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Hair Removal

Sunday, 21 June 2009 | Tags:

Our world is obsessed with hair. Whether you want to grow it, style it, maintain it, or remove it, there's a huge range of products to choose from. Hair removal is one of the more tedious hair tasks. For stubble-free legs and a smooth bikini line, the razor is the tool of choice for most. But is there something better out there?

The Basics

Aside from razors, there are four other commonly-used hair removal products:

  • Depilatories remove hair at the skin’s surface by dissolving the follicle. (Nair and Neet are popular products of this type that have been around for decades.)

    • Some are for use only on certain parts of the body. Most importantly, pay attention to products created specifically for sensitive areas like the face, bikini line, and underarms.

    • Also look for ingredients like baby oil, cocoa butter, or Vitamin E, which helps soothe any irritation that may occur.

    • Depilatory results last only about 4-7 days (longer than shaving). The procedure can be messy and smelly.

    • If you have coarse dark hair, it may take longer.

    • Be sure not to rub the product into your skin.

  • Wax removes hair from the root. It can be applied at a salon or at home.

    • Usually heated up, the wax is spread on your skin and a cloth strip it laid over top. Once the wax cools a bit, the cloth (and wax, holding onto your hair) is ripped off. It’s painful, but effective.

    • Most are made from a combination of beeswax, paraffin, oils, and resin. They can be hot or cold.

    • Hot waxes require warming up in a pot or microwave.

    • Cold wax still uses heat, but just from your body.

    • Waxing can be messy. Over the long term you may notice some low grade skin trauma.

  • Electrolysis involves visiting a clinic for a procedure where a needle is inserted into each hair shaft. An electric current passes through the needle into the hair bulb, destroying the hair.

    • It takes a long time and multiple visits, but it is permanent.

    • Electrolysis treatments aren’t regulated, so there can be a wide variation in quality, and complications can include scarring and infection.

    • Ask friends for recommendations and be sure the spa or clinic has strict cleanliness rules.

  • Laser hair removal is similar to electrolysis but is easier and much less painful compared to electrolysis and waxing.

    • It also takes multiple visits, and lasts several years.

    • Laser treatments are done by a doctor or are doctor-assisted.

TEST CRITERIA

We gathered up some hairy testers to help us try out a variety of hair removal products. On one leg, each tested one wax product. On the other leg, each tested one depilatory product.

Our test products: .  
  . .  
  • Andrea Pre-Waxed Strips: $11 (box of 16)
. . Well.ca
  • Wax A Way (sugar formula): $10
. .
  • Parissa Warm Wax: $11
. . Well.ca
  • Epil Stop: $8
. .
  • Nair: $5
. . Well.ca
  • Enleve: $6
. .

(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)  

Hair Removal Test

  • The Andrea pre-waxed strips were the easiest to use and least messy of the wax products. The results lasted more than a week.

  • Epil Stop didn’t work as well as the wax, and the hair started growing back in a few days.

  • Nair worked well and was easy to use. The results also only lasted a few days.

OUR TOP PICK

In general, the depilatories gave smooth results but were very messy and hard to both apply and remove. The waxes were painful, but the results lasted a lot longer. If you can stand the discomfort, we recommend wax for keeping you hair-free for longer.

 

 

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