Hair Removal: Waxing Versus Shaving and Depilatory Creams

Generations of women have struggled with removing unsightly hair. Today there are more ways than ever to zap unwelcome follicles, but unless you have a highly expendable amount of time and money, waxing, shaving and depilatory creams are your most likely options. None of the three is perfect, but if you weigh the options, you can find the one that works best for you.

The wins and woes of waxing

If you're a busy woman who doesn't have any extra time to fool around, waxing might be your best choice for hair removal. Waxing is quick, and its results are immediate. If you go to a salon for your waxing, you also don't have to worry about the cleanup. However, there are obvious downsides to waxing. It's the most painful of the three methods, it can leave skin looking pink or raw directly after the treatment and, if you buy your own waxing kit, cleanup can be a real bummer.

Playing it safe with shaving

Shaving is probably the most common method of hair removal for body hair. Its pros are fairly evident. It's relatively quick and easy, doesn't require much cleanup and is pretty cheap. Downsides include missing hair that you can't see, potential nicks or cuts and razor burn if you shave a sensitive area. Some women also report that shaving can cause hair to grow back thicker and darker. Though these claims have never been completely proven, for some, even the possibility is enough to turn away from the razor.

Depilatory cream ups and downs

With the development of depilatory creams, many of the problems associated with waxing and shaving were solved. The creams are painless (though they might irritate sensitive skin), there's no chance of cutting yourself and slathering cream over an entire area makes it easier to remove hair from typical problem areas like ankles and knees.

But the creams come with their own bed of woes. The chemical smell alone of most creams on the market is enough to be a deal breaker for some women. Creams are also one of the messiest options. In addition, since there's no way to completely cover all the areas you're treating at the same time, when you wipe the cream off, you might find that there are areas that you've missed.

One thing's for sure: None of the popular hair removal methods on the market is perfect. But by evaluating the pros and cons of each, you can find one that will work best for you.

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