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Have a Hairless Summer—A Hair Removal Guide

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Image courtesy of adamr/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looking for a hairless summer? I did  some research and created a hair removal guide. Remember, I’m not a salon, spa or medical professional. Please make sure to consult one if you have any questions or concerns.

I’ll just come out and admit it…I’m kind of a hairy girl. Just a little bit. I get it from my dad. My mom on the other hand is practically hairless. It’s not fair, but it’s life. Oh well! I deal with it like all the others—with good old fashioned hair removal.

Personally, I’m a fan of shaving, waxing, and threading. I’ve never gone with the laser or Electrolysis treatments. But, I’ve heard the stories. Writing this hair removal guide was an eye opener for me. I learned a lot about the different ways to get rid of unwanted body hair!

As you read your options below, I tried to estimate how long you could be “hair free,” but we all know it depends on how fast your hair grows back. This also goes for the “painful” question and how much pain you can take.

Keep reading for the most common forms of hair removal.

SHAVING

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Image courtesy of marin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Shaving, the most common form of at-home hair removal, is done using a razor or electric shaver. This cuts the hair close to the skin and does not remove the root of the hair. Today, many brands have created razors specifically made for women. They are made with multiple blades, for a closer shave. And have aloe or other soothing and moisturizing strips attached.

Electric shavers for women operate the same way as a regular razor, but are powered with electricity. Most are rechargeable and depending on the brand, are designed specifically for a woman’s body. Please don’t confuse an Epilator with electric shavers. Epilators are meant to grasp and pull the hair out—root and all.

WebMD.com recommends, when shaving make sure your hair is thoroughly wet first. Only shave in the direction the hair grows. And avoid repeating strokes, while keeping your skin relaxed. This will help prevent ingrown hairs, which are common with shaving.

Painful? If not using a shaving cream, there may be irritation caused by the razor. Only other pain would come from a nick or small cut from the blade. If this occurs use tissue to stop the bleeding, clean the area, use an antibacterial ointment, and apply a bandaid.

Stay hair free: 1-2 days

DEPILATORIES

Depilatories are specially formulated gels, lotions and creams for hair removal that can be found over the counter. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) depilatories are made from highly alkaline formulations that affect the protein structure of your hair. This causes the hair to turn jellylike, which should easily wipe from the skin. The process usually takes less than 10 minutes, but depending on the coarseness of your hair—it may or may not be as effective. Please follow any and all instructions when using these products. They have been known to cause allergic reactions and sensitivity in the skin when used.

Painful? There should be no pain when cream is applied. You may experience a slight tingling while on your skin. Remove immediately if you feel any pain. Depending on the product, there may be sensitivity in the skin after removing it.

Stay hair free: 3-5 days

WAXING

Waxing is just what the name entails. A melted wax, specifically made for this process, (hot or cold) is applied to the skin where hair removal is requested. It is then covered with a specially made cloth strip. Once the wax sets, the strips are quickly pulled off to remove the hair from the root. There are over the counter waxing kits, but it’s recommended to get this performed by a professional in a spa or salon.

According to WebMd.com, experts warn that it’s important to have this done in hygienic conditions and to follow your treatment with an antibacterial lotion. Because, if done incorrectly it could lead to a skin infection.

Waxing isn’t for everyone. Read this list of waxing precautions and warnings of those who shouldn’t get waxed.

Painful? If heated wax is used there is discomfort. When the cloth strip is quickly removed there is medium to high pain. It depends on the sensitivity of the area being waxed.

Stay hair free: 2-6 weeks

THREADING

According to Ziba Beauty, threading is an ancient technique of utilizing a specially made cotton thread to remove facial hair quickly and precisely from the follicle. It is best for those with sensitive skin, who may be allergic to depilatories or waxes. Please make sure any threading is done in a hygienic location, by a professional. If not done correctly, it may cause skin irritation or infection.

Watch a video here of my recent threading experience.

Painful? There is discomfort during the procedure. It depends on the sensitivity of the area being threaded.

Stay hair free: 1-2 weeks

LASER

Laser hair removal should only be done by a certified medical professional. This medical procedure uses a laser (or pulsed light) to destroy hair follicles with heat. Via WebMD.com, Dematologist Dr. David Goldberg states, “The hair does not immediately come out during a laser treatment. Instead, it weakens and falls out over time because we’ve blown away the root.”

Please note, that this is only effective for those with light skin and dark body hair. Sessions cost anywhere from $100-$500, while it may take several treatment sessions before seeing results. According to the FDA, side effects can include blistering, discoloration after treatment, swelling, redness, and scarring. Also, sunlight should be avoided during healing after the procedure.

Painful? There is some discomfort. A topical anesthetic cream may be used for some.

Stay hair free: Years (with maintenance sessions every year).

ELECTROLYSIS

Electrolysis hair removal should also be done by a certified medical professional. This medical procedure destroys the growth center of the hair with a short-wave radio frequency. According to the FDA, this is done by inserting a very fine probe into the hair follicle. This also requires many sessions to see results.

WebMD.com states that this form of hair removal is the only one that is allowed to be called “permanent” hair removal. They also note that it may cause tiny scars where the needle is inserted, but for most they heal unnoticed. It is not recommended for those with dark skin.

Painful? There is some discomfort. A topical anesthetic cream may be used for some.

Stay hair free: Permanently (with the proper amount of sessions needed).

 

What’s it going to be ladies? How will you go hairless this summer? 

 

  • FACE 1 of 5
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    TRY: Depilatories, Waxing, Threading, Laser, and Electrolysis. 

    TIP:  Whether using a depilatory, waxing, or threading for your facial hair—make sure to not touch your skin or apply anything to it for a few hours after hair removal. It will help keep bacteria away from the open pores that could lead to an infection. 

     

    Image courtesy of Imagery Majestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • ARMS 2 of 5
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    TRY: Depilatories, Waxing, Laser, and Electrolysis. 

    TIP:  If using a depilatory to remove arm hair, try exfoliating (gently) to remove any hairs left behind. Only do this if there is no redness or sensitivity of the skin. 

     

    Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • UNDERARMS 3 of 5
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    TRY: Shaving, Depilatories, Waxing, Laser, and Electrolysis. 

    TIP: If you suffer from dark underarms, it could be due to shaving, depilatory creams, deodorant, or a medical condition. Read this article here for tips on how to whiten them. 

     

    Image courtesy of Photo Stock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • BIKINI 4 of 5
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    TRY: Shaving, Depilatories, Waxing, Laser, and Electrolysis. 

    TIP: If you decide on a bikini wax, make sure you wear loose fitting clothing afterwards. Let your skin breathe! Wearing something tight can cause irritation and maybe even ingrown hairs. 

     

    Image courtesy of Stock Images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • LEGS 5 of 5
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    TRY: Shaving, Depilatories, Waxing, Laser, and Electrolysis. 

    TIP: When shaving your legs in the shower or bath, and you run out of shaving cream—try using your hair conditioner as a substitute. 

     

    Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Read more of Monique’s writing at Curves and Chaos here.”¨ And don’t miss a post!
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