If you choose to remove your body hair, these may very literally be very hairy times indeed. We never thought we’d ever come to appreciate our brow threader or bikini waxer quite this much, did we?

There’s no shortage of options out there for hair removal and they’re each very personal. Depending on your pain tolerance, budget and amount of time you can invest, there’s something out there for everyone and there are also ways to improve your current method of removal, even if it’s the trusty old razor.

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SHAVING

If you’re reading this and hate shaving because you get bumps and irritation or you don’t feel like you’re ever getting a close enough shave, read on.

First, how you prep your skin for shaving can make a big difference in the outcome.

If hair is longer than 1/4 inch, you should trim first to keep your razor from getting clogged and from having to go over the same area more than once, which can increase the potential for irritation.

Wahl Pure Confidence features 3 interchangeable heads for trimming and shaving, and can be used just about anywhere on the body. (via Amazon, $24.99)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recommend giving your skin a few minutes in the bath so that the hair can soften a bit. Another step I’ve found incredibly effective is to exfoliate when you’re washing yourself, especially legs and bikini area, which are usually most prone to bumps and where you’re most likely to want the closest shave.

I prefer exfoliation using a combination of a body scrub along with some sort of exfoliating mitt.

Bliss Hot Salt Scrub (via Amazon, $15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pacifica Coconut Cream Body Scrub (via Amazon, $12.99)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Original Kessa Hammam Scrubbing Glove (via Amazon, $9.99)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your hair is especially coarse, a pre-shave oil might help with softening the hair and skin further to minimize or prevent irritation.

Tree Hut Bare Moisturizing Shave Oil in coconut lime (via Amazon, $9.99)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil in lavender (via Sephora, $25)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a slick moisturizing shave cream to help your razor glide over skin smoothly, such as Cremo Coconut Mango Moisturizing Shave Cream. (via Amazon, $10.68 for a 2-pack)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a 4 or 5 blade razor, don’t press too hard and if hair is thicker, shave AGAINST the direction of hair growth. I’m sure you’ve seen heaps of articles telling you to shave IN the direction the hair grows, but really that only works for women with very fine body hair. For the rest of us, the resulting shave will look like 2-day stubble which is why it’s ok to shave against the direction of hair growth when the proper precautions and technique are used.

Solimo 5-blade razor for women (via Amazon, $18.99)

Finally, if irritation is severe, use a post-shave balm or lotion to soothe skin.

Cremo Unscented Post-Shave Balm (via Amazon, $7.99)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaveworks The Cool Fix (via Amazon, $26)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LASER HAIR REMOVAL

The Philips Lumea IPL Hair Remover for body, face and bikini is the most expensive option on this list at $499 USD. It’s also, in my personal opinion and firsthand experience, worth every penny and extremely effective. (via Amazon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used the previous model of this device about 7 years ago. Three sessions over the course of about 6 weeks and even now, all these years later, the hair on my legs (and other parts) is still almost completely gone. It’s best for women with dark hair, even if it’s coarse, and medium to lighter skin. I would advise against using this laser if you have dark skin, as it may cause scarring.

A few years before that I bought another hair removal device by a different company that was a complete waste of money. The IPL head was literally only the diameter of a pencil eraser, whereas the Philips covers a lot more area in one zap. With the previous device, it took me forever just to do my underarms and it didn’t even work. With the Philips I covered my underarms in just a few zaps.

Now for the part most of you probably REALLY want to know: does it hurt? In my experience, it’s less painful than waxing and I had a pretty decent amount of dark, coarse hair to get rid of. If you’re nervous about pain, pop an ibuprofen an hour before zapping and that should help.

The initial price isn’t cheap, but it’s still a lot less than salon laser hair removal, you can give yourself touch ups at home any time you want without having to make an appointment or pay more and the best part: I’ve saved a ton of money of the last few years thanks to next to no waxing or shaving.

WAXING

If you’ve never waxed at home before, the prospect can seem daunting, but it’s possible. If you’re new to it, I strongly advise starting off with a smaller area, such as the underarms or the outside of the bikini area. Giving yourself a thorough Brazilian at home is generally only possible if you’ve had your fair share of practice and ideally are also a Cirque du Soleil-level contortionist.

Once you’ve gotten your confidence and technique down, that’s when you move on to areas such legs.

First, remember to wax only unirritated, unbroken skin. No waxing over cuts and scrapes, eczema, etc.

To prepare skin for waxing, make sure skin is completely clean and dry. Lotions and most oils will keep the wax from adhering properly to your hair. Some people swear by pre-wax oils, but personally I’ve found them to not be helpful.

Test the temperature of the wax on a small area of your wrist or palm to make sure it’s melted but not burning you. This is especially important if you’ll be waxing your face, where skin is thinner and more sensitive than on your body.

When the wax is heated, spread it in a thin layer over the hair. Give it about 10-15 seconds to cool down and harden. Pull the skin taut with your free hand, grab the bottom of the wax strip, then quickly and firmly pull in the OPPOSITE direction of hair growth.

If there’s soreness, pressing your hand against the just-waxed section can make it feel a bit better.

Bliss Poetic Waxing Hair Removal Kit (via Amazon, $22.99)

Surgi-Wax Brazilian Waxing Kit (via Amazon, $24.68)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gigi Hair Removal Waxing Kit (via Amazon, $59.99)

After you’ve waxed, one of the soothing post-shave lotions linked to above will also help with any stinging or soreness.

To avoid ingrown hairs, remember to gently exfoliate the waxed area a few times a week and, especially on the bikini area, use salicylic acid pads to increase cell turnover. Protip, you can use salicylic acid facial pads (which I love for uses other than on my face!) which are usually 1/4 the price or less than pads just for the bikini area. The active ingredients are the same.

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Face Pads (via Amazon, $7.38)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THREADING

This is admittedly the only one I’m not brave enough to try at home (yet), which is really a shame because threading is the reason I’ve had great eyebrows for years now. I think I’ve watched this tutorial about a dozen times already and since it looks like my eyebrows will probably start to take over my face, that’s likely to be the time I’ll bite the bullet and try this technique on myself.

Do you dare try these at home? Any tips and hacks you have to make hair removal easier? Share below in the comments!