It is time to shed your winter coat and let your legs, and other assets, see the sun. Before you galivant on the beach or at the pool, let’s chat about hair. No, not the flowing locks on your head. The hair that is growing in all the unwanted places. Buckle up buttercup, things are about to get a little hairy with these 7 options for removal of hair.
Summertime is the season of vacations, weddings, family trips, beach days, lazy days by the pool, shorts, skirts, and fresh faces. What do all these things have in common? Fewer clothes and more attention to your skin’s appearance. Stay cool, calm, and collected. Your wedding night will be silky soft and your beach days smooth sailing. By looking at all the options for the removal of hair, you can decide what best meets your needs, schedule, and skin.
First things first: exfoliate. Per the Cleveland Clinic, take an extra few minutes before grabbing the razor to exfoliate the dirt, grime, and dead skin cells off your skin. This will reduce the chances of your razor becoming clogged up with all that extra junk and dulling the blade. A sharp blade helps cut hair effortlessly, increasing your chances of avoiding nicks and cuts. After exfoliating, let your hair-covered skin soak and soften in warm water. Taking a few relaxing minutes in the bath or waiting until the end of your shower routine to shave can help make the hair and skin soft and easier to shave.
Here is a PSA (public service announcement) if we have ever heard one: there is a right way to shave. You are probably looking puzzled at this point. Think about it. When it was time to learn how to shave your legs, underarms, and especially the bikini area, there probably was no formal training or in-service. Most likely you stumbled across a razor and thought, “this is a good idea”. After all, you didn’t want to be the Sasquatch of the group.
What you may have not been told is that you should have been shaving downward in the direction that the hair lays on the skin, instead of against it. If you are asking, yes, we have been doing it wrong all this time. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, shaving downward can reduce irritation, ingrown hairs, and whoopsies with the razor. Don’t feel bad if you had no idea, you are not alone.
Let’s take a deeper look at shaving. When you shave you are cutting hair at the surface level. This means that it will not take long for hair to reappear and feel prickly much sooner than you had hoped. If you are looking for a longer-lasting technique, this is not it. Not only that but some sensitive places, the ones that don’t see much sun, can be a little difficult to shave.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association gives a few helpful hints for avoiding irritation and infection. Soap-suds aren’t gonna cut it. Shaving cream is absolutely necessary to avoid nicks and cuts. Toss out your disposable razor and/or blade after about 5 shaves. Be sure to cleanse the blade after each shaving stroke and store the blade in a clean and dry place to avoid bacteria. NEVER EVER share razors with ANYONE else! For one, that is gross, and two, it can increase your risk of infectious disease and infection.
Shaving does offer plenty of benefits for the removal of hair. You can do it from the privacy of your own home (unless you have kids) or on the go, it’s cheap (in comparison), it’s easy, and you can shave last minute if need be. Be sure to invest in a great, not good, razor. If you are wanting to pinch pennies (as most of us do) this is not the place to cheap out. Not to say you should spend a fortune, but if you found that razor in the dollar bin you should probably put it right back.
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AHHHHH, Kelly Clarkson. That’s what we think of every time too. While waxing may seem a bit like an interrogation method, it is much more effective and longer-lasting than shaving. Rather than just taking a bit off the top, waxing pulls the hair out by the root meaning a longer, smoother feel. The hair does need to be a little longer to get started, 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch for the wax to grab onto it.
Ever heard the saying “pain is beauty”? Yeah, they must have just had something waxed. Waxing can be a bit abrasive to the skin for the removal of hair, so be sure to give your skin a little tender loving care with a cool compress and an oil-free moisturizer according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
Waxing typically lasts a couple of weeks to a month. Everyone’s hair grows at different rates and has a different texture. You can definitely take this task on at home or at a spa by a trained professional. Be sure that either way the wax is clean by not double-dipping the wooden sticks into the wax. “One dip and then quit” is a great rule of thumb for waxing and queso dip and chips.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association also warns that you should not wax sunburned or sensitive areas. Use caution to not burn the skin with hot wax and avoid waxing if you are taking certain medications that cause the skin to become thin such as retinoids. If you are unsure about this option for the removal of hair, ask your healthcare provider.
Laser removal is not just for celebrities. Believe it or not, it is much more common than you may realize. There are even at-home lasers. If you are asking for the science behind it, here it is: the laser acts on the hair itself. According to the Clevland Clinic, the laser targets the melanin in the hair, damaging the hair and then the follicle. Because of this, people with lighter skin and darker hair will have better results, whereas, people with increased melanin in their skin may need more treatments for the removal of hair.
The best way to improve the function of the laser is to let your hair grow out a little so that the laser can better target it during the treatment. Here is the scoop: laser hair removal is considered permanent for the removal of hair but it not a one-time thing. Initially, you will need a few treatments and you may need maintenance sessions periodically.
Laser hair removal as removal of hair option can be a bit uncomfortable to some. The good news is that it can be used on a variety of hairy places, like the bikini line, underarms, face, and more. Be sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions or see a trained professional in order to prevent burns, blisters, scarring, and hyperpigmentation according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. Before you pull the laser trigger, consult with a dermatologist to see if laser hair removal is the right option for your skin and the removal of hair.
Plucking, aka, the stoplight procedure for the removal of hair. Seriously, plucking those tiny, annoying, fine hairs is best done in natural light with a mirror. Insert the car visor mirror here. In all seriousness, plucking hair can be uncomfortable, tedious, time-consuming, and difficult. It’s great for a rogue hair here and there, but there is better removal of hair options for large hair-covered areas or places that need to be shaped.
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Depilatory cream is a fancy name for creams, gels, or lotions that are used for the removal of hair. Ya know, the ones you probably started off with during your younger years. Simply follow the directions on the product to leave you feeling smooth. If you decide to go this route for removal of hair, light some sweet-smelling candles for your at-home spa treatment as the smell from these products is often a little funky.
Hold up! The American Academy of Dermatology Association says to be sure to give the product a test run on a small area of your skin to be sure that you do not have a reaction, stinging/burning, or undesirable skin irritation. If these occur, cleanse your skin thoroughly and steer clear of that depilatory for the removal of hair.
Threading was all the rage not too long ago for the removal of hair. This technique, often used for shaping eyebrows, became popular because it is quick, removes many hairs at once, and causes less discomfort and skin irritation than waxing. Don’t get too excited, this technique is best for small areas like the eyebrows. Much like plucking, the results will last about a month since you are removing the hair at the root. Threads are twisted together and moved along the skin to remove unwanted hair, even the tiny little fuzzy ones. Not only will your eyebrows look on point but your makeup will lay evenly on your skin and look flawless.
Electrolysis is the boss of the removal of hair. This technique targets the hair follicle itself and is considered permanent after a couple of sessions. The American Academy of Dermatology Association states that it even works on the lightest colors of hair. Sounds ideal right? Here is the catch: Electrolysis, if not performed safely, can result in scars, burns, and all kinds of unwanted issues. To be safe, a board-certified dermatologist or electrologist should deliver this removal of hair technique.
It’s fine if you had a hairy past. The future looks bright and lustrous. Remember when you are deciding on what is best for you and your removal of hair, safety first! There is lots of opportunity for injury and infection. Take sound advice from the American Academy of Dermatology Association and consult a board-certified dermatologist before deciding on your removal of hair choice. An evaluation of your skin, your hair, your medications, and your skincare routine can prevent complications and enhance results.
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