Hair, Beware!

Though it may seem that winter will never end, spring (and spring break!) is just around the corner.

With that in mind, this guide will help you choose the best method for removing that unruly hair that’s been hibernating beneath your clothes for months.

Tweezing

Best spots: Eyebrows
Frequency: Any time

Pros: Tweezing is an inexpensive, convenient method for hair removal. A good tweezer can last for years, and it’s great for touching up in between major hair removal procedures.
Cons:
Tweezing is notoriously painful and time-consuming, as it involves removing each hair one by one. Though there are quick tricks you can use to ease the pain (such as plucking after a hot shower), the process takes time if you want to get it right. Knowing the shape of your eyebrows is a must, so start with a professional shaping.

Wax

Best for: Bikini, Arms, Legs, and Face
Frequency: Every three to six weeks

Pros: Waxing is a popular go-to method for hair removal because it is accurate and quick, removing huge areas of hair with a single rip (ouch!). It can be done virtually anywhere on the body, including that ultra-sensitive bikini area. And for those brave souls with packed schedules, home waxing kits are available.
Cons: It’s not uncommon to have adverse reactions to the chemicals in the wax, so if you have sensitive skin or skin allergies, test the wax on a small area first. Also, wax is not water-soluble, so you’ll need baby oil or lotion to remove excess wax from the skin. If waxing isn’t done properly, it can lead to painful and unsightly ingrown hairs, so do your research on spas and technicians.

Threading

Best for: Eyebrows and Upper Lip
Frequency: Every four to six weeks or whenever needed

Pros: Threading is an excellent chemical-free alternative to waxing and is generally a quick process (eyebrows usually take 10 minutes). Since it only involves a thread, it’s a great option for those with skin allergies.
Cons: Though much quicker than plucking, threading is no match for waxing in terms of amount of hair removed at a time. In fact, some technicians combine threading and waxing to remove the most hair effectively. Threading can still be quite painful and is not recommended for those with very sensitive skin.

Sugaring

Best for: Bikini, Arms, Legs, and Face
Frequency: Every three to six weeks

Pros: Sugaring is just like waxing, only the paste consists of natural ingredients such as water, sugar and lemon juice, making it great for those with skin allergies, and the residue is easily cleaned off with warm water. Sugar paste is removed in the direction of hair growth, lessening the pain.
Cons: If done at home, sugaring, like waxing, can get quite messy. Since sugaring gel and paste are tricky to work with, they are recommended only for the very experienced. Although the possibility of ingrown hairs is reduced with sugaring, it still remains a problem.

Depilatory Creams

Best for: Face, Arms, Legs
Frequency: Any time

Pros: Depilatory creams are inexpensive and specifically made for home use. Powerful formulas promise hair removal in sometimes as little as three minutes, making it ideal for those last-minute jobs. Creams can remove a large area of hair at once without the cringe-inducing pain of waxing, and some can even be rinsed off in the shower.
Pros: Depilatory creams are primarily made of chemicals that are generally harsh and drying to the skin, and applying a depilatory cream is pretty messy. Creams do not remove the hair from the follicle like waxing or sugaring, so expect to use creams frequently.

Laser

Best for: Anywhere
Frequency: Depends on the procedure, usually every four to six weeks until results are achieved

Pros: Since it’s a non-invasive procedure, laser hair removal is virtually painless and sessions last as long as the average lunch break. Most laser procedures promise to eliminate the need for shaving or waxing, although it takes weeks, even months, to see these results.
Cons: Laser hair removal is expensive, and it takes many sessions to see visible results. Lasers only target active follicles, so although they zap large areas of hair at a time, the laser does not affect every hair during a single session. Laser hair removal is not recommended for those with darker skin, as lasers can change skin pigmentation.

Epilators

Best for: Anywhere
Frequency: Any time, usually every four to six weeks

Pros: A good epilator can last a long time, and usually costs the same as a one-time waxing session. Epilators are made for specific parts of the body, and some have sleek, purse-friendly designs.
Cons: Epilators take a bit more time to remove hair than alternative procedures, and are usually not as accurate in removing hair. Some epilators do not remove hair from the follicle, effectively working in the same way as traditional shaving.