the feeling of smooth, silky skin. And because we're probably not going to stop shaping our brows 'til they reach fleek status or pretending hair doesn't grow underneath our arms, we figured we should rank all of the best hair removal methods around. Whether you've tried one or tried them all, you may know what works best for you. But if you're still in search of finding that one method that'll get rid of those unsightly hairs for the longest possible time, we got you covered. We made ourselves guinea pigs, and here is our complete, honest input.
Yes, some methods may be pricier than others, but they're also insanely worth it.
Ah, our good friend the razor. Simple, reliable and cheap, our razors will always be our first stop toward hair removal town. But if you think about it, razors are actually the worst. When it comes to getting rid of your hair, razors will probably keep the stubble away for about a day or two. And if you have coarser hair like some of us, your hair may start to grow back later that day.
Shaving also leads to a series of unavoidable mishaps. We've all cut ourselves at one time or another or got irritation from a dull razor. But the worst by far is getting ingrown hairs. According to She Knows, razors cut your hair on an angle, which can make hair grow back inward and lead to ingrown hairs. These are especially common around the bikini area and can lead to an infection. Not to mention rusty razors can also cause infections.
Tweezing and threading are good at removing hair by the root but are still limited in their hair removal capabilities. With tweezing, your hair may not come back for about three to eight weeks (depending on how thick it is), but this method can also be very irritating. If you tweeze a hair and it breaks off at the root, Web MD says that this can also lead to ingrown hairs and infections.
Threading on the other hand, is better for your skin causing a lot less damage. It similarly will last for about three to eight weeks and is far less painful than plucking each, individual hair. But both methods are only good for areas on your face like your brows - unless you're into tweezing all of your leg hairs. #nojudgment
There are a wide assortment of over-the-counter creams you can buy that will get rid of hair without the use of a razor and with minimal pain. Products like Nair work by dissolving the proteins that make up your hair after a few minutes of having the cream on. The cream can then be taken off in the wash or with a specified applicator. This works best for areas like your legs, under arms and bikini area and will last from a few days to a few weeks depending on how thick your hair is.
Yes, creams are tempting because they're inexpensive and seem simple, but there are a lot of downsides to them as well. Certain cream formulas can be very irritating and cause a burning while applied. Make sure you're not allergic to the chemicals inside of the creams if you choose this method. They're also pretty famous for not smelling that great; some will come with a scent, but once you put them on, it's hard to avoid the smell of your hair being burnt off (bleh).
Like the other methods, creams don't prevent you from getting ingrown hairs. Thicker creams may also clog your drain when you're trying to wash them off, so be careful! Web MD warns that if you leave the cream on too long, it could take off some of your skin with the hair.
Probably the most painful method on the list, waxing is infamous for ripping out your hairs and a piece of your soul with it. There's nothing appealing about the idea of having hot wax poured onto some of the most sensitive areas of your body, only to have it violently ripped off by a woman who seems a bit like she's laughing at you. But when you finally feel your baby-soft skin and realize that feeling will last between three to six weeks, it all becomes worth it.
Waxing can be a good idea depending on the area you're choosing to treat. Waxing your brows, for example, isn't nearly as painful as waxing your bikini area or under your arms. Your legs can be pretty manageable, too, if you have a higher pain tolerance and can drift off to a happy place.
The downsides to waxing? It's still possible to get ingrown hairs. That, and it's pricey. Depending on what you're getting done and where you're going, waxing can range anywhere from $10 to $200.
That may actually hurt more than anything.
1. Laser Treatment
If you're willing to shell out some cash to have your hair gone for good, laser hair removal is for you. During a treatment, laser beams target hairs on designated areas by destroying them at their root. After one treatment, the hair will be gone for a few weeks. You will need between six to 12 treatments if you're looking for the removal to become permanent. The good news? The more you do it, the lighter hair will become, so even if you can't afford all of the treatments, you will still benefit from a few.
I've gotten laser hair removal done on my legs, and it was relatively painless. Certain, sensitive areas sting more than others, but the results are stunning. I can't remember the last time I shaved. And treatments tend not to cause too much irritation. Your skin may be red, but it doesn't last. You should also stay away from the sun once you've had a treatment.
The downsides? Some laser treatments won't work on darker skin because the laser has a more difficult time targeting the hair. Technology is improving though, and certain laser treatment centers have the ability to offer the service on darker skin. But if you're going tanning that week, you probably shouldn't go for your laser treatment. And yeah, it's pricey. One treatment, depending on the area, can be anywhere from $75 to $400. Or you can invest in an at-home laser like the Tria, which costs about $450.