Shaving

Most of us are probably familiar with this option, but shaving works by cutting off the hair at skin-level.

How much does it hurt? 

Shaving is painless as long as you are careful to not cut or nick yourself. By making sure to use a proper shaving cream or oil and sharp blades, you can decrease the chance of having razor burn or any other post-shave irritation

How long does it last? 

Because hair is only removed at skin-level, it usually grows back in one to three days.

Depilatory creams

Depilatory creams work by dissolving the hair. They are typically smeared on in thick layers over the desired area, and left on for a few minutes before needing to be wiped off. Depilatories typically remove hair at, or slightly below, skin level. However, they are not always the most effective when it comes to coarser hair. And because of the chemicals, they can have a somewhat offensive odor.

How much does it hurt?

Depilatories can have a slight tingling sensation, but are typically painless. If you are experiencing any pain (usually a burning sensation), stop and wash it off. Pain means that your skin is either too sensitive or you’ve left the product on too long.

How long does it last? 

Because the hair is removed, at best, slightly under skin-level, it will usually start to grow back in one to three days.

Waxing

Waxing is one of the more painful options, but because it involves removing hair from the root, it also lasts longer. This method works by applying wax to the skin, which sticks to hairs. The wax is then quickly ripped off (sometimes with a cloth strip, sometimes without), pulling the hairs out with it. The procedure is relatively quick, so even larger areas like the legs can be waxed in a trivial amount of time. However, because the wax needs to be able to stick to the hair, hair needs to be at least a quarter of an inch long before waxing. This means that hair needs to be given some time to grow out between waxes.

How much does it hurt?

Waxing is like pulling off very large, very sticky bandages. Especially the first time (and depending on where you’re waxing) can be painful. However, if you rely on waxing as a primary form of hair removal, hair will become finer over time, making the waxing experience subsequently less painful over time.

How long does it last? 

After waxing, it usually takes about three to six weeks for hair to grow back.

Laser

Laser hair-removal is a long-term option that involves destroying the roots with light. This option can be permanent, but usually just reduces the amount of hair and makes it finer and lighter. It works best on those with darker hair and lighter skin, though, as the laser detects pigment. This means it will not remove white or blonde hair as effectively, and can burn darker skin. Laser hair-removal generally takes around six to 12 sessions for optimal results. And thanks to technology, there is now the option to perform laser hair-removal in the comfort of your own home.

How much does it hurt?

The pain associated with laser hair-removal is often compared to a rubber band being snapped against the skin. How much this hurts will depend on your pain threshold.

How long does it last? 

If the optimal number of initial sessions are completed, you might want to have touchups every six to 12 months.

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