Hair removal is an annoying problem with no permanent solution. If you have hair anywhere on your body that you’d rather not have, getting rid of it is probably a part of your daily routine. There are downsides to most types of traditional hair removal, but thankfully there are some modern solutions which may be right for you.
Wax has been a popular solution for hair removal for a long time, but only for the strong of heart. Waxing works by ripping the hair out from the roots, which, as you can imagine, can be very painful.
When done professionally at a salon, waxing may be less painful than if you do it at home, especially since so much can go wrong with at home waxing, but it is never a pleasant experience.
Waxing can last a long time, depending on how fast your hair grows. However, you’ll have to wait until your hair has grown in before you can wax it, which causes a frustrating week or two of hairy legs between waxes.
Advantages of Waxing
- Completely smooth, hairless legs when done properly and when you have waited long enough between waxing
- Inexpensive when done at home
- Natural treatment that doesn’t introduce any chemicals into your skin
Disadvantages of Waxing
- Painful enough to not be a consideration for many people
- Expensive if you have it done professionally at a salon
- Need to wait for hair to grow out significantly between waxing, which means that you’ll have a couple of weeks of hairy legs
Shaving is a good old-fashioned way to remove hair that has been practiced forever. There isn’t much need to describe what goes into shaving for most people.
However, if you’ve been shaving your whole life, you may find it becomes much more challenging as you get older, making other options more desirable. Most people who are considering hair removal options are looking for an alternative to shaving.
Advantages of Shaving
- Cheap and easy to do at home
- Creates quite smooth legs right away when done properly
- Completely painless unless you make a mistake
Disadvantages of Shaving
- Hair grows back very quickly, usually within 24 hours enough to be noticeable
- Hair is cut off at the tip, so it feel sharper when it grows back
- Time-consuming to remove hair completely
Intense Pulsed Light
Intense pulsed light, or IPL hair removal, has become increasingly popular in recent years. The goal is to improve the skin tone in a number of ways, including reducing unwanted hair:
Reduce wrinkles. Wrinkles are among the most obvious and hated signs of aging, but IPL may be able to reduce their visibility when they are treated regularly.
Get rid of blemishes. Blemishes from acne or other small scars on the skin may be dramatically improved by the regular application of IPL.
Increase collagen. Collagen is what helps your skin to look young and tight, so the ability of IPL to potentially increase collagen your skin can be a dramatic improvement on your skin’s appearance.
How Does IPL Work?
IPL works by pulsing intense light onto your skin, which is then absorbed by the melanin in the hair, reducing its color and then structure. It works best on dark hair and may not be effective on very light red, gray, or blond hair.
It may negatively affect melanin in the skin, so people with very dark skin may not want to use IPL. It may also affect a tan, especially if you have recently tanned. You should always check with your doctor before using any new device, but it is especially important to talk to your doctor if you’re using a medication that makes your skin sensitive to light.
The feeling is similar to having a rubber band flicked against your skin. The light comes in a series of wavelengths that scatter throughout the skin to various depths. IPL has been studied and found to be effective and safe even as an at-home treatment. There is usually a reduction in hair after three or four treatments and total results in 12 treatments.
Advantages of Intense Pulsed Light
- Treat yourself at home and get results within a few treatments
- Not as uncomfortable as many other hair removal options
- More affordable than other choices and one system will last you for a long time
- Can also be effective for other aspects of your skin like wrinkles and blemishes
- Can be used all over the body including the Brazilian bikini area and the face
Disadvantages of IPL
- People with the darkest skin tone cannot use it
- Not effective on very light-colored hair
- Causes some discomfort
Consider Hair Removal Alternatives
If you’ve been shaving or waxing all your life, it may be time to consider an alternative. Advancing technology provides options that may be less painful and more effective than what you’ve had access to before at a price lower than you may have expected.