How Much A Beauty Editor's Hair Removal Routine Actually Costs

In 1903, a Wisconsin-born salesman suffered an epic entrepreneurial failure: After spending nearly a decade perfecting a sure-to-be groundbreaking invention, he sold just 51 pieces in his entire first year of business. That businessman was named King Camp Gillette, and his invention was a steel safety razor. Within a few years' time, word got out that Gillette's innovative shaving device was a must-have — and business boomed.
The hair-removal industry has come a long, long way since Gillette's original gadget, with the multibillion-dollar business now spanning from lasers to waxing kits to threading to sugaring and beyond. And, like gas prices and movie tickets, the cost of hairlessness has risen precipitously over the course of the past century. One survey, conducted by American Laser Centers, found that the average woman will shell out around $10,000 on at-home hair removal in her lifetime; those who prefer to wax will see that number more than double.
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To get a better idea of how much women are spending on the regular, we asked Refinery29 beauty editors to share their monthly hair-removal routines — and to show the receipts.
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"I'm legitimately neurotic when it comes to body hair, and am so fixated on removing every single one that I've tried hypnosis, talk therapy, and meds. So it should come as no surprise that I have every possible tool in my arsenal, from tweezers to razors to wax strips to lasers. I spend a large (way too large) chunk of my life in the bathroom making sure every place other than my head is fuzz-free, which I like to think makes me something of an expert on the subject of hair removal. Or maybe it just makes me someone who needs to find some new hobbies." — Alix Tunell, senior beauty editor
2 of 20
Face

Tweezerman Slant Tweezer ($23)
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3 of 20
Body

Venus Platinum Extra Smooth Metal Handle Women's Razor ($12.99)

Skintimate Skin Therapy Moisturizing Shave Cream ($4.37)

Sally Hansen Hair Remover Wax Strip Kit ($5.99)

LumaRx Full Body Hair Removal System ($449)

Total: $495.35
4 of 20
"I'm an extremely hairy person by nature, but I like to keep the majority of my body — with the exception of my arms — as hairless as possible. This is not a quick and easy process. I shave my face once a week, if not more, as well as my armpits, stomach, legs, and toes (yes, toes). For my face and armpits, I use a basic drugstore razor, and I touch up my peach fuzz with a gentle face trimmer.

"When it comes to my legs, I've been trying to get used to the sensation of an epilator because 1) I'm lazy and want smoother skin for longer periods of time, and 2) tools make me feel fancy — but it hurts like hell. So, when I can't finish more than my ankle, I'll use the Venus razor with a rotating handle to save me from nicks. If my roommate is reading this, now she knows why I take up so much time in the bathroom." — Sam Sasso, beauty writer
5 of 20
Face

Finishing Touch Flawless - Instant and Painless Facial Hair Remover ($19.99)

BIC Soleil Twilight Triple Blade Disposable Razor for Women ($5.49)
6 of 20
Body

Braun Silk Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator ($69.99)

Nivea Creme Moisture Foaming Silk Mousse Body Wash ($5.99)

Gillette Venus Swirl Women's Razor Handle ($8.99)

Total: $110.45
7 of 20
"I've found that more blades always make for a better shave, so I use a razor with five. Coupled with a rich, hydrating cream, my legs end up being as smooth as if I splurged on a wax. I do not follow that rule when it comes to facial hair, though: Per aesthetician Renee Roleau's suggestion, I tackle my facial hair with a single-blade Tinkle. The hair does grow back faster, but thankfully, these blades come in a pack of three. And when ingrowns happen (because they're like the common cold… you can’t avoid them), I use a glycolic and salicylic acid treatment to keep them at bay." — Khalea Underwood, beauty writer
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8 of 20
Face

Dorco Tinkle Eyebrow Shaper ($4.03)
9 of 20
Body

eos Pomegranate Raspberry Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream ($3.39)

Walgreens Beauty Five-Blade Razor ($5.99)

Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment ($32)

Total: $45.41
10 of 20
"For someone who'd rather gross out a salon technician during a pedicure than take an extra five minutes in the shower every day to shave my legs, I've gone to great lengths to remove my body hair. I laser my armpits (and have done a few sessions on my pubic area, too), so the hair there is scarce, and whenever I do need a touch-up, that means waxing appointments are ten times faster. Sometimes, when I'm drunk, I'll bring out the big guns: at-home wax kits. I nearly cried when I left my eyebrow tweezers at home during a weeklong vacation. And while I do despise shaving my legs, my bathroom is never not stocked with at least five razors at all times. I can pretend I don't care about the hair on my body, but the truth is: I have zero chill." — Kelsey Castañon, senior beauty writer
11 of 20
Face

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tweezers ($28)
12 of 20
Body

Intuition f.a.b. Razor Kit ($13.49)

Barbasol Shaving Cream ($1.45)

Completely Bare Waxing Kit ($13.99)

Brazils Waxing Center Brazilian Wax ($52 per service)

Spruce & Bond Laser Hair Removal Touch-Ups ($250 per service)

Total: $358.93
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13 of 20
"I don't have a lot of hair on my body — just random sparse patches on my legs and eyebrows. In middle school, I was so self-conscious about having the smallest little patch of missed hair on my legs — in part because of a mean girl who called me out for it — but now, I could honestly care less. I'll run a razor down my legs and under my pits in the shower when I remember. I rarely mess with my pubic hair either, but every now and then when it gets unruly down there, I'll use an electric razor on the shortest setting to trim it down. It's super easy, and I haven't had a single ingrown hair since." — Mi Anne Chan, beauty writer
14 of 20
Body

Gillette Venus Embrace Women's Razor ($13.99)

Philips Norelco 3500 Power Razor ($59.99)

Total: $73.98
15 of 20
"For someone whose hair on her head is down to her butt, I'm weirdly obsessive about hair everywhere else and diligently remove it through a mix of waxing, tweezing, and shaving — depending on my pain tolerance and degree of laziness that month. One of these days, I'm going to make like Kim Kardashian and just go full-on laser everywhere, but until then, this is what's working for me." — Cat Quinn, beauty director
16 of 20
Face

Eyebrow Shaping ($50 per service)

Tweezerman Slant Tweezer ($23)

Philips Compact Hair Removal Epilator ($27.95)
17 of 20
Body

Venus Platinum Extra Smooth Metal Handle Women's Razor ($12.99)

Strip Ministry Of Waxing XX Strip (Full Bikini) ($55 per service)

Tweezerman Super-Fine Point ($24)

Total: $192.94
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18 of 20
"I got laser hair removal years ago, so my routine is very basic. I use a two-in-one razor and trimmer for my arms, but other than that, I'm boring — just a razor and shaving cream. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Brow guru Kristie Streicher got me to grow mine out, even though it was hard, and now I just tweeze the hairs between my brows and any strays that are noticeably outside of my brow shape. I do it once a month because she says it's important not to mess with the growth cycle — and what Kristie says, I obey." — Lexy Lesback, senior beauty editor
19 of 20
Face

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tweezers ($28)
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Body

Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle Razor ($16.79)

Skintimate SkinTherapy Moisturizing Shave Cream, Sensitive Skin ($3.49)

Gillette Venus Swirl Women's Razor Handle ($8.99)

Total: $57.27
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