Hair removal - what are your options?

Naomi Jones shares more secrets from the salon with her hair removal options

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It’s that time of the year when we think about ditching the tights and boots in favour of pretty dresses and sassy shorts but ultimately that means showing some skin and, let’s be honest, most likely hairy skin that we’ve been hiding all winter.

Hair removal has to be the most inconvenient and time-consuming of all beauty rituals. We are relentless in our effort to achieve smooth, hairless skin all over our body. We use an array of different implements on various body parts, from tweezing our brows and bleaching our top lip to shaving our legs and waxing our bikini area. A recent study revealed that women in the UK spend an average of 72 days in their lifetime shaving their legs.

Every hair removal regime is personal to the individual depending on where you want to remove hair, how thick your hair is, or how fast it grows back. So let’s take a look at our options…

Waxing
A semi-permanent method of hair removal. There are two main types of wax, hot or warm. In both cases the wax is applied to the skin and then removed quickly to leave hair-free skin for around six weeks. Waxing comes with a serious ouch reputation but the pain is brief and the long-lasting effects are just one of the reasons why this method has become a firm favourite. The benefits of waxing are comprehensive as, other than eyelash and head hair, this method can be used all over. Although home waxing is possible, for best results go to a professional waxer.

Laser 
Having just embarked on this permanent method of hair removal myself, I can honestly say it is not painful and, after only two treatments, some of the hair has already disappeared! This cosmetic procedure uses a powerful laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) to remove unwanted hair. This light source heats and destroys hair follicles in the skin, which disrupts hair growth. Common areas to treat are the face, legs, arms, underarms and bikini line.

Threading
Threading is an ancient technique widely used in India and the Middle East. This method of hair removal, in which unwanted hairs are plucked out by using a twisted cotton thread, is kind to the skin as no product is used. The results last for around four weeks, as with tweezing. Threading is mainly used for facial areas such as eyebrows and the lip.

Hair removal cream
This simple, cost-effective method is perfect for those just starting to remove body hair and great for home use. The product works by chemicals breaking down the hair so reading the label is essential. In the world of hair removal options depilatory creams are hands down the least painful and, unlike shaving, there’s no risk of actual bloodshed. These creams can be used to remove hair in large areas or in trickier, hard-to-reach places and are a great starting option for those wanting to remove hair for the first time. The results only last a few days.

Shaving
There's a reason why some methods become the most popular. Cheap, easy and quick to use, shaving is the busy girl's fuss-free solution. Just mind the sharp blades! Shaving can be used almost anywhere on the body but can dry out the skin quickly so it’s wise to follow with moisturiser. Shaving doesn’t last long and will depend on individual hair growth patterns. Typically you can expect results to last between one to three days.

Epilating
Epilating, like waxing, is when you pull the hair out from the root to stunt the regrowth and achieve longer-lasting smoothness. An epilator looks a bit like an electric shaver but with wheels that spin and a tweezer mechanism that plucks out hair when pressed against the skin. Epilation works by gently plucking hair from the root with a series of tweezers which can grab the smallest of hairs. Epilation lasts for around 4 weeks.

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