The Definitive Guide to the Most Popular Hair Removal Methods

I know from personal experience that sometimes it’s not easy finding the right hair removal method.

hair removal methods

Every person is different. While most of my girlfriends were going to beauty salons to get waxed, I was buying razors and using my father’s shaving cream.

I was terrified of feeling pain.

However, after many searches and many years I found my method and I’ve stuck to it. I hope this guide will make things a bit easier for you.


shaving with a razor

It’s highly possible that shaving is the most popular hair removal method.

It’s easy to see why. It’s accessible around the globe, it’s pain-free, and everyone can do it without needing too many instructions.

Even I used to shave when I was younger. And I don’t regret it.

Now, let’s see succinctly the main characteristics for this hair removal method:

  • time: the fastest hair removal method, it takes around 10 minutes to shave your legs and 1-2 minutes to rinse
  • accessibility: pretty much anyone can get a razor and there are a lot of options to satisfy every man and woman
  • cost: you can get a good razor for as little as $1 + shaving cream for around $5, both being enough for about 1-2 months, which means that the annual cost is no more than $50
  • smoothness: really amazing smoothness for the first day, not so much the day after
    hair regrowth: stubble appears the day after
  • ease of use: very easy
  • preparation: just soak the skin a bit (2-3 minutes) and start running the razor across your skin, the opposite direction of hair growth
  • post-care: apply a moisturizer immediately after
  • possible side-effects: ingrown hairs, nicks, bumps, and itchy skin
  • mess: not messy

My Personal Conclusions

Shaving is easy and fast but overall is not as cheap as it’s believed.

You definitely need a shaving cream/gel. If you use regular soap, the shaving is not as efficient and there’s an increased risk of cutting yourself. Plus, it takes longer.

Shaving is a fast hair removal method when the blade glides easily.

All in all, if you want to get rid of unwanted hairs without feeling any pain, get a razor and start shaving.

My Tips

1. Soak the skin for at least a couple of minutes.

2. Get a shaving cream/gel.

3. Change the razor often, a dull blade can cause nicks and bumps and it won’t give you the smoothness you crave.

Hair Removal Creams

hair removal creams

Hair removal creams are the immediate alternative to shaving.

Instead of cutting the hairs at the surface of the skin, the creams dissolve them thanks to those powerful chemicals they contain. It also means that you won’t feel anything. It’s totally pain-free.

Let’s take an in-depth look at this hair removal method:

  • time: apply the cream on the skin and let it on, usually, for up to 8 minutes, the time differs between different brands so make sure you read the instructions for the maximum time for the cream you are using; after, remove it with a damp washcloth without rubbing or just use a spatula
  • accessibility: easily accessible around the globe, you can find hair removal creams in a supermarket
  • cost: a hair removal cream is around $8, it should last for a month
  • smoothness: really smooth for a couple of days
  • hair regrowth: in 2-5 days you’ll have to repeat the whole thing but overall it lasts a bit longer than shaving
  • ease of use: not as easy as shaving, removing the cream is not that easy and you have to move fast
  • preparation: don’t take a shower before
  • post-care: apply a moisturizer
  • possible side-effects: bumps, burns, darkened skin, dryness, itchiness

My Personal Conclusions

Hair removal creams are a good alternative to shaving. If you’re afraid of cuts and you still want a pain-free hair removal method, then you should try hair removal creams.

The only advantage over shaving is that the smoothness lasts a bit longer, by a couple of days.

My Tips

1. Go against the grain (against the direction in which the hair is growing) when removing the cream. Removing the cream with a spatula takes longer so just gently use a washcloth without rubbing it in.

2. I wouldn’t recommend using hair removal creams for removing all the hairs in the bikini area (giving yourself a Brazilian). Use it just on the bikini line.

3. If you have really sensitive skin don’t use this method.


waxing legs

In terms of popularity, as far as I can gather, immediately after shaving comes waxing.

Whether you prefer going to a beauty salon or doing it at home all by yourself, waxing is a hair removal method with a lot of pros as well as cons.

Let’s see some of them:

  • time: it takes at least an hour to wax both your legs; if you’re a beginner it can take up to 2 hours
  • accessibility: highly accessible – you can find the best wax for hair removal basically everywhere and there are beauty salons at every corner
  • cost: I cannot calculate the exact price but it’s not a cheap method; a good kit with warmer included is around $40; after that you only buy the wax for about $10 plus strips and wax applicators
  • smoothness: not as smooth as shaving but longer lasting
  • hair regrowth: 2-3 weeks
  • ease of use: it gets easier as you accumulate more experience
  • preparation: exfoliate before waxing and apply talcum powder, it absorbs the moisture
  • post-care: remove the wax residues with baby oil or whatever oil you have in the house(sunflower seed oil, olive oil), take a shower, and then apply a moisturizer
  • possible side-effects: ingrown hairs, breakouts especially in the case of facial waxing, and burns

My Personal Conclusions

Waxing is painful. There’s nothing new about that.

It’s also a bit messy and it’s not easy in the beginning but it’s worth it because it will be about 3 weeks until you have to wax again.

My Tips

1. Sometimes it’s easier to go to a beauty salon to get waxed for the first time. You can see how it’s done by a professional and the second time it’s going to be so much easier and a bit less painful.

2. Generally, hard wax is the way to go. You can get wax strips for the body but mostly for maintenance not for complete waxing. It would just take too long.

3. It’s important to apply small strips in the beginning, it hurts less. Remove them swiftly in the opposite direction in which the hair is growing.

4. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week with either body scrubs or exfoliating gloves if you want to prevent ingrown hairs.

5. If you get a good waxing kit with a warmer included after that you only have to spend money on the wax and that’s not expensive. Or you can get the microwavable kind but in the long run it costs more.

6. Before applying the wax on your body, test the temperature. It may sting a bit but it shouldn’t burn.


legs epilation

Even though this is the hair removal method that I’ve chosen it doesn’t mean that you should necessarily choose epilators.

If you want a cheaper alternative to waxing without all the mess, then take a look at the basic things you need to know about this hair removal method:

  • time: in the beginning it can take up to 2 hours to epilate your legs however after so many years it takes me around 30 minutes to make my legs smooth
  • accessibility: there are a lot of models to choose from and every country has at least a few of the best epilators even though the prices can differ widely from country to country; it’s easier to order online
  • cost: the cheapest epilator is around $30, the most expensive around $100 but it lasts for at least 2 years (usually that’s the warranty)
  • smoothness: not as smooth as shaving but longer lasting
  • hair regrowth: in up to 2 weeks
  • ease of use: very easy, you just need to move the epilator slowly in the opposite direction in which the hair is growing
  • preparation: exfoliate before epilation
  • post-care: take a shower to remove the hairs and apply a moisturizer
  • possible side-effects: ingrown hairs, breakouts in the case of facial epilation

My Personal Conclusions

The first thing that attracted me to epilators was the affordability. I could afford an epilator and get in return up to 2 weeks of smoothness.

Plus, you can epilate whenever you spot some hairs that bother you.

For these two main things I was able to bear the pain until I got used to it. Once I got an epilator that came with a facial cap I started to remove my upper lip hair with it, switching from facial waxing strips to epilation.

My Tips

1. It’s really important to exfoliate 2-3 times a week in order to keep most of the ingrown hairs away. Not everyone gets ingrown hairs but most of us do.

2. Move the epilator slowly otherwise you might break the hairs instead of removing them from the roots. Keep yourself busy when you epilate. Watch a TV show or listen to music, it makes the time pass quickly and it diverts your attention from the pain.

3. Always moisturize after each epilation to sooth the skin. Those who, like me, suffer from really dry skin should also maintain a moist skin throughout the year, even though sometimes it’s such a burden!