Summer is a season full of sunshine, barbecues, beach days, chilling with friends, and wearing your favorite warm weather clothes again. But summer probably also makes you start thinking about your pesky body hair again. While some people are perfectly fine with baring their body hair, many of us want smooth, hairless skin. There’s nothing worse than wearing a cute outfit you’re proud of until you realize it shows that patch of body hair you forgot to remove. Having unwanted body hair can feel embarrassing and frustrating, especially considering that body hair can grow back really fast.
Luckily, there are many different hair removal options to choose from. They all offer slightly different results and their processes vary in time, cost, pain level, and length of hair-free results, so to choose the best one for you, you have to compare them side by side. Let’s look at a few of the options available to you for tackling hair removal.
Waxing is the process of spreading hot wax onto the skin, pressing a strip over it for the wax to grip onto, then tearing the wax away. Hair gets gripped by the wax and pulled up from the root, which does mean that waxing is painful. The more you get it done, the less it should hurt, but depending on your pain tolerance, it might always be an unpleasant experience. It’s best to get waxed at the salon for a clean, non-irritating treatment.
Waxing can last a few weeks between treatments, but first time waxers need to attend a few sessions before they can experience longer in-between times without growth (so the hair growth cycle can even out). These regular waxing appointments do get costly.
You can wax any area on your body, but be mindful that certain spots can cause a lot of pain since you’re pulling hair out at the roots.
Sugar Hair Removal
Sugar hair removal, also known as sugaring, is an all-natural method similar to waxing. You may have seen recipes for sugaring online—the ingredients are simple: sugar, lemon, and water. Since these are the same ingredients for a homemade exfoliator, sugaring also exfoliates the skin. Hair is pulled out from the root by pulling the waxy sugar strip off the skin.
You can attempt sugaring at home but you’ll probably want to go into a salon to get it professionally done. Sugaring can target hair in all areas, but it is painful (although arguably less so than waxing). Over time, the hair regrowth will be less than it originally was, and possibly also finer and softer.
Any hair removal option that targets hair at the roots can lead to reduced hair in that area, but with sugaring, permanent results are not guaranteed (more likely you’ll need to keep removing your hair, but with more ease each time).
Hair Removal Cream
Also known as depilatory cream, hair removal cream gets smoothed over your desired area of skin and after sitting for a specified amount of time, gets wiped off—and if all goes well, the hair goes too. The depilatories in the cream dissolve the hair follicle; by weakening the keratin (or protein), the hair breaks down so it’s no longer tethered to your body and can be wiped away.
Depilatory cream targets hair follicles on the surface rather than at the root, which means the hair will keep growing back at a normal rate. It also doesn’t work to lessen overall hair regrowth in targeted areas, so it’s not a permanent option and requires regular upkeep (probably every few days).
While you can use depilatory creams anywhere on your body, you need to be careful to prevent chemical burns, the biggest risk associated with this method. Leaving the product on too long, having a reaction to the ingredients, or using the wrong type of product on a sensitive area can result in burns.
Lumi IPL Hair Removal Handset
IPL handsets like the Lumi use intense pulsed light to target facial or body hair at the root, immediately working to slow the growth of hair. IPL burns hair at the roots, damaging the follicles so that after twelve treatments you experience permanent hair removal and major reduction in how much will reappear. You may need to still maintain areas every once in a while, but nothing significant.
The Lumi device doesn’t cause any pain other than some mild warmth on the skin as you move the pulsing light over each section. It’s safe for all areas and a full body treatment will take about 30 minutes, to be done only a few times each week for the treatment’s duration. The higher you set the settings, the quicker your results.
And fortunately, the Lumi machine is a one time cost with no refills for long-term, permanent results, which makes it the cheapest option in the long run. Skin is smooth, soft, free of razor or chemical burns, and ingrown hair free!
No matter your preference, there are multiple ways to ensure you go body hair free this summer. We rate the Lumi device as the best overall hair removal option, but feel free to explore your choices to find what works for you. Good luck finding your best option!