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Which hair removing method is the one for you? Part 1

3:01 PM

Hair removal is a part of everyone's beauty regimen, whether or not they cleanse and moisturize everyday. For most of us, it's a hassle, especially in the beginning. If you visit the salon every 15 days, it's not a hassle but it comes at a high cost and sometimes burning or itching or leaving you with half an eyebrow. Of course, mistakes can occur at home as well, but know that all you need is practice. It might go wrong the first few times, but with practice, you can become as good as the pros. If you are one who would never do it yourself, it's recommended to find a good stylist and stick to her. Also, the same person doesn't have to do everything. If you find that your stylist cuts your hair satisfactorily but leaves you with an irritated skin after waxing, it's time to be honest with her and find a good waxer.

Then why do it at home? Well, there are people who complain of infections after a salon wax. It can happen, as the same application stick is used on several people. This has never happened with me though. I just dislike visiting salons, someone touching me and pulling my head or legs in any direction they wish to. Like some people prefer to eat food cooked at home, I feel I should do my grooming myself.

There are logical reasons behind it too. Removing hair gets rid of some of the dead skin cells, but waxing also strips some live skin cells, perhaps it's the reason I've never really liked my skin after waxing. I don't want to spoil my skin to remove hair when there are other methods available. Having sensitive skin is another reason. It gets red after waxing and sometimes blackheads develop after threading. Threading isn't a bad method though. It's natural, done using a cotton thread and nothing else. Some beauticians cause me no pain or blackheads post threading. Sugar waxing is a natural alternative to waxing, it doesn't strip any live skin cells and unlike waxing, sugar waxing doesn't require hair to be at least 1/4th inch in length. It's messy though.

Now, I'll come to the methods which can be done at home without creating any mess. Though threading can be done as well, using a self-hold machine threader. Tweezing is a common way to remove hair. In it, you pluck each hair, strand by strand. Best for areas with few hair, like eyebrows. It's quite painful, but you don't need to do it more than twice a month. Some women might get away with doing it once a month. And if you use the right products after it, the pain won't last long. To reduce the pain, pop a painkiller half an hour before any kind of hair removal.

The method that I use is a depilatory cream. I had tried them years ago, but wasn't satisfied with the results, including that of Veet. But recently I tried Veet Suprem' Essence and I'm very happy with the results. It clearly says "not to be used on face or private parts" but even though I used it on my face, it caused no harm. Hair removal creams are better to be used on fine hair, as the effect lasts longer. While tweezing can only be done on coarse hair, fine hair is hard to pluck. What I like most about hair removing creams is that you are not required to wait for the hair to be long. No matter how short they are, hair removing creams remove them all! No pain either. Though it can cause redness or irritation if left too long. To make the effect of hair removing creams last longer, use a razor after keeping the cream on your skin for 5 minutes. If you use the cream to remove fine hair with a razor, you would be relieved for at least 15 days. I prefer to use a razor designed for women, Gilette Venus, which has a moisture strip. Given the way this razor looks and bends, you would feel less like you are doing a manly activity. Most women rate it as one of their favorite razors.

Women who are dissatisfied with any hair removing method they use, are probably skipping a step or two. It's not just about what you do while removing hair, it's also what you do before and after it that matters. If you don't do anything before and after hair removal, you need to do it more often and are often left with skin irritation and burns. Prepare your skin by exfoliating at least a day before removing hair. Best to be done right before it. Soften the hair with warm (not hot) water. Make sure you don't have goosebumps if you are shaving(usually happens when you are feeling cold). I don't wet the area with warm water before using Veet, but it's advisable to do it if you are using a shaving cream. Best to remove hair in sunlight, but if that's not an option for you, choose the area with the brightest light. Before you start, keep water, a cloth and one or more of these by your side:

  • Lacto calamine
  • Baby oil
  • After waxing and threading gel or lotion
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Cold cream
  • Ointment for burns and cuts or something like no nix styptic pencil, used by men for cuts caused by shaving
  • Ice
The above are to be applied after removing hair. Lacto calamine makes sure I don't get blackheads after threading, but it's not enough after using Veet. Baby oil did the trick. The reason for keeping them at your disposal before you begin is that hair removal can often go wrong. It can cause irritation, in which case you need to take the product off immediately. It can also be messy. Never remove hair in a hurry. If you have wax on your skin, remove it with a wet towel. If it still remains, use a mixture of lemon and warm water. You can also keep a bottle of wax removing liquid handy. After removing wax, apply one or more of the above mentioned products. Not all of them can take all redness away, but baby oil sure does. I like to apply ice, followed by lacto calamine, which stops bleeding along with reducing the burning sensation and finally I use baby oil.

To reduce your hair growth, use Vaniqa, though it is a prescription only cream. It can take up to 8 weeks to show results, but it's definitely worth a shot. You'll have fewer hair to remove each month if it does work for you. It is recommended for women with hair growth in abnormal regions like chin, but you can still ask your doctor.

Image: Emma Watson

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