As mammals, humans naturally have a varying amount of body hair. Unfortunately, this hair is often not fashionable and can be downright annoying. Throughout history, men and women have been using many different methods to eliminate unsightly arm and leg hair. But what is the best way to remove unwanted body hair?
Ultimately, there are four choices you can choose from- Shaving, waxing, creams, and permanent laser removal.
Shaving- How to do it properly?
Men and women have different experiences with shaving. While men are typically encouraged to just shave the neck and face, women face extreme social pressure to regularly attend to their legs, arms, armpits, groin, and even stomach. This means the sexes approach this method with different levels of expertise.
If you want to shave properly and avoid rashes, irritation, and ingrown hairs, you need a couple of supplies: scissors, shaving cream, and a sharpened razor.
First, you need to trim hairs that are exceptionally long, especially if you have never shaved before. This step is highly encouraged for men who want to remove armpit or chest hair. It stops the razor from becoming clogged.
Second, wet the desired area and then apply a thin layer of shaving cream. It helps soothe and prepare the skin, so the razor doesn’t damage it. To remove hair, use a sharp razor and carefully drag it against the grain in the desired area.
It is usually a good idea to moisturize, but it is still possible to experience razor burn or ingrown hairs.
Waxing- How to wax body hair properly?
Did you know the ancient Egyptians and others employed a method similar to waxing called sugaring? Both procedures employ the same basic principle of using a sticky substance to pull and remove hair follicles.
During waxing, you cover the desired area with warm wax and allow it to dry.
You then take a strip of fabric, lay it over the wax, and pull in a sharp motion. This rips the hair follicle out, leaving behind a smooth leg. Sugaring is similar but uses a more mild substance.
The effects of waxing last longer than shaving, and it is rare to get an ingrown hair. The downside is the pain and potential irritation of the skin from the tugging on the hair.
Inexperienced people can also burn themselves.
Hair Removal Cream
Hair removal creams became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s and are still considered by people who don’t want to mess with other body hair treatments. The proper term for these products is “depilatory.”
Inside each cream is a potent chemical mixture containing ingredients like sodium thioglycolate, calcium thioglycolate, and strontium sulfide.
These ingredients are strong alkalines that destroy the hair’s natural protein structure while leaving the skin alone. Over a few minutes, the cream completely deconstructs the hairs, essentially turning them into jelly.
People like using hair removal creams because they are excellent for spot treatments. The cream just needs to be applied to an area and allowed to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. It can then be wiped away to reveal hairless skin underneath. Plus, the creams are inexpensive.
Using a depilatory product does have some negative side effects, though. People have been known to give themselves chemical burns by leaving the product on too long or using one near the groin.
The results are also short-lived.
Laser Hair Removal
Lasers are the most technologically advanced way to remove unwanted body hair. Special machines generate a concentrated beam of light that is targeted at the body to destroy strands and follicles.
The principle behind the treatment is that only the pigment in the hair will absorb the light, not the pigment of the skin. The hair then starts to break down and disintegrate, leaving behind smooth skin.
While this procedure used to be done at licensed salons, it is now possible to do at home. You can now target your own body hair with a laser device, although it’s important to know that certain lasers do not work well on light-colored hair with little pigment – i.e. white, red, gray, and blonde.
Individuals looking for a semi-permanent hair removal solution would find lasers to be the best option. It takes a short amount of time but lasts for months.
The only downside is finding a laser that works well with your skin type (and hair color).
When you’re trying to find the best way to remove unwanted body hair, you might get frustrated fast. Luckily, you have several different options at your disposal. Whether you choose to use traditional razors, get waxed, use a hair removal cream, or stick to lasers, you can get the silky smooth skin you want fast. Just remember to check out the different risks and warnings associated with each one.