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If you're anything like me, then you've probably been slacking on shaving and taking advantage of the cold months by hiding weeks of hair growth under your pants and cozy sweaters.
Before we know it, winter will be over and we'll be taking out our spring dresses — so it's time to start thinking about hair removal. While razors are often quick and inexpensive, they’re only effective at removing surface hair. So, post-shave stubble may appear faster than we’d like.
Luckily, for those tired of reaching for the razor so often — and those interested in minimizing the risk of those annoying ingrown hairs — there are other ways to keep hair away!
From depilatory creams to at-home laser hair removal devices, there’s something to meet each person’s level of comfort. To give you a running start, we consulted three beauty and skin experts about the best hair removal products on the market.
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Best home waxing
Nair Wax Ready-Strips don’t require any rubbing or heating and can be used for any part of your body. The strips work like wax-filled stickers that remove hair from the root with little effort.
Hairstylist Jennifer MacDougall recommends these strips for beginners. “You don’t have to worry about burning yourself," she said. "That’s one of the biggest things that someone can do if they don’t know how to do this themselves.”
A pre-waxed strip may not be suitable for the insides of nostrils. But, Yoffee Nose Wax makes it simple to remove hair up there. The unisex product, made with natural beeswax, comes with an easy-to-use applicator. Spread the "gum-like" wax on the applicator and insert it directly into the nostril for about 90 seconds before removing for best results, says MacDougall.
This is a favorite of celebrity makeup artist Daniel Chinchilla, whose clients include celebrities like Ariana Grande and Keke Palmer.
To use, rub the strip between your hands to warm it up, press it onto the skin in the direction of hair growth and pull the hair directly out of the root. Chinchilla said some things should be left to the professionals, though. “Make sure you don’t try and wax your eyebrows yourself. You could easily mess up and remove too much," he cautioned.
This inexpensive wax strip kit is on sale for just $2 and comes with 40 strips and six finishing wipes. Veet’s formula locks around the smallest of hairs — they can be as short as 1/16 of an inch. The ready-to-use strips can also be used on any part of your body. However, there is a separate option specifically for underarm, bikini and face.
While an epilator isn’t a wax, it also removes hair directly from the root. But, it takes a bit longer to use than wax, so it's only good for those capable of enduring a bit more discomfort. An Amazon bestseller, the Philips Satinelle Epilator grips and removes even the shortest hairs on either wet or dry skin.
Best depilatory creams
Unlike waxing, which can be uncomfortable if you have a low threshold for pain, depilatory creams are painless. They can get messy, but they are usually pretty inexpensive.
The creams work by dissolving hair at or just below the surface of the skin, making it easy to wash away. Make sure your skin doesn't react poorly to depilatory cream by testing it out on a small patch of hair. The effectiveness of the cream may also vary depending on the amount of hair and hair type.
Chinchilla said this is one of his go-to products for removing unwanted hair at home. Generously apply the lotion to skin for at least four minutes and then wash it off: quick, painless and easy! This Nad’s option is formulated for sensitive skin and includes natural aloe vera, avocado oil and honey extracts.
For hair removal on arms, legs and bikini area, Gigi Spa offers this inexpensive option. Apply the hair removal lotion to damp skin for 10 minutes before rinsing. The lotion has nourishing cocoa butter vitamins c and e to soothe skin smooth once the unwanted hair is washed off.
Best at-home laser hair removal
While waxing and depilatory creams can provide temporary results, the thought of never having to do either is pretty tempting. With laser hair removal, that thought can become a reality.
Board-certified dermatologist Jennifer Chwalek of Union Square Dermatology in New York City recommended heading to a professional since professional lasers are stronger and “utilize wavelengths that are better at targeting the hair follicle.” But, she also noted that it's possible to perform laser hair removal at home successfully.
“The home devices are reasonable for light skin patients with dark hair who have a few small areas they want to treat or who want to supplement their office treatments with an at-home treatment,” said Chwalek. It's not an excellent option for those with darker skin, she added. And, if you’re unsure whether an at-home device is right for you, consult a dermatologist.
Chwalek recommends this Tria hair removal device since it’s similar to what she uses her office. “Tria Beauty uses diode technology, which is similar to the lasers we use in the office for laser hair removal," said Chwalek. "Most of the other home devices use IPL technology, which does not always target the hair follicle as specifically as the diode wavelength." If you’re interested in treating larger areas like the legs, Tria Beauty also offers the Tria Laser 4X made to handle those bigger areas with more energy.
Chwalek also recommended this Remington hair removal system. The product promises permanent hair reduction just after three treatments. Though a lot more pricey than waxing and depilatory creams, permanent hair reduction can result in longer-term savings, since frequent hair removal treatments won’t be necessary once the hair is gone.
For more beauty recommendations, check out:
- How to find the right brush for your hair type, according to hairstylists
- This weekly repairing treatment might be the secret to frizz-free hair
- This bestselling $22 blow-dryer makes styling my hair easier than ever