Dare to Be Bare: Hair Removal and What Works Best

Short-term Removal
If you're tired of tweezing, consider threading.
If you're tired of tweezing, consider threading.
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There are a handful of easy and inexpensive ways to remove hair. Shaving is a relatively quick method to get your body beach-ready. It's mostly painless (save for a nick or two) and it covers the basics: legs, bikini line and armpits. The downside? You have to do it nearly every day to stay smooth. And there's the probability of ingrown hairs and occasional razor burn. For best results, exfoliate first with an at-home sugar scrub treatment, then shave. You may find it creates a smoother result.

Tweezing is the best route for a speedy eyebrow touch up, if you're a masochist. In all seriousness, tweezing is an effective way to get rid of tiny eyebrow hairs by pulling them out at the root, but it's fairly painful until you get used to it. A kinder alternative is threading, which uses small threads to wrap around the hair and pull it out. Threading lasts longer than tweezing. You'll only have to do it every two or three weeks, but this method will require a trip to the salon.

Waxing is a great alternative to shaving. The entire hair is pulled out so you stay smooth for three to six weeks. Your hair also grows back finer and lighter. But, waxing does have big drawbacks. You have to let the hair grow long enough to be gripped by the wax. So, if you're planning on having your underarms waxed, you'll have to sport some hair under there for a while. Pulling the hair out at the root is also painful and it leaves the follicle open, exposing you to infection. Hygienic procedures and a post-wax antibacterial lotion application are a must. You can buy at-home kits, but for hygiene purposes, you may want to consider going to a licensed professional.

And lastly, depilatories are creams that use a chemical compound to dissolve hair. If you leave them on too long, they can burn. If you have sensitive skin, they can be irritants. You'll have to use them nearly as often as you would otherwise shave, but you won't be left with nicks and scars.