The ultimate hair removal guide; What are the options available and which is best for you

The ultimate hair removal guide

Removal of body hair is nothing new and can be traced way back to ancient Rome and Egypt. Although body hair is vilified on women it actually serves a purpose and is not dirty despite the misconceptions associated with it.  Body hair helps regulate the body temperature as well as protect from the elements which are less important in modern times. The earliest methods of hair removal documented are shaving using copper tools, pumice stones there is even a proof of a sugar mixture similar to waxing used in ancient times! so women removing their body hairs is not new.

Currently, there are two main types of hair removal available, temporary and permanent hair removal. Temporary methods can be time-consuming because it needs to be repeated each time your hair regrows usually every 4-6 weeks. While permanent methods tend to last longer albeit not always forever (we will get into that later).

So depending on which part of your body you want to remain hairless, your pain threshold and finances, here are the currently available hair removal methods so you can decide which works best for your lifestyle.

Shaving

Shaving is one of the commonest, cheapest and most accessible methods you can use for hair removal. It is what most people use and is basically shaving off the hair at skin-level and can be done on multiple body parts either dry or wet.

Best for:

Legs, underarms, and the bikini line if f you’re not prone to, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs.

Benefits

  • Shaving is inexpensive and can be done at home at your own time.

Side effects

  • You can cut yourself you use a dull blade, so replace the blade regularly and lubricate your skin with a shave gel or foam.
  • The other common side effects are ingrown hairs and razor bumps which are more common with coily kinky hair.

Lasts:

2 – 3 days  because shaving only cuts the hair above your skin

Cost:

N450 – N2, 500 for a pack of razors depending on the brand so is very inexpensive

How to:

Using a new razor gently shave against the grain for legs and underarms. Shaving against the grain means doing so in the opposite direction that your hair grows because it will give you the smoothest shave.

Pain level: Painless as long as do not cut yourself

The ultimate hair removal guide;

Depilatory Creams

These are creams which remove hair from various parts of your body and work by dissolving the hair shaft. There are creams specifically targeted to different parts of the body and should be used only on the parts specified. So do not use a cream for legs on your face you won’t be happy with the results

Best for

Depilatory creams can be used for multiple body parts legs, bikini area, upper lip, and chin just make sure to use the right creams.

Benefits

  • Very smooth finish because the cream dissolves the hair slightly below the skin surface

Side effects

  • There is a danger of allergic reaction if you have a history or have sensitive skin, so test it first before you use.
  • Depilatory creams can cause burns if left on your skin for longer than recommended or if you use the wrong cream for that body part
  • They have an unpleasant smell as well.

Lasts:

2- 6 days .

Your skin will remain smoother for longer ,because it dissolves the hairs slightly below the surface level.

Cost

N2,500 –N3500 for a tube, which can be used at least 3 times depending on the areas being covered.

How to

Follow the directions on the package and smooth the product over the area you want hairless and wait for the stipulated time and wash off

Pain level: Painless but may have slight tingling sensation.

Epilation

The ultimate hair removal guide

This uses a device which works in a similar way to a shaving blade but removes the hairs from the root instead. Epilators remove hair in a similar way to waxing using an electrical device rather than mechanically.

Best for

Different parts of your body depending on the model and the type of attachment you choose.

Benefits

  • Epilators are long-lasting and no parts require regular replacement
  • Epilators come in multiple versions corded, rechargeable and battery-operated designs
  • They can be used either wet or dry.
  • Provide an extremely smooth shave and hairs regrow softer and finer with each session

Side effects

  • If not properly done the device can break the hairs instead of pulling them out this can cause ingrown hairs or become infected.
  • Pain is a drawback of epilation but if you can deal with discomfort, the results are worth it.

Lasts:

Up to 4 weeks depending on how fast your hair grows.

Cost

N11, 000 and above as it is a mid-range product and range in price from about

How to

Place the at a 90-degree angle to your skin and move it gently along your skin, not to fast or to slow. This process allows the device to grab all the hair in its path.

Pain level: Medium-high because you are pulling the hairs out from the root; however it tends to reduce with repeated use.

Hot Waxing

This method of hair removal removes hairs from the roots using warm, melted wax. Waxing is typically done in a spa but there are also home kits available.

Best for

Waxing works best in small areas such as the upper lips, eyebrows, and bikini area but can also be used on your legs.

Benefits

  • This lasts longer than other types of hair removal
  • The hairs grow back thinner and finer when they grow back

Side effects

  • It can result in burns if the wax is not properly applied.
  • It can cause ingrown hairs, in the bikini area and you can minimize this by exfoliating before waxing.
  • There an increased risk of bacterial infection from the applicator if you double-dip into the wax so use a new stick each time.
  • Waxing should not be done if you are currently using prescription acne creams such as Retin-A or take isotretinoin (Accutane)

Lasts:

2- 6 weeks because the hairs are removed at the follicle,

Cost

N6,000 –N55,000 depending on the body part  but you can use cheaper home waxing kits

How to

Do not shave before you wax because your hair needs to be at least one-quarter inch long, to give the wax some grip. Make sure you exfoliate the area using a body scrub to prevent ingrown hairs. Hot wax is applied to the skin in strips, in the same direction as your hair grows then pulled off in the opposite direction.

Pain level: High, The waxing process is painful because the hairs are pulled out at the root. Try to avoid waxing during your period because your skin is much more sensitive and it may be more painful.

Sugaring

Sugaring is a Middle Eastern hair removal technique which has recently gained popularity. It is similar to waxing and as the name implies uses sugar, lemon juice and water paste to remove hair.  A sugar paste is spread on the skin, in the opposite direction of hair growth and pulled off in the direction of hair growth. This is unlike waxing which does the opposite.

Best for

It can be used on any part of the body eg the legs, bikini area, and face.

Benefits

  • It is gentler on the skin than waxing so you can go over an area multiple times with no risk of injuries or infection.
  • Sugar is suitable for sensitive skin since the ingredients are natural and unlikely to cause allergic breakouts.

Side effects

  • No side effects apart from basic irritation, since the ingredients are natural so should work well with sensitive skin.

Lasts

3- 6 weeks before the hair grows back.

Pain level: Medium pain levels. This is because the hairs are pulled in the direction of growth, unlike waxing which is against growth.

Cost

N10, 000 and above depending on the area covered, but you can also try it at home if you have the guts.

Threading

The ultimate hair removal guide

Threading is a traditional Indian /Middle Eastern method of hair removal using strings twisted in a pattern to pull out unwanted hair.

Best for

Small areas like the eyebrows and upper lip and the face

Benefits

  • Sanitary and safe even for sensitive skin, although it can cause some irritation, as the root plucks out several hairs at the same time.
  • There is no chance of allergies or irritation since no chemicals are applied to the skin

Side effects

  • Frequent threading can damage the hair follicle and stop growing hair
  • If done incorrectly, the hairs can break causing ingrown hairs.
  • There is a chance of irritation if because you often have to go over the same area multiple

Lasts:

Up to 6 weeks

Cost

 N6000 upwards depending on the area covered

How to

In threading, a thin cotton thread is doubled and rolled over areas of unwanted hair, plucking the hair from the root.

Pain level: Low to Medium – But this depends on your pain threshold

Laser Hair Removal

This is one of the longest-lasting methods, which generally requires four or more treatments 4-6 weeks apart. Unfortunately, it is only effective on dark hair because it targets the pigment in the hair follicle with the heat from the laser damaging them to prevent future hair growth. This means it will not work on white or blonde hair and can burn dark skin.

Best for

Laser hair removal can on any part of the body but is best suited for smaller areas,

Benefits

It provides semi-permanent hair reduction is you complete all the required sessions are completed.

Side effects

  • Can cause burns and result in pigmentation problems if used by a less skilled technician.

Lasts

6 months -within six months (doing monthly treatments) most women see about a 50 per cent reduction in hair growth but requires maintenance

Pain level: Mild – The pain from laser hair removal is described as a burning sensation or pricking sensation

Cost

N40,000 per session – It is expensive and needs multiple sessions

How to

A technician uses a laser to destroy the hair follicles at the roots, it requires at least 6 to 12 sessions for optimal results

Electrolysis

This is the only FDA approved permanent method of hair removal. Here the hair follicle is destroyed by passing an electrical current directly into the hair follicle using a metal probe. The full effect of electrolysis requires at least 3 treatments 4-6 weeks apart.

Best for

Smaller areas like the face or bikini line the current is applied to each follicle one at a time

Benefits

  • Permanent hair removal if done properly
  • Used for  all hair types irrespective of colour
  • it does not require maintenance if you complete all your sessions

Side effects

  • Possibility of burns and scarring if done improperly

Lasts

It is the only permanent hair removal session!  as long as you complete the required sessions.

Cost

N40, 000- N80, 000 this varies on the location and areas covered

How to

Electrolysis is done by placing a tiny probe into a hair follicle and passing an electrical into the follicle which damages it.

Pain level: Medium-High which depends on your pain threshold and the pain is described as a stinging sensation

So those are the hair removal methods available, which of this do you use? and has this given you an idea on a new method you would like to use in the future? Let me know in the comments

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