To shave or to wax. Most of us choose one method or the other, but which method of shaving is better, and why? We also delve into all the hair removal options and weigh in on their various pros and cons.
Managing unwanted hair has always been a challenge for many women, as hair has traditionally been associated with masculinity. In particular, the areas like the upper lip, chin, legs, and armpits are areas that are of special concern where hair often grows for women. We made a report card for the various methods of managing body and facial hair based on four general criteria.
Our Grading Criteria
Time Required: How time-consuming the hair removing process is. Some consideration is given to how often the process needs to be repeated, as it is relevant to the total time required.
Effectiveness: Both how the skin appears afterwards, and how long the skin remains without hair being noticeable.
Costs: The upfront cost of the products or procedures. Keep in mind, however, that a C rating (higher upfront cost) may end up being more cost-effective in the long-term, so there’s more to take into consideration.
Pain Level: How painful the hair removing process is on a scale of 0-5
Hair Removal Report Card
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There are a lot of nuances to unpack that can’t be spelled out in a simple chart, and individuals will surely disagree on preference. Here are some other considerations:
Shaving and Waxing:
These two hair removal methods are the most commonly used, and for good reason. They get the job done, unpleasant a chore as shaving may be. Shaving is the simplest and convenient. Waxing is more painful generally, but unless you get it done at a salon, the cost is similarly low and lasts longer than shaving as it removes the hair at the roots. Shaving lasts about 2-4 days, while waxing may last up to 2 weeks before hair begins to show again.
Plucking is really for individual pieces of hair that are out of place, as it is too slow and painful to cover larger quantities of hair. Threading has gained popularity for shaping eyebrow hair. Threading can be performed at home, and some beauty salons offer it as a service.
An epilator is an electric device that grasps multiple hairs at a time and pulls its from the root. They are convenient and effective but may be more painful than other methods of hair removal. There is also an upfront cost of purchasing an epilator, but it is a one-time purchase.
Most hair removal creams are available over the counter. They dissolve the hair shaft, and are generally effective, but may cause skin irritation. Due to the chemicals in the cream, some may find the smell of the product unpleasant to use. When used on coarser hairs, depilatory creams can be less effective. Make sure that you read the instructions carefully about where you can use it, and how long you should leave it on. Other products like Vaniqa are prescription-only and are not included in this analysis.
Laser Hair Removal:
This is technically a form of hair reduction, not removal. Patients should expect to undergo several treatments. Individuals with dark hair will find more success with laser hair removal. The upfront costs are relatively high, but it may be a good option in the long-term to reduce the time spent on day to day hair removal.
This procedure is designed to destroy the hair follicle, making this a legitimately permanent hair removal. The upfront cost is high.