Once again we’re talking about unwanted hair removal and the methods that can help us accomplish that. But we’re going to tackle things from a different angle.
We’re actually going to talk about the most common mistakes that can ruin any unwanted hair removal session.
Since laser hair removal is not often done at home but left in the hands of a very good professional and since electrolysis is definitely done only by an expert, we’re going to be focusing on the hair removal methods that can be done at home by ourselves:
Removing unwanted hair is not something extraordinarily complicated, whether we’re talking about shaving, hair removal creams, epilation or waxing.
But there are the little things that should be followed and the ones that should be totally avoided in the unwanted hair removal process.
Unwanted Hair Removal Mistakes
Let’s see what mistakes need to be avoided when we’re talking about unwanted hair removal. They’re the secret to a perfect hair removal session done at home, which leads to smooth heavenly skin.
1. Not Exfoliating Regularly
Proper regular exfoliation is so often overlooked by most people no matter what they employ to get rid of unwanted hairs.
To be honest, it’s an integral aspect that people overlook when it comes to the health of their facial skin, too.
It must be because people don’t understand how very important exfoliation is, both for the body and the face.
The rule when it comes to exfoliation is: exfoliate at least 2-3 times a week and always exfoliate before hair removal That’s the principle that should be followed.
If you wax or use an epilator, that means that you have a session usually about once every 2 weeks in the case of epilation and once every 3 weeks in the case of waxing.
That’s a long time. Obviously, you should exfoliate more than once during that time.
At least twice a week would be great. I love exfoliating my legs, it’s relaxing and it leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth, almost silky. I do it almost daily, it’s rare that I miss a day.
We should not forget about exfoliating our back, too. It helps prevent back acne.
This especially concerns men: whatever method you choose to remove back hair, whether a do-it-yourself back hair shaver or waxing or an epilator, don’t forget to exfoliate.
Just to offer you a very short introduction on exfoliation, I will say this:
- on the legs you can use a body scrub or a pair of exfoliating gloves daily at the end of a shower, even if you have sensitive skin, and it works even better if you moisturizer after
- on the bikini area in order to prevent razor bumps and ingrown hairs, it’s best to use a chemical exfoliator, which works really well on the rest of the body, too
- a back scrubber works really well and it’s easy to use but if you suffer from back acne, a body treatment with salicylic acid might be a much better solution to prevent future breakouts
If you want to know more about why it’s so important and why it’s the first unwanted hair removal mistake, read my how to exfoliate face and body guide.
2. Getting Ingrown Hairs
Since I’ve talked about exfoliation, I thought I should mention what might happen when you don’t exfoliate.
If you don’t exfoliate regularly, ingrown hairs are the obvious consequence.
They’re especially prevalent if you’re using an epilator but they can happen in the case of shaving and waxing, too.
There are two solutions for preventing ingrown hairs, both with great results:
- physical exfoliation – gloves, scrubs, body brushes
- chemical exfoliationg, which is much more effective against ingrown hairs both for preventing and for getting rid of ingrown hairs – it is represented by products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs )or salicylic acid (BHA)
3. Not Shaving with the Grain
That’s especially true for men. Shaving with the grain is a crucial step – in the direction in which the hair grows.
It will prevent razor bumps, cuts and nicks, irritation, and you will get fewer ingrown hairs.
Women don’t necessarily need to follow the shaving with the grain rule. The only area that I think that would be preferred is the bikini area but even that depends from person to person.
Other unwanted hair removal mistakes that belong to shaving are:
- not changing the blade or razor or cartridge often enough – using a dull blade will most likely leave you with a few nicks
- not softening the hairs and skin in hot water
- women might make the shaving mistake of not using a shaving gel
- not exfoliating, obviously
- not hydrating after each shaving session
Check out some of my shaving tips if you want to know more.
4. Waxing When the Hairs Are too Short
This is something really simple: if the hairs are too short, the wax won’t be able to remove them from their roots.
On the other hand, when they’re too long, it will hurt a lot, which might make you give up on waxing.
Between 1/4 and 3/4 inches long is the proper hair length for a successful waxing session where almost all the hairs are removed from their follicles.
5. Epilating When the Hairs Are too Long
Epilators are not that pretentious because their features have evolved over time and they can remove hairs as short as 0.5 mm (0.02 inches). That’s amazing.
The trick when epilating is not to do it when the hair is too long. If it’s too long, use a trimmer.
Otherwise, it will hurt badly.
Don’t let more than 2 weeks pass between sessions, especially when you’re a beginner.
Nowadays, I can let a month pass before I use my epilator again and I’m totally fine although it does take me longer because more hairs grow back in a month than in 2 weeks’ time.
But I am able to stand the pain because I have been using an epilator for a very long time and I’m used to the pain.
Epilators cause pain because they remove the hair from the follicle, there’s no need to make the whole unwanted hair removal process more painful than it should be.
6. Not Understanding the Basics of Waxing
The temperature of the wax is crucial.
If it’s too hot, it will burn your skin and ruin everything. If it’s too cold, it won’t remove anything.
Always test the temperature of the wax before applying it, just to make sure it’s not too hot.
If you wax at home, use hard wax, it’s the best and easiest to use.
With hard wax, you don’t usually need muslin strips.
You just need to apply it small thick strips of wax in the direction of hair growth, let it cool, and then pull very quickly and swiftly in the opposite direction.
For the face, it’s easier to use cold facial wax strips, especially if you don’t feel like buying a whole waxing kit for the whole body and face.
7. Not Holding the Skin Taut
That’s a valid thing for 3 of our 4 methods. It doesn’t apply to hair removal creams.
If you hold the skin taut some great things can happen: you can decrease the number of ingrown hairs that might appear and, secondly, you reduce the pain a little in the case of epilation and waxing.
8. Leaving the Hair Removal Cream On too Long
You should never leave a hair removal cream on your skin for more minutes than it sstates in the instructions. It might very likely lead to burns.
Follow the instructions precisely and it should offer great results without any nasty side-effects.
If it’s your first experience with depilatory creams, leave it on for 2-3 minutes less than it says in the instructions and see if the hairs have been dissolved in that time. It’s best to take it step by step.
Once you’ve determined the proper time, everything else is unbelievably easy when it comes to hair removal creams, it’s truly a pretty effortless unwanted hair removal method.
9. Using a Dull Blade
Like it or not, it’s best to change your razor or its cartridge often.
It will cut better, without any nicks, thus leaving you better looking, but it might also prevent razor burns, bumps, and ingrown hairs.
10. Not Liking the Method You’re Using
I love epilators, which has also lead to the creation of this blog.
But I love them because I have many reasons and this blog is full of them. I perfectly know their disadvantages, too, and I entirely accept them.
It’s incredibly easy and pleasant when you like what you’re doing, whether you shave, use creams, wax or epilate.
Find the one that matches your needs, budget, and expectations, and it will be a lot easier. That’s pretty much my most important advice when it comes to unwanted hair removal.