A Hairy Affair

Hair removal is not something people like to talk about but it is a very important topic. I mean, there is anything wrong with having body hair – but there is nothing wrong with liking to be ‘hair-free’ either. It’s like some women (or men) like having long hair, some just like it short. Some men like moustache, some like a clean-shave look. It’s a personal choice, and you should not be judged for it.

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Hair Removal Options

Temporary Removal

The Fast and Furious Razor

So when I was a teenager – having been influenced by what I saw on TV, I tried the most basic hair removal option available – the shaver. It was a big mistake – the hair grew back fast and courser too. So definitely a ‘no-no’. I don’t recommend it at all.

The Not-so-great-smelling-but-effective Hair Removal Cream

When I got a bit older, I also tried hair removal cream – they stink but they were easy. Just slap a layer of cream on your legs, leave them on for a few minutes and rinse off in the shower. Now they have all sorts of scents (but somehow they still stink to me). But what  I worry most even back then was the kind of chemical that I was putting on my skin…

Over the years, I have narrowed down to two brands that I thought were quite safe –   I didn’t get any skin reaction from them and the hair falls off easily enough. If you decide to go for these -I would recommend Nair and Veet. 

The Instant "Voila" Wax Strips

Today  – it’s quite easy, there are instant wax strips you can easily use. Just rub the strips before peeling them apart. Place the strip on your legs – AND STRIP! Easy peasy. They are cheap and fast – a bit painful at certain places. But if you have done it so many times – you don’t feel pain anymore. It could probably mean that my pain sensors are dead, (lol) who knows? I still use these – for emergency. Always have a box of strips handy… just in case.

Works well when you don’t have such a huge area to cover…I use Veet strips.

The Ever-so-reliable Melted Wax

As most of you would know, you need to have the wax melted first. Then place the slightly hot melted wax on the targeted area, and then put a clean waxing cloth strip over the area and zap! Strip the hair right off.

This produces a much better and cleaner waxing outcome compared to the instant strips. Useful for large areas like the legs. Usually, you would get this done at a spa or something – and I used to get my legs done this way every month. Had a regular place that I go to. For the leg areas, if you do it like once a month like I did  – after a while you really don’t feel the pain so much. Seriously I think my pain sensors are dead down there. But the key thing with this method is that – your hair re-growth is slower and the hair that grows back is finer.

Painful-but-thorough Threading

I was introduced to threading by my friends – oh my God – it’s painful. I did not look forward to my threading sessions.

So what is threading? They do this a lot in Asia. A thin thread is doubled and twisted and rolled over the targeted area,  plucking rows of hair at the follicle level. Usually, this is done for smaller surface area like the face, around the eyebrows etc where the hair is very fine and short. The hair doesn’t grow so fast and if you do it often enough, some don’t grow back – and they are finer when/if they do. 

Photo by Rune Enstad on Unsplash

"Pluck-them-Out" Epilators

I have purchased a few different models/brands over my lifetime. They remind me of threading – but easier to use and less painful. These are small handheld machines, so you can use it at the comfort of your own home. (Comfort here refers to only privacy because the whole experience is not that comfortable). Personally I don’t think the outcome is as effective as threading – they ‘pluck out’ less hair –  guess that’s why these devices are less painful to use.  

I have stopped using these. But that’s because I got myself an IPL device now…Recommended epilator brands, just in case you want to give it a go – Braun and Philips. They are cheaper options compared to the IPL devices. 

Permanent Hair Removal

"My-Bestie" IPL Device

IPL stands for Intense pulse light. I own one – the Philips Lumea Prestige and I LOVE IT! How it works – is that tiny beams of light are zapped into the bulb within each follicle to destroy it. You have to read the instructions clearly – your hair has to be at the right length for the light reach the bulb. And at any one spot, you will have hair growing at different life cycle – so you may have zapped one follicle but another two or three may come out later. So you will find that you will need several treatments until you see no further obvious growth in the spot. Also, it doesn’t work on lighter hair colours like blonde and light grey which has less pigment.

For smaller areas of the body, this is an easy, alternative to laser treatment at the clinic. You have to be very patient though and follow through with the periodic treatment. (But even the expensive laser treatments require at least 5 sessions depending on the amount of hair you have in the targeted areas).

It is not a cheap gadget – and not all markets have all the Prestige models. I actually bought mine in Dubai while on business trip. I cannot recommend this product enough!!! It works and safe and you can control the intensity especially for those sensitive areas. 

Check my post here on Philip Lumea Prestige – my choice of IPL device.

Laser Hair Removal Treatment - Expensive but Worth It!

When I started work (ages ago)- I asked for the price of the treatment for a very, very small area. It costs close to what a basic iPhone would cost. So I never asked again until four years ago, when my friend told me she went to do her legs, and she was happy with the outcome – it was worth every cent!.

So I checked it out. It was still expensive – perhaps relatively cheaper now with technology and competition but still – expensive. As you can tell – I have tried a lot of different ways to get rid of the unwanted hair… I finally decided that I could afford it, so I did it! I did my whole leg area – and it took about eight visits to get it all done.  Now four years passed – I do have a bit of hair growth but very few and very fine. So did not regret anything.

I would definitely recommend it – because I haven’t been to the spa to get my legs waxed in the last four years – no more pain, or stress to get an appointment at the right slot and so on. One of the best investments I have ever done!

I do have a bit of hair regrowth as I mentioned and that’s where my IPL device comes in. So just bear in mind that there is no guarantee of 100% Nil regrowth. But there are much fewer hairs and really so few that they are hardly noticeable. AND I only need to zap the hair once or twice with my IPL device, and the hair is gone for good. So the gadget works well as a sort of maintenance thing for those who have done the laser treatment.

So, the Verdict...

If you’re looking for a permanent hair removal solution (almost permanent mind you as there may be regrowth of new hair follicles now and again – but a lot less than before of course),  laser treatment is the best option out there. But not everyone can afford it. The next best thing is I feel to invest in an IPL device – but you need to be disciplined and follow through with the number of treatments to get results. 

Check my post here on Philip Lumea Prestige – my choice of personal  IPL device.

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