We are in the middle to end of summer so I’m sure we all have been doing everything we can to get rid of the most hair so we look our best and feel our best. We all get rid of our body hair somehow, these are the three most common ways to do that. Laser hair removal, shaving, and waxing. We all have our own preferences and everyones body hair is different so some things work better for certain people than others. So here is a rundown on each type and the pros and cons. Maybe this will make you think about trying something different!
Laser Hair Removal
How It Works: Laser penetrates the skin to target the hair shaft and inhibit hair growth. It essentially destroys the follicle, meaning it can achieve permanent removal. Typically, the hair in treated areas falls out within 2-3 weeks.
Best For: People with hair darker than their skin, while professional dermatologists can vary the type of laser used, laser targets the melanin in the hair, so it’s not suited for people with dark skin or pale hair. The laser needs to be able to lock on to the dark pigment in order to differentiate the dark hair from the skin.
Pros: Great for long-term hair removal in all areas. It causes no damage to the dermis, so even the most sensitive skin can be treated.
Cons: Laser hair removal can be painful, with most people describing it as a “snapping” sensation against the skin, as well as a sensation of heat from the laser. Also, it requires numerous visits to a dermatologist for best results. It is important to go to a dermatologist who can offer different lasers which are customized to your specific skin color and hair color.
Average Cost: $150 to $500 per treatment, with an average of six sessions recommended, depending on the area being treated. Several cycles of treatment are usually recommended to capture the hair follicles at different stages of the growth cycle. Some people require touch-up treatments to maintain, especially on larger areas.
Tips: While it may seem expensive, in the long run, many consider laser removal to be an investment that can pay off. It is the most effective and cost-effective treatment, considering how much one can spend over a lifetime with options such as waxing.
How It Works: Shaving removes hair at the skin’s surface by cutting it off with a razor.
Best For: Legs, underarms, and those with lighter, finer hair.
Pros: Inexpensive, painless, quick, and easy; and shaving creams used can help moisturize the skin, keeping it soft.
Cons: Regrowth happens quickly, and because hair is cut off at the surface, regrown hair is blunt, not tapered, so it can appear thicker. Razor burn, nicks, and cuts are possibilities, and those who shave regularly can also become prone to ingrown hairs.
Average Cost: Razors and shaving cream can be inexpensively purchased at any grocery or drugstore.
Tips: For those who can’t quit their shaving habit, “growth reduction” products promise to help inhibit hair regrowth, thus reducing the frequency of shaving required. Luna Smooth’s Hair Growth Inhibitor Serum ($24.99 at Luna Smooth) reduces hair growth over time and doesn’t increase the occurrence of ingrown hairs.
How It Works: Hot (but not too hot!) wax is applied to the desired area and removed in the opposite direction of the hair growth, pulling hairs out from the root.
Best For: Legs, underarms, and bikini areas, and great for those with coarse, darker hair that tends to be stubborn.
Pros: Temporarily removes hair at the root for an average of three weeks of smooth skin, which can range from two to six weeks depending on your hair type and thickness.
Cons: Waxing requires some regrowth in order to be effective, as the wax needs at least a quarter inch of stubble to adhere to. Treatments can be moderately painful, as hair is indeed being ripped out at the root, but it becomes more tolerable over time. Waxing can also result in ingrown hairs.
Average Cost: Anywhere from $15-$80 for salon waxing, depending on areas waxed and your salon of choice.
Tips: Don’t drink and wax, Some people come in after consuming alcohol thinking it’ll ease the pain, but alcohol tightens pores, making it much more painful. Stimulants, like coffee, can also increase sensitivity. Also, do your research and find a salon that uses good quality wax. Better quality wax can mean a less painful experience.