The Tipping List
Summer is in full swing so here’s your guide for keeping stubble in check
Keeping skin smooth and hair-free is an uphill battle, and until laser hair reduction gets less time consuming (and less expensive!) most of us are slaves to more archaic hair removal methods. Whether you’re loyal to one or choose to take many paths to hairlessness, here’s your guide to the pros and cons of the most popular. You just might find yourself trying something new this summer…
You’d be hard-pressed to find a woman without a razor in her shower. Whether you opt for an electric razor or a high-tech version with numerous blades and bells and whistles like moisturizing strips or vibration, shaving cuts the hair at the skin’s surface. And just to set the record straight, shaving does not make your hair grow back faster, darker or thicker. It just seems that way because you feel the flat edge when it grows in as opposed to the tapered end you get when you remove hair from the root.
PROS: Fast, easy, no appointment necessary, cheap
CONS: Only a day or so of smoothness until you have to do it again, potential to cut yourself. And of course – razor burn.
While it may seem like torture to some, waxing is a way of life for many women. Personally, I wax from the knee up (reserving the razor for daily use on my lower legs).
Although you probably want to leave Brazilian bikini waxes to the pros, you can save time and money by waxing your legs, arms and other body parts at home. But to make sure you know what you’re doing before slathering yourself with hot wax, check out Completely Bare’s first-ever At-Home Waxing Webinar on July 17. Cindy Barshop, founder of Completely Bare and smooth skin guru, offers up the advice of her experienced technicians to walk to through the basics and answer your questions free of charge-without having to make an appointment.
PROS: Because waxing removes hair from the root beneath the skin, you get significantly longer lasting results than with shaving.
CONS: Discomfort, you have to let hair grow out to about a quarter-inch long before you can wax again.
A centuries-old fix, threading is fast, simple and quite precise, which is why its many women’s hair removal method of choice for the eyebrows. There’s some debate as to its origins (Turkey, India and the Middle East have all staked their claim), but there’s no doubt that threading works. The only equipment necessary for threading is a spool of thread and someone who knows how to do it, and the process involves twisting a loop of thread over the hairs to remove them from the root
PROS: Great for anyone using Retin-A or who otherwise can’t tolerate waxing, results last for two weeks to four weeks.
CONS: May be hard to find a salon or spa that offers threading outside large cities.
Laser hair reduction
Today it’s possible to zap your way to hairlessness-but it’s important to realize that laser hair reduction is a medically based procedure that’s not without risk. Because lasers are attracted to the pigment (the color) in both the hair and your skin, different lasers are recommended for those with different skin tones, and the wrong laser can mean burns or permanent pigment changes so be sure to see a professional with experience treating hair and skin similar to yours. For optimal safety and results, you should not get laser treatments when tan, so you may want to wait until summer’s over.
PROS: Long-term hair reduction that’s easily maintained with periodic follow-up treatments.
CONS: Hefty price tag, can take up to 10 or more sessions for maximum results.