Top 10 Hair Removal Methods Compared (Complete In-Depth Guide)

This will be a complete in-depth guide on all hair removal methods – including those hair removal methods that can be done at home and the ones that can only be performed by a professional.

There are plenty to choose from. Quite a lot actually.

Which means that it’s going to be a pretty long article but one that can definitely help you choose the right hair removal method for you.

Top 10 Hair Removal Methods for Body and Face

What do all hair removal methods have in common besides helping us get rid of unwanted hair whether it’s just for a few day, a few weeks, a year or two or permanently?

That they all have their pros and cons. That’s the thing they have in common. Neither of all these hair removal methods is perfect just like nothing is in life.

Weighing the pros and cons and what your needs are will give you the answer to which method would be best for you, at least at this moment? Things always change.

I’ve gone through quite a few myself before settling on using epilators both for my body and face.

1. Shaving – Painless, Easy, Couple of Days Hairless Skin

women shaving her legsI’ve done a lot of shaving during my teenage years.

I was too afraid of pain probably because when I was a child my mother was using an epilator and it told me it hurts a lot.

Plus,

I was also aware that waxing was pretty expensive and it involved making appointments to a beauty salon. So I said to myself that shaving was the obvious solution.

It was great.

I loved the smooth skin that followed a shaving session. My legs were incredible and I remember one summer day when a friend told me that she never gets such incredibly smooth legs from waxing.

The truth is that’s why I absolutely loved shaving, that first day smoothness is heavenly. Too bad it only lasts for about 2 days.

You can stretch it to about 4 days but, especially during the summer, you will be forced to shave regularly.

Hairs start to regrow and the skin is not so soft, not so pleasant. The skin gives quite the prickly feeling after a few days.

That’s why I gave up on disposable razors as a hair removal method.

Another thing that made me really happy about shaving was that I had no ingrown hairs.

It’s pretty odd because shaving is the number one cause for ingrown hairs, followed by waxing. I only became aware of ingrown hairs when I started waxing and also when I started using an epilator.

Pros

What I really like about this very popular hair removal method:

Cons

What bothered me a lot was that I could see the roots when I looked at my underarms.

I have black hair and light skin so my underarms never looked good when shaving. It’s a different thing when waxing or when using an epilator – the roots are no longer there and skin looks just like skin, instead of skin with black tiny roots.

Thus,

If you want a hair removal method that doesn’t involve any pain, except for the accidental nicks, then you are better off with shaving.

The summer will be a busy period because that’s when most of our skin is out there in the open but, during all the other seasons, skin is mostly covered up so you can be as lazy as you want.

2. Electric Shaving – Cheaper than Razors

The main attraction for electric shavers for women is that they are much cheaper than always having to buy disposable razors or cartridges.

An electric shaver can last for at least two years or maybe until the battery doesn’t hold a charge anymore.

And they’re very cheap.

They’re also completely safe and easy to use.

Electric shaving also has the advantage of being a fast hair removal method, just like regular shaving is.

The disadvantage for electric shavers is that you won’t get an extremely close shave as it happens when using razors but some models can get very close to the skin.

And they can be used both on wet and dry skin. If you’re using it on wet skin, you definitely need a good shaving gel.

3. Dermaplaning – Facial Shaving for Women

Facial shaving for women is no longer the taboo it used to be thanks to special facial razors for women like the Tinkle razor or the Schick facial razor.

It’s also called dermaplaning, which is actually an exfoliation method that removes both peach fuzz and dead skin cells at the same time.

But razors like the Tinkle or the Schick can be actually used just for temporarily getting rid of unwanted facial hair.

Who is it for?

For absolutely everyone who doesn’t want to experience pain when removing facial hair.

It’s completely painless.

It can especially be for women who experience breakouts whether they’re using threading, a pair of tweezers, waxing or epilation.

Any of these hair removal methods involves removing the hairs from the follicles, which comes with the risk of more breakouts for those who are acne-prone.

Facial shaving for women only involves a tiny razor that looks a bit like a toy. It’s used directly on dry skin, there’s not need for shaving gels or getting the face wet.

It also means that this is an extremely fast way of getting rid of facial hair without any redness, cuts or irritation.

You do need to always moisturize after because these razors also act as a facial exfoliator. But the moisturizing after part concerns all hair removal methods, whether they’re for body or face.

The disadvantage?

Some women who experience rapid hair regrowth might need to use it daily. Some might need it just once every 2-3 days.

In any way, it’s a hair removal method with short-term results. At least it’s fast and painless and you get the exfoliation bonus.

The hairs won’t grow back thicker, that’s a complete myth.

These razors are also extremely cheap.

4. Hair Removal Creams – Similar to Shaving Without the Risk of Cutting Yourself

Hair removal creams are a popular option for women and men alike.

Pros

  • depilatory creams dissolve hairs at the surface of the skin, leading to hair free skin that lasts between 2 and 5 days
  • this hair removal method is incredibly fast, you just need to let the depilatory cream act for up to 8 minutes (read the instructions properly!) and then rinse in the shower
  • there is no pain involved
  • there are no cuts, nicks or razor bumps
  • as long as you follow the instructions, nothing can go wrong
  • depilatory creams are cheap and there’s no difficulty in using them to get rid of unwanted hairs
  • there is even a facial hair removal cream for Olay

Cons

  • the hairless smooth skin is not long-lasting since the hairs are dissolved at the surface of the skin, in about 5 days you will have to apply the depilatory cream again
  • they can only be used on the bikini line and not on the entire bikini area because they contain harsh chemicals that can irritate such sensitive skin
  • they can darken the skin, especially on the underarms, and it can easily happen if you leave the depilatory cream for longer than the time specified in the instructions

5. Threading – Great Hair Removal Method for the Face

Threading is especially popular for shaping eyebrows because it can lead to some of the best shaped eyebrows if you encounter a professional who know what they’re doing.

But it can be used on the entire face for both fine thin and coarse hairs.

It just involves a cotton thread and a good professional. You need to go to a threading salon for this method.

It can be quite expensive.

I experienced it a few times and it was wonderful.

I especially recommend it for facial hair removal because it’s a more gentle hair removal method.

It can diminish the possibility of breakouts and it’s a good option for those with sensitive skin.

It’s not that painful and it’s very fast.

6. Waxing – Hair Removal from the Follicles

Who hasn’t heard of waxing? Together with shaving, I think that these two are the most popular and the most used hair removal methods.

After all, they’re both ancient hair removal methods.

Waxing didn’t work out for me because it was pretty expensive. When I was very young, I didn’t know about sugaring. I definitely would have tried that and we’re going to talk about sugaring shortly after discussing the pros and cons for waxing.

It’s great to have a professional do all the hair removing for you and then just walk out the beauty salon door looking and, most importantly, feeling great.

But all that costs quite a lot of money. And time.

Waxing can also be done at home, which is not very easy but it’s a lot more affordable than going to a beauty salon.

You can go once to a beauty salon to see how a professional does it, how it applies the waxing strips, what temperature it must have, how it pulls them and then use that experience to wax at home.

You need a good waxing kit for that, I definitely recommend using hard wax.

Pros

  • the hairs are removed from the follicles, you get smooth skin for at least 2-3 weeks
  • it can be used on the whole body plus face
  • waxing at home is a bit more affordable – you need a good waxing kit and they you only need to buy new hard wax (check out the Cirepil The Original Blue Wax Beads if you want to go this route, they’re awesome)
  • the skin is left very smooth, it feels amazing

Cons

  • pain – it’s definitely painful in the beginning, especially if we’re talking about Brazilian waxing, until you get completely used to it and don’t even notice the pain
  • pain is a disadvantage but it’s not the biggest one – the biggest one is also a critical component of having a successful waxing session so, it’s a con that you just to put up with
  • letting the hairs grow until they have a certain length is the biggest con – the hairs need to about 1/4 – 1/2 inch long (a grain of rice) or test by grabbing the hairs and see if you can actually pull on them without pinching the skin
  • this need for a certain length translates into: 2 weeks on average for the face and underarms and 3-4 weeks for the rest of the body

If you are just interested in facial waxing, you don’t need to buy an entire hard wax kit. You can just get cold facial wax strips, which are cheap and easy to use.

I used to use cold facial wax strips for my upper lip and I loved them, I had no problem with them. They have actually helped me make the transition to using an epilator for facial hair removal very easy.

7. Sugaring – Like Waxing but No Cost

Sugaring is the perfect hair removal method for those who want what waxing offers but don’t want to spend money on a waxing kit.

The hairs are removed from their follicles and the hair regrowth is the same.

I will say this:

Watch a bunch of YouTube videos, read some comments, before actually trying sugaring for the first time.

For some it’s successful from the first try (lucky them) but for others it can be one of the most challenging hair removal methods.

Sugaring involves:

  • making a paste from white sugar, lemon juice and water – see, the cost is barely non-existent
  • the past is used without muslin strips, just like hard wax
  • this is the difference between sugaring and waxing: apply the hairs in the opposite direction of hair growth and pull in the direction of hair growth
  • you can use the same strip of sugar wax 3-4 times
  • it’s considered that sugaring is actually a bit less painful than waxing but if hard waxing is done properly, I would say that the pain level is about the same
  • the hair length needs to be the same

One recipe involves 2 cups white sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup water. Here is a post from WikiHow that details all the steps for making the paste.

You need a pot with a thicker base to prevent the mix from burning.

Add all the ingredients to the pot, medium heat, and start whisking them. Whisk them just in the beginning when you’re adding all the ingredients to the pot.

Once the mix starts to boil, let it boil for about 5-7 minutes without touching it. It’s the same principle that applies when making caramel.

It should turn into a rich golden-brown color, like dark honey. Let it cool for a couple of minutes and add it to a container, a jar. But preheat a glass container so it doesn’t shatter.

Then, let it cool for another 20 minutes. It should be very warm and malleable but not hot, you don’t want singed hairs and skin, you want hairs removed from their roots.

8. Epilation – My Favorite Hair Removal Method

There are many reasons for choosing an epilator as your preferred hair removal method.

You only pay once for an epilator and then use it for two years or three years or even more.

It’s a really affordable hair removal method. That’s the main advantage with this method.

It also removes hairs from the root so the outcome is not having unwanted hairs for two weeks on average.

I’ve only said a fortnight in order to not get everyone’s hopes up, that being the average time.

Even so,

There are cases were the hairless skin can last up to one month, especially for blonde hair.

It’s a very easy to get used to hair removal method. You just need to move the epilator slowly in the opposite direction of hair growth.

If you’ve only shaved and you’ve decided that it’s time for a switch, time to try a hair removal method that lasts longer than a few days and it’s not that expensive, buying an epilator could be the answer.

I just have one thing to say in this case:

An epilator can be a really painful hair removal method, I know from my own experience, since I’ve switched exactly from shaving to epilators.

The idea is that you could go to a salon for waxing, just once, and after that use the epilator.

Furthermore,

There are solutions to feeling less intense pain:

There are wet and dry epilators, meaning that you can epilate under the shower. That can help with the pain because the hot water opens the pores so they are not holding on so tight to the roots but it also means that you have to spend an hour under hot water which is not pleasant and can turn out to be quite expensive.

Other things that make the experience more pleasant are the attachments.

An efficiency cap does not only help with offering optimal contact at the right angle with the skin but it also takes some of the pain away, it’s like a tiny massage done with tiny rollers.

More expensive epilators have their own built-in massage system and a pivoting head for efficiently removing hair from knees or elbows.

Another useful attachment is a sensitive cap that can be used for sensitive areas (bikini area, underarms).

Some epilators come with a facial cap, which means that you can use the same device on both the body and face.

The disadvantages for epilators are:

  • it takes plenty of time in the beginning – it also depends on how many tweezers an epilator has (one with 20 tweezers is very cheap but much slower than one with 40 tweezers or more)
  • it can be really painful, especially in the beginning, but after some sessions you start getting used to it
  • ingrown hairs – they are a common occurrence when it comes to epilation, which means that you need to exfoliate at least 2-3 times a week

9. Laser Hair Removal – Not as Permanent as It’s Believed

Ingrown hair is a disadvantage for all the above hair removal methods but that’s not the case with laser hair removal. That’s a big advantage but is it enough?

There is the belief that laser is a permanent hair removal method, that once you undergo those sessions necessary for destroying the hair follicle you will be permanently hair free.

And that’s what I thought until I began documenting about it.

I will share with you some of my findings.

During a laser session, a light-based lamp is used on a certain skin area. The hair follicle is supposed to be destroyed thanks to the exposure to laser light.

In reality, it doesn’t entirely destroy the follicle thus it only reduces hair growth.

It might not be permanent but it still offers satisfactory results that can last for up to 2 years.

Compared to electrolysis, the number of sessions is significantly shorter, between 3 to 6 sessions per area.

Another thing I believed was that laser hair removal doesn’t hurt.

It actually hurts.

Some people call it a big discomfort others simply call it pain.

So it hurts but the results can last for a very long time.

Epilators and waxing cause pain and these methods only last for 2 weeks, maximum a month.

But it will also cost a lot to have hair removed from all major areas, like legs, bikini area, underarms, and face, especially if you opt for a professional to do it.

A disadvantage is that it best works on people with dark hair and light skin, so I would be the perfect candidate if it weren’t for the price.

A feeling compared to that when you get sunburns is the side-effect to be expected after each session of laser hair removal.

It can last for up to 2 days and ice packs and cool compresses are usually recommended.

10. Electrolysis – the Only Permanent Hair Removal Method

Laser is a method that cannot handle fine and light color hair but electrolysis is great in this area and not only.

The main difference between laser and electrolysis is that one offers a hair-free body for up to 2 years, while the latter offers a hair-free body for a lifetime.

Describing how it works, it might not sound too pretty but it’s extremely efficient and permanent.

Each hair follicle, one at a time, is visited by a really thin metal probe through which electricity is sent, which in turn makes follicles incapable of producing any more hairs.

This method requires trained certified professionals. Not anyone can do it. That’s why I would recommend letting a professional do it.

The main problem is that electrolysis takes time and a lot of it until it’s completely efficient and no hair will ever grow back from its follicle.

But if you think about it, what’s a few years of sessions for getting rid of all your unwanted hairs compared to a lifetime without hair?

A single area can require sessions over the length of one year or more.

Depending on the treated area, it can take between 9 to 18 months to destroy all hairs and their follicles.

Is electrolysis worth it?

I think it is, if you have the money and you choose the best professional for this type of hair removal method. Also, each session is going to last between 15 minutes up to 1 hour.

When you think about the fact that a fine metal probe is inserted into the follicle and that electricity is sent through that metal probe that looks like a tiny needle, the main thing that comes to mind is if it hurts.

It doesn’t hurt but a discomfort is still felt, something like a warming sensation.

Well, if it’s not pain, it’s great.

Another consequence is that you might experience something similar to sunburns but they will only last for a few hours.

The main disadvantages for electrolysis are the high prices and the long periods of time it takes until you are completely absolutely hair free.

Even so, for a person who has been suffering from skin damages caused by other hair removal methods, electrolysis could be the salvation.

And, there you have it.

These are the 10 hair removal methods that you can count on to get rid on unwanted hairs from the body or face or both, there are quite the options to choose from.