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Hair Removal - Pros and Cons

We all have unwanted hair that we are constantly removing. You may not have heard of these terms, but there are two methods of temporarily removing hair, depilation and epilation. What are they?

Depilation is the removal of hair at the skin or close to it. Its most common form is shaving, but can also include depilatories (products dissolving the hair). Epilation is removal of the entire hair from beneath the skin. Common methods are waxing, tweezing, sugaring, threading and epilation devices. Which method is the best way to get rid of your unwanted hair? Let's discuss the pros and cons of each.



Shaving is one of the most popular methods and can be very convenient and inexpensive. It is also helpful when a person has a very low pain tolerance since it is pain free. It might surprise you that shaving does not cause hair to grow back thicker. However, when you shave you remove the tip of the hair follicle, which is much thinner than the root. As a result, your hair may appear darker and coarser due to the blunt cut of the hair from the razor. Shaving can also irritate the skin and cause ingrown hairs. Those factors are dependent on the way each person's hair grows and individual skin sensitivities. Depilatories Depilatories are pain free and convenient as well. They can be used at home and take only minutes to remove hair. There are even various packaging methods and strengths to choose from for each body part. However, that can also be a con to a person who does not want to buy multiple products for different body parts. While most companies have improved the odor of the creams and gels, they still can be detectable and unpleasant. It is important to read the instructions before use so that skin irritation and burning does not occur. Testing a small patch of the skin is always recommended to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction in larger areas. Waxing

Wax allows you to remove hair from both large and small areas of skin, and over time hair can grow back lighter and weaker. Hair can take up to three weeks to grow back after waxing. But let's be honest, waxing does hurt. However, there are various formulas that can be used that make the pain easier to deal with. Wax does require proper technique to be used effectively and can cause skin irritation and burns when applied incorrectly. A professional is recommended which can become a costly expense. Also, it is important to remember, regrowth is needed (around 1/4 inch) in order for the wax to adhere, which can be inconvenient at times. Tweezing Tweezing is probably the most inexpensive temporary hair removal method of all mentioned here. You are also in full control of each hair that you are removing. People who have irritations from waxing are happy to have an alternative when removing hair. However, tweezing can be very time consuming and is best used on small areas of skin. It can also be very painful and cause inflammation and ingrown hairs. Sugaring

Sugaring has been around since ancient times and is a natural alternative to waxing. It has a consistency similar to wax but without the chemicals, preservatives and dyes. In fact, the recipe is so simple, it can be made with ingredients you may have at home right now. The natural ingredients also make it ideal for people with sensitive skin and allergies. Also, the risk of ingrown hairs are reduced with this method and hair only has to grow 1/16 of an inch to be able to be removed. Sugaring is also recommended to be done by a professional, which can make it a costly expense. The technique takes time to learn and when performed poorly can cause the hair to break and skin to become irritated. The process can be messy and is moderately painful. Threading Threading is also an ancient method of hair removal that is fast and simple. It gives great definition to the eyebrow and other areas of the face. Hair only needs to be 1/16 of an inch to be able to be removed. However, threading is ideal for the face and not larger areas of the body. Some say threading is more painful than waxing and similar in pain to tweezing. Redness and slight soreness can occur. Epilation Devices Epilators are becoming more popular and are pretty inexpensive. They are easy to travel with and can be used on most areas of the body including larger areas. Although, it may take longer to use initially, over time you can become more proficient with the device. Hair is removed with tiny rotating tweezers, which can be very painful and may cause ingrown hairs. Also, hair tends to break at the skin's surface.

Remember, one method may not be enough for every body part and multiple methods might be ideal. There are a lot of options to choose from and it might just take trial and error to find out which method works for you. Which temporary hair removal methods have you used? Which new methods do you want to try? Please let me know below and do not forget to subscribe.

Helpful Tips

  • Some temporary hair removal methods should be applied in the direction of hair growth and others the opposite direction of hair growth. Always read instructions beforehand to reduce irritation and ingrown hairs.

  • Gently exfoliating your skin 24-48 hours before and after most hair removal methods can minimize ingrown hairs.

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