We all know that keeping our bodies hairless in all the right places isn’t always easy. All hair removal methods have the potential for causing bumps, ingrown hair and irritation. If you suffer from any of these then now is a great time to consider your options when it comes to keeping your legs, underarms and bikini line smooth, bump free and hairless.
Shaving removes the hair at the skins surface by cutting it off with a razor. This means that the roots of the hair are still intact and the hair can grow back faster and even thicker than it was before.
Pros: It is inexpensive, painless and quick.
Cons: Regrowth happens quickly. There is the possibility of getting razor burns or cuts. If you shave regularly you can also become prone to ingrown hairs.
Cost: $, $$
My experience: Shaving worked well for me for years. Winter was great as I could go longer between each shave, but during Summer, when the skirts and shorts came out, I was required to share almost every second day. It was like the hair just kept growing back faster and thicker and darker each time, it was a never ending cycle. Shaving more often during Summer caused skin irritations and I started developing mini, red bumps on my legs and underarms. Eventually it got to a point where I discontinued my use of razors and started searching for other, more permanent, options. It’s been over 2 years since I stopped using a razor.
Epilators are quite similar to waxing as it removes the roots of the hair, leaving your skin hair free for longer. The epilator has lots of min tweezers attached to it and when you turn it on it rotates across you skin and plucks each individual piece of hair from your skin.
Although I used this less often than a razor, the process itself took a very long time and effort.
Pros: Temporarily removes the hair from the roots which can last for about 2-3 weeks of smooth and hairless skin.
Cons: It requires some regrowth in order for the epilator to work. You may have to wait until it has grown a little longer in order for the mini tweezers to grab the hair. If you use an epilator there is also a greater chance of getting ingrown hair. It can also be a little painful to begin with (I found this more painful than Laser Hair Removal) but it becomes more tolerable over time.
My experience: I started to get ingrown hair on my legs and underarms. It caused small pimples to appear from the ingrown hair which really irritated my skin and I also stopped using the epilator 2 years ago.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser penetrates the skin to target the hair shaft and inhibit hair growth. It essentially destroys the follicle, meaning it can achieve close to permanent hair removal. The hair in the treated areas tends to go white and falls out within 2-3 weeks. Laser hair removal works best for those with dark hair and light skin. The laser needs to be able to lock on to the dark pigment in order to differentiate the dark hair from the skin. It causes no damage to the dermis, so even the most sensitive skin can be treated. The time it takes during each treatment depends on the area being treated. Underarms can take just a couple mins whereas legs can take up to half an hour. You get a snapping sensation against the skin, but it isn’t painful.
Pros: It is great for long term hair removal. It is the most effective and cost-effective treatment, considering how much one can spend over a lifetime with options such as waxing
Cons: Although I didn’t feel any discomfort or pain, some may describe it as being painful. You may experience swelling in the hair glands after treatment but that subsides within a couple hours. You need to avoid sun exposure 2 weeks prior to treatment and 2 weeks after treatment. You may also be required to spend extra money on special formulated exfoliants and soothing gels to use after treatment – although it isn’t always necessary.
While it may seem expensive, in the long run, I considered it to be an investment in time and money. Over the past 2 years I have saved so much time and money by not being concerned with hair removal.
My experience: As soon as I noticed how irritated my skin was from the use of an epilator and shaving I discontinued using both and opted for a more permanent option. I started my first Laser Hair Removal treatments for my legs and underarm at Silk Laser Clinic in 2014 and it has been the best thing I have ever done. I have not touched a razor or epilator since and my skin is feeling amazing. I love how smooth and soft my skin feels and never waste time having to worry about hair removal. I no longer have any small bumps, ingrown hair or irritated skin. Although it is quite expensive ($$$$), you get 8 treatments and will start noticing results immediately. However, it doesn’t completely leave your skin completely hairless. If I look closely at my skin I can still see very fine pieces of hair around my knees, you can barely notice it. I would highly recommend getting this done if you are getting any small bumps, ingrown hair, your skin is irritated or you simply don’t like wasting so much of your time trying to remove hair. 2 years later and I am absolutely loving it. I have an IPL that I use about once every 2 months to go over my legs.
Intense Pulse Light (IPL)
I purchased the Philips Lumea Precision Plus from the Shaver Shop over a year ago. IPL works by applying pulses of light to the roots of the hair.
Pros: At home treatment for permanent hair removal.
Cons: You need a bit of patience before noticing results. The body is quite small and it takes a little longer to use it.
The price has dropped considerably since I bought it and you can find it here.
My experience: It actually works! You need to use it at least 4-6 time before you start noticing results. I have had Laser Hair Removal done 2 years ago and I use IPL once every second month now just for a touch up.