Pros: Relatively cheap (although, admittedly, we still balk at the price of razor replacement blades every time we need to get a new pack), fast, and pretty much pain-free.
Cons: Pain-free, yes — unless you end up removing some skin along with your hair. Or slice open your Achilles heel. Or experience razor burn. That one, at least, is pretty preventable — just make sure that skin is very lubricated, either with a separate shave cream or a razor with built-in moisturizers, such as the Schick Intuition Moisture Care Razor or the Gillette Venus & Olay Razor. Bonus: We find that the removal of the extra step of lathering up somehow makes shaving less of a chore).
Pros: One of the biggest ups to waxing is that the results last longer for most women than shaving. Plus, if you choose to have your waxing done professionally, it can be downright convenient to outsource this particularly unpleasant beauty task.
Cons: Ouch! Depending on the expertise of your waxer, the sensitivity of your skin, and the kind of wax used, this process can be anywhere from mildly to extremely painful. Additionally, depending on how sensitive you are, a rash can develop post-wax, and you may experience ingrown hairs as the hair grows back in. This choice is also often more expensive than shaving.
Pros: A favorite of European women, this process is similar to waxing in that a bunch of tiny tweezers actually pluck the hair from the root, rather than cutting it at the skin. The result? Smoother skin for longer.
Cons: Oh, the pain. We'd only recommend epilating if you have a seriously impressive pain tolerance…or if you enjoy the feeling of receiving tiny electrical zaps all over your body. If you do decide to give it a try, we'd recommend starting with your legs to see if you can stand it before moving on to more sensitive areas.
Hair Removal Creams
Pros: No risk of cutting oneself, and no sensation of your hair being yanked out of your body (that's always nice, no?).
Cons: These formulas can be stinky. Plus, the way we see it, if a formula includes chemicals strong enough to dissolve your hair, maybe we don't want the stuff on our skin.
Pros: We've heard some women swear by this process and its super-long-lasting — even permanent, in some cases — effects. For many women, if they complete the recommended course of treatments, they may not have to deal with hair removal for months or years, and if they do see hair, it's usually very sparse and fine.
Cons: Cha-ching — laser hair removal is a major investment and requires multiple visits to see the best results, so make sure you factor in the cost of the entire course of treatment (and touch-ups!) before you start. Also, be prepared to get very up close and personal with your technician — if you laser your bikini area, they will literally be all up in your lady parts for an extended period of time. Tip well and tip often, you guys.
Pros: Besides the obvious no-effort benefit, we have two words for you: No. Stubble. Body hair can be an acquired taste, but we have to say that we would not miss feeling that telltale prickle of hair growing back in. Plus, you get to feel all radical and rebellious — even if, you know, you're just enjoying being a bit lazy.
Cons: Well...you'd be hairy. Depending on the darkness and thickness of your body hair, this might be more or less of an issue for you. Some people are horrified at the thought, while others take a more laissez-faire approach. We say: Do whatever makes you feel beautiful.
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