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Hair Removal Options for Women

By HERWriter Guide
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women's options for hair removal iStockphoto/Thinkstock

If you ask any woman about hair removal, she'll likely tell you about shaving, creams, waxing and all other ways of normal hair removal.

But she'll just as soon tell you about how irritating the whole process is, as well as painful and expensive. I've tried many techniques and found some to be horrible experiences and one in particular that has worked like a dream.

The most basic form of hair removal is shaving. I shave my legs from the knee down every day in the shower with no bumps or rashes. I only have fine blonde hairs from the knee up so hair removal isn't necessary there.

One thing I changed about shaving was the use of shaving gel. I now use a thick hair conditioner on my legs instead and it stops any nicks or cuts and really moisturizes the skin.

Waiting a few minutes to shave is really important in order to let the skin soften and warm up a little. Shaving as soon as the shower starts can cause rashes and cuts.

Shampoo and condition your hair and wash your body first. Shaving should be the last thing done before finishing your shower.

Use a decent razor (check for rust too) and make sure razors are changed regularly to ensure they remain effective and clean. A brand name razor with at least three blades is a much better investment that cheap generic razors that can lead to cuts.

The good thing about shaving is that it's quick and effective and really inexpensive. The downside is that it needs to be done on a daily or near daily basis to avoid unsightly stubble that feels rough to the touch.

I've seen hair threading places pop up in malls in the past few years and have a friend who loves it.

Threading has been around the Middle East and India for centuries but has gained a lot of popularity in the West recently.

The threading process is done by using really thin strands of cotton and rubbing them over the hair, removing them (many hairs at once, often in a straight line) quickly.

Threading is not expensive (about $30 for eyebrows, in my area) and lasts several weeks. Some women find it painful, others like my friend, don't feel pain at all.

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Hair removal is not quite as easy or safe as some make it sound. The objective is to get rid of (or at least trim) hairs without damaging, scarring, infecting or burning the skin that the hairs live in. The is also an abundance of very poor information and advice about how one should safely remove hair.

Never use the depilatory cremes or gels especially on your face or bikini line as burns can result. There is also there is the question of lasting skin damage in later life. All hair removal cremes have caustic chemicals in them like calcium hydroxide or thioglycolates and The FDA mandates that must all have printed warnings printed on them but sadly no one reads these until too late.
Waxing, epilating, threading or sugaring are not good even though many people do it. These expensive methods are painful and leave a hole in the skin where the hair once grew and this can fill up with bacteria like staphylococcus aureus and cause painful infections and again permanent skin damage or discoloration. With waxing the skin loses elasticity causing premature aging.

Laser hair removal at home (IPL - Intense Pulsed Light) or is both expensive and painful and doesn't always work for all skin types or hair growth. http://www.skinandallergynews.com/news/aesthetic-dermatology/single-article/at-home-hair-removal-device-no-better-than-shaving/73c4709d333391925b7e56dc4e0372cb.html

Serious skin burns can result from so called professional laser treatments in a salon and again doesn't always work on all kinds of skin or hair types. The FDA expressly prohibits laser hair removal being described as permanent because it simply is not.

Never wet shave with a razor blade. Shaving with any naked razor blade damages the skin as the blade scrapes away not only the unwanted hair but also the top layer of your skin, the epidermis, from which the hair grows. This causes the familiar shaver rash and shaver burn that millions complain of. The skin is trying to tell you it has been injured and not to shave like this again. Wet razor blade shaving is the primary cause of painful ingrown hairs and red bumps called folliculitis barbae.

Also using a razor blade and shaving in the direction of hair growth, makes the hair bend and lie down next to the skin and then the razor blade slices the end of the hair diagonally and not straight across. The thin sliced end of the hair then bends inwards and downwards and grows into the skin where it becomes infected. The hair also becomes "trained to lie down against the skin and effective smooth hair removal becomes impossible.

It is popularly supposed that "shaving causes the hair to grow back thicker". This is an old wives tale brought about by razor blade shaving and has no basis in fact. Any doctor will tell you this supposed increased hair growth is biologically impossible. If it was true there would be an immediate cheap cure for baldness if you simply shaved your head with a razor. See http://www.bestbodyshaver.com/shaving-myths/ for a renowned Mayo Clinic doctor's advice. This illusion of changed hair growth is caused by wet shaving. The water used during shaving, is absorbed by the skin cells though the process called osmosis and these cells swell up. You will have seen this effect if you stay in the water too long and your skin gets the wrinkled "prune" look. This makes it impossible for a blade to cut the hair close to the skin. Water absorption causes the skin surface to puff up and the swollen skin cells ride up the hair shaft, concealing the base of the hair so that the blade cannot reach it to cut it. Once you finish shaving the skin dries out and the skin cells deflate as the water evaporates. This causes the uncut portion of the hair shaft to reappear.

The safe, effective answer to any body hair removal is to DRY shave with one of the new electric, sensitive skin body shavers like the unisex Bare It All personal shaver and bikini trimmer at www.BestBodyShaver.com. NOT THE SAME AS WET SHAVING WITH A RAZOR BLADE - purpose built body shavers are designed with special foils to let the hair be cut without the blades touching and injuring the skin. You have to trim the hair first to short stubble length to make it stand up and away from the skin. The Bare It All personal shaver and trimmer has both a shaver and also a built in trimmer. It is completely cordless and the plug is inbuilt into the shaver base and never needs power cords, plugs or voltage converters. It other words there is nothing to forget or lose even if traveling abroad.

Using this new rechargeable electric shaver you can get "smooth as waxing" skin without the itching, lumps, bumps and ingrown hairs you get with wet shaving. At less than $50 you get 500 hours of rechargeable shaving which works out at around 3 cents per shave. The titanium blades last for about 12 months too. Hair removal & trimming doesn't get any cheaper or more comfortable than that. Buy it online and you don't pay sales tax.

Compared to the other expensive forms of hair removal, some of which can seriously damage your skin and discolor it permanently, shaving dry with an electric personal shaver is a no brainer for either gender.

July 12, 2012 - 7:08pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.