Shave, Wax, or Tweeze – Which Hair Removal Technique Is Best?
The demand for hair removal from both men and women alike has grown immensely over the last couple of decades; making it one of the fastest growing segments within the cosmetic industry. Today there are many options for getting rid of unwanted body and facial hair beyond traditional shaving. Alternatives like waxing, tweezing, and laser hair removal may actually be more effective for hair removal on different body areas or for people who have different skin types.
Here is a breakdown of today’s most popular hair removal techniques including their benefits and drawbacks.
Gaining popularity after World War II, shaving with a razor is by far the most prevalent and cheapest hair removal method available. While being relatively non-painful, the act of shaving can result in painful nicks, cuts, or razor burn (skin irritation) especially if it is done incorrectly. Recently we did a great post on how to shave the right way. Learn how to reduce razor burn and irritation here.
Shaving works best on the underarms and legs, but it’s not the best choice for facial areas (upper lip, chin, brows) or the bikini line as shaving results in the quick development of stubble (usually within 1-3 days of shaving). Shaving is also a short term solution as most individuals will experience complete hair regrowth within a week.
Waxing removes hair by pulling it from the root. The process consists of applying a resign to the skin which binds to both the hair and a strip of cloth. The cloth is then pulled off (typically in the opposite direction of hair growth) removing the hair.
Waxing is a great alternative to shaving for the legs and bikini area as hair takes longer to regrow (and when it does its usually thinner). With waxing there is no stubble development. Best of all most people will be hair free for 3-6 weeks.
The downside to waxing is pain: especially your first treatment. However many people report that subsequent treatments, especially if regularly done, tend to hurt far less.
Tweezing is mostly used for shaping the eyebrows; in fact it’s a less painful and just as effective alternative than waxing. Be sure to use a professional set of tweezers, which will minimize pain. Another great tip is to have a professional perform your first tweezing in order to get an optimal brow shape. Then you can perform regular maintenance tweezing following their lines.
Threading is an ancient Middle Eastern hair removal technique that has gained recent popularity. A strand of thread is doubled-up and then twisted around individual hairs before being pulled from the root. The procedure is best for the eyebrow area, chin and upper lip. Threading is converting a lot of individuals away from waxing as it provides the result in less time (sessions usually take 5-10 minutes compared to 20 minutes for waxing).
Laser Hair Removal
Laser based hair removal is a great alternative for people looking for a long term solution. With laser hair removal infrared light targets the pigment in the hair follicle and converts it into heat, which causes follicular destruction. The result is the removal of current hair and the prevention of hair regrowth.
Laser hair removal can be performed on all parts of the body including the cheeks, lip, legs, arms, underarms, and back, as well as sensitive areas like the bikini line and chest. For optimal effectiveness we recommend patients getting 6 treatments spaced 6-10 weeks apart.
Laser hair removal is less painful than waxing; patients usually compare it to the feeling of a rubber band snap on the skin. The treatments are usually quick with sessions taking about 10 minutes.