Laser hair removal may have a short history, hair removal does not. Indeed, archeologists found traces of hair removal dating back as far as prehistoric times. Back then, men and women would use shells and rocks to shave. Time has passed but civilizations have had the time to try out a lot of different techniques and finally find the best hair removal method.
Even today, a lot of those techniques still exist and are widely used by men and women alike. They all have their pros and cons of course. We have compared each to find the best hair removal method for you. Indeed, we want you to pick the most efficient, fastest and cheapest option to make your hairless dreams come true.
Why waxing sucks
Remember those ads on TV for cold wax stripes? That you’d have smooth legs for four weeks and be stress-free for just as long! What a lie! Truth is, the hair follicle starts to produce new hair immediately after you wax. Plus, since each follicle has a different growth cycle, not all your hair will grow back at the same time.
So you will either have to wait much longer for all your hair to be back and thus show your hairy legs… Or wax twice as often if your hair grows in batches. Not cool. Plus, waxing has a lot of side effects that can potentially be dangerous. Let’s not talk about redness and ingrown hair. Infections can do a lot of damage. And waxing hurts… so much! Thus? Not the best hair removal method.
But beyond that, it is quite expensive! Whether you do it at home or in a salon. We always recommend a salon because being stuck with wax stripes on your Brazilian and being unable to pull them off is quite the nightmare. Let’s make a small calculation.
Waxing for the full legs, Brazilian, underarms and upper lip costs around $100. This price is not inclusive of tax or tip. If you wax once a month, it is at least $1200 a year. Let’s imagine you need to wax once a month for the next 50 years. That is a big $60,000 spent on waxing. For that price, you could have bought yourself a car or paid a downpayment for a house.
Why shaving does not work
Shaving sucks. Why? Do we even have to say? Because you have to do it every other day. And the hair grows back immediately. It is thick and dark and itchy. Especially if you shave around your lady parts. Waxing may lead to hair growth reduction in the very long term, shaving stimulates hair growth.
It also has some side effects: itching, cuts, razor burns, pimples, ingrown hairs and inflamed hair follicles. Yes, it is easy and convenient at first but still not the best hair removal method. It is not even that fast! Especially if you need to shave a large area like your legs or bikini. What a waste of time. You could be doing so many other things instead.
Shaving is not that cheap either! Sure, the cost is lower than with waxing. Yet, it still requires an investment in the long term. You will have to buy razors, cartridges, shaving cream, etc. Your razor costs $20. A year worth of cartridges is $35. Shaving cream costs between $7 and $20 a month. $155 total a year then.
That’s $1,550 over ten years, $3,100 over twenty, and so on. The cost adds up. Since shaving does not reduce hair growth, you will have to shave until you die. Basically. Again, that is a significant investment. Wouldn’t you prefer to put that money elsewhere? On a holiday maybe? We sure would!
Why you should not use depilatory creams
Maybe you are not into waxing or shaving. Maybe you prefer chemical creams. Which is another common hair removal method. It is quite accessible since you can find them in drugstores and supermarkets. Are they worth it though?
Depilatory creams are easy to use. No need for outside help. You apply it, you wait three minutes, you rinse it away in the shower. The problem is that depilatory creams are packed with chemicals. They dissolve the hair, which makes it easy to wipe away. However, those creams are harmful to the skin since they increase the pH of the hair.
Consequences? Skin irritation, chemical burns or even allergic reactions. Chemical creams are very aggressive to the skin, which is why people with sensitive skin should not use them. Nor should they be used on the bikini area. Plus, creams do not remove the hair permanently and are therefore not the best hair removal method.
Using depilatory creams is like shaving. The follicle is still there and functional. So is the root. Depilatory creams are also expensive. A bottle is $8, and would cover the full legs. You will need multiple bottles if you are also looking to do other areas such as the underarms. Depilating once a week will bring the cost to $40/month. 35 years of using chemical creams will cost $12,800. Another big investment!
Why electrolysis is not the thing
Let’s move on to electrolysis, another hair removal method. Permanent this time. Indeed, once you are through with electrolysis, you can wave your body hair goodbye forever. Electrolysis has been around for over a century now. It is FDA approved as permanent and uses electricity to remove unwanted hair.
How does it work? By sending an electric current to the hair down the follicle through a tiny needle that is inserted into the follicle. This latter is immediately and permanently damaged. Thus, it is unable to produce new hair. Only licensed professionals can perform such a procedure.
Doesn’t electrolysis sound amazing? On paper, sure. In reality? Not so much. It is a very long treatment since the needle needs to get into each hair follicle one at a time. Therefore, each area will take quite some time to complete. For a small area. Large areas will require several sessions.
Electrolysis is more painful than laser hair removal. The electricity sent through the skin feels like stinging, akin to plucking. Ingrown hair, scaring, redness, swelling, skin discoloration and skin damage are potential side effects of the procedure. Plus the price. A 30 minute session for a small area costs $45. While it may be enough for the underarms, be sure that your full legs will require more time and therefore more sessions. The cost will then add up.
Why laser hair removal is the best hair removal method
Laser hair removal is the recent technique but so far one of the best. While the FDA does not call it a permanent hair removal method, a lot of patients do experience permanent hair removal.
Laser hair removal uses selective photothermolysis. The beam of light produced by the laser is absorbed by the hair. The energy travels through the hair to the follicle where it turns into thermal energy. The heat will damage the follicle, preventing any further hair growth. The combined effects of the several sessions will lead to long-term hair growth reduction.
Laser hair removal works on all skin colors and hair colors. Technologies such as the ND: YAG lasers make the procedure safe for everyone. Such lasers indeed do not rely on melanin too much to get through the skin to the follicle. Factors such as the skin color, hair texture, hair growth cycle, genetics and medication will influence how many sessions a patient needs.
Hormonal areas such as the bikini or face will require more sessions as well. Laser hair removal is the best hair removal method because it is the cheapest and most efficient in the long term. One small area will be treated in 10 minutes. A large area may need up to 45 minutes. The price will vary from $500 for six sessions (small area) up to $6,000 ( six sessions of full body).
Now let’s compare with the price of waxing. Full legs, Brazilian, underarms and upper lips will cost $3,500 for six sessions of laser hair removal. Some patients may need more. Compared to the $60,000 spent on waxing over a lifetime, the cost of laser hair removal is nothing.
Laser hair removal is the best hair removal method because it is cheaper in the long-term, painless, straightforward and done over the course of one year. It is a skincare investment that will require an upfront payment but that will produce long-lasting results and make your hairless dreams come true.