“Bare” with me for a moment as we don’t talk about the hair on your scalp. Eventually, in a future post, we will get there.
Today, let’s discuss the rest-of-the-body hair that we pluck, pull, rip, tear, cut and heaven knows what else. We are obsessed with body hair, or more accurately, we are obsessed with configuring it. Eyebrows, legs, arms, feet (yep), nostrils, chin, upper lip… No square inch of skin goes un-inspected or untreated in our quest for coiffed bodies. And your nether regions? They’re even more involved — so much so that there are ever-evolving styles and configurations to choose from. (Yes, I just basically said that the landing strip is a hairstyle.) It’s all time-consuming, painful and painstaking, yet we continue.
Is there an easy way to remove unsightly hair or hairs? Maybe. Maybe not. Are you in search of other means? Longer-lasting techniques? Let’s review some options.
Hair removers: These creams and lotions, known as depilatories, are applied to the skin for a recommended amount of time in order to dissolve body hair. They are effective on legs, face, underarms and bikini lines. However, used improperly or on sensitive skin, they can cause redness, burning, or other adverse reactions. Depilatories are easy and practical, but you should always do a patch test on a small area prior to application. If you opt for a depilatory for facial hair, use a dedicated product formulated for this fragile skin. Expect to reapply depilatories every week or two.
And yes, depilatory creams are a touch on the retro fabulous side.
Caveat: Hair has to be at least ¼-inch long in order for waxing to work, which means you have to let it grow between sessions. Seems counterproductive to me.
Electrolysis: Electrolysis requires needles. Are you still reading? If so, here is what happens: the specialist inserts a needle into every individual hair follicle, which in turn sends an electric current into each follicle in order to destroy the hair root. Hair and root are then pulled out of the follicle. Electrolysis is recommended for small areas and requires a series of treatments until all of the undesired hair is removed. With a needle. And an electric current.
Sugaring: Sugaring is an ancient method that involves applying a paste or gel containing — what else? — sugar. Like waxing, sugaring removes hair by the roots and lasts up to six weeks. It can be performed in a salon or at home with a kit. Paste sugaring is applied thickly to the skin in the direction opposite of hair growth, then pulled off again and again until all hair is removed from the area. Gel sugaring is applied in the direction of hair growth and removed in the opposite direction using cloth strips. Sugaring also requires hair regrowth between sessions.
Laser: Laser treatment is permanent, but it takes anywhere from six to twelve treatments to complete and can require follow-ups. It’s also relatively expensive (unless you do the math over time). Lasers are most effective on dark hair and light skin and should be performed by a medical professional due to possible side effects and risks. Contact a licensed, experienced dermatologist if you are interested in laser hair removal.
Scissors: The worst than can happen here is an uneven cut or self-injury, so be careful. Scissors won’t remove unwanted hair, but with a steady hand, a mirror and patience you can trim and shape everything from your bangs to your eyebrows to your bikini line.
Shaving: Shaving is the most standard and foolproof way to rid yourself of body hair. It’s economical, simple and completely DIY. Unless your skin is made of leather, it’s advisable to apply shaving lotion to the designated area. Use caution and a light touch to avoid painful razor burn. Also, watch for ingrown hairs. Replace your razor when you notice a decrease in shave quality; you don’t want to shave with a dull blade. Note: Hair grows back quickly, so expect to shave every day or every few days. If you’re feeling particularly frisky, you might incorporate the process into your cam sessions.
Tweezers: Stray hair? Unsightly strand? A dreaded gray? There’s nothing a quick pluck won’t fix. Tweezing works well on its own or as an adjunct to other hair removal methods. Once again, with a steady hand and a magnifying mirror, you can keep your eyebrows groomed and rid yourself of random strands here and there. Tweezers come in an assortment of sizes and styles, from needle-nose to standard models. You might have to try a few to find which ones work best for your needs.
Natural: Last but far from least, always remember that you are under no obligation to remove so much as one hair from anywhere on your body, regardless of what the latest fashion magazines are selling. Don’t try to change in hopes of keeping up with trends or trying to please anyone else. Your look, your preferences and your style are what make you the best possible you.
And in honor of sugaring, let’s pour some out.
Jenna Andre is a total gearhead who also appreciates the simpler things in life. Email her at Jenna.Andre@ynotcam.com.