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.


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.


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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