Unwanted body hair is a modern dilemma that affects every person, especially women. The societal pressure for women to remove their body hair is an issue in and of itself. But, for those that choose to remove their unwanted hair, deciding how to do that can actually be more complicated than it seems. We break down the top three methods of hair removal so you see what works… and the answer may surprise you!
You would be hard pressed to find a woman who didn’t start her hair removal journey with shaving. Shaving with a traditional razor is considered the most classic, and easiest form of hair removal out there. But, it’s not without its flaws. So, what are some of the pros of shaving?
The Upsides to Shaving:
The process of shaving is super quick. Unwanted hair is removed within 10 minutes while taking a shower, or a quick touchup before work or a date.
- Shaving is painless if done correctly. By using a barrier like shaving cream, traditional body wash, or a shaving oil, the removal process is easy on the nerves.
- Razors come in all shapes, sizes, the number of blades, and price points, which makes it one of the more accessible options for those with differing skin types and budgets.
The Downsides to Shaving:
- Razors can sometimes cause the hair follicle to change its growth direction, which can leave the hair trapped under the skin. This can cause ingrown hairs to happen. Ingrown hairs are more prevalent in places where hair is thick and/or coarse. One way to help avoid ingrown hairs is to exfoliate and moisturize the shaved area.
- Those with extra sensitive skin may find the areas where they’ve shaved are easily irritated and can get something called “razor burn.” It appears like small red bumps and disappears within a few hours, but is uncomfortable. One way to help avoid razor burn is to moisturize as soon as you’ve finished shaving.
- Shaving is a quick fix to hair removal and will only last up to a week, at maximum. Quick Tip: Hair sometimes grows faster during and right before your period.
Hot wax. Hard wax. Sugaring. There is no shortage of ways to wax off that unwanted body hair. Is it better or worse than shaving? You decide!
Why You Should Wax:
- Waxing lasts MUCH longer than shaving. Estheticians will usually give a timeframe of 4-5 weeks between appointments. Hair will usually start to grow back anytime after 2.5-3 weeks.
- Ingrown hairs will decrease rapidly with waxing over shaving.
- Waxing can remove stubborn hairs from hard to reach places.
- While it’s best to go to an esthetician to have your waxing done, many places such as nail and hair salons will also have waxing services available.
Why You Shouldn’t Wax:
- It’s probably going to be painful. While the level of pain can vary from person to person, at the end of the day you are still ripping the hair from the follicle, and it’s hard to do that without a little wincing.
- Some with more sensitive skin may find themselves having a reaction to the hot wax. Before you have an entire area done, especially in those super-sensitive regions, ask to have a small patch test done. Once that is done, wait 15 minutes to see how your skin handles the wax.
- One of the great aspects of shaving in the shower is the privacy that comes with it. When going to a waxing center, some of your more private areas are very exposed, which can be awkward for some.
- The cost of waxing can add up. Depending on the area and the frequency, waxing can take a small portion of your self-care budget. (For example, Brazilian waxes can range anywhere from $45-$70 per treatment.) You can save some money by waxing at-home, though the results may not be as good as using a professional.
Laser Hair Removal
Maybe you’re tired of shaving and waxing and are looking for a more permanent hair removal option. Lucky for you, laser hair removal is a popular, safe, and effective way to remove that hair and keep it away for good. But, it’s not for everybody. What should you know about laser hair removal?
Yes To Lasers:
- Laser hair removal almost completely eliminates the need to shave or wax. With typically over 90% hair removal in 3-6 sessions, the need to shave or wax is non-existent for most people.
- Laser treatment may sound scary-painful, but most women who have undergone the procedure report having very little to no pain. (This is described most commonly as a slight pinching or pricking feeling.)
(Possibly) No To Lasers:
- Treatments may be costly, depending on how frequently you need to remove unwanted hair. Do the math. If paying for a laser treatment does not outweigh the cost of shaving/waxing for the rest of your life, then it could actually work in your favor.
- Your hair may be too light. Even though lasers are getting better and more accurate, for those with extremely light hair, laser treatment may be a no-go.
- It can be a long process. Though the procedures themselves are fairly quick, depending on the area, it usually takes multiple sessions with a general wait time of six weeks between treatments. But just like with cost, if you work that out over the course of your lifetime, it may actually be LESS time than with shaving or waxing.
How to Choose The Right Laser Hair Removal System?
At Miami Center of Excellence, we have the most innovative and distinctive laser hair removal system on the market today. The Cutera CoolGlide is made for all skin types and tones — light to dark, and even including our tanned patients. The Cutera CoolGlide uses a longer wavelength and an innovative cooling design to allow safe, effective, and permanent results.
The CoolGlide uses a handpiece that cools as it glides along your skin. It can remove hair from all parts of the body including the face, arms and legs, underarms, and back, and it is also approved to treat sensitive areas like the bikini line, nipples and areola, and chest. Some patients may experience a mild pinching or stinging sensation, which can be calmed by a local or topical anesthetic.
The CoolGlide system works by disabling the hair that is in the active growth phase at the time of the treatment. Since other hairs will be at the active growth phase at different times, additional treatments are usually necessary to disable all the hair follicles in any given area. Most areas will require 3-6 treatments, and long-term benefits depend on hair thickness, the area being treated, and your hair’s growth cycle.
Thinking of switching from shaving or waxing to a more permanent solution? Contact the medical professionals at Miami Center of Excellence to see if the Cutera CoolGlide system will work for you.