The hair removal methods you choose to use should be based on a number of different factors, such as the amount of hair that needs to be removed, your skin sensitivity and pain level, and how permanent you would like the hair removal to be. Additionally, of the several different types of hair removal methods, some are easier and more comfortable to use on certain areas of the body than others. For example, it would be time consuming and difficult to pluck every leg hair out with tweezers rather than waxing, though both methods remove the hair by the root and have largely similar effects. Finally, the cost of some of the procedures, such as laser hair removal, can be a limiting factor in determining the best method to use.
One of the easiest and most commonly practiced hair removal methods is shaving. Shaving the hair off with a sharp razor only removes the hair at the surface of the skin and usually needs to be repeated every day or every few days, depending on the thickness and texture of the hair growth, in order to maintain smooth, hairless skin. The risks of shaving are relatively minor and include razor burn and small cuts or nicks in the skin.
Depilatory creams break down the physical structure of the unwanted hair and make it possible to simply wipe the hair away. Depilatory creams are usually painless, unless you use them on sensitive areas of skin or have a reaction to the chemicals. Hair is removed from just under the skin, so it takes longer to grow back than with shaving, but not as long as with waxing or other methods that remove hairs by the root. Also, depending on the texture and thickness of the hair, creams may not work as well as other methods at removing all of the hair.
Slightly more permanent hair removal methods include waxing, plucking, and threading, which all remove the unwanted hair by the roots, causing it to take up to a few weeks to grow back. Using an epilator, a device which resembles an electric razor but actually employs several tweezers to pluck the hairs out quickly, would also fall into this category. While these hair removal methods provide longer lasting results, they are usually much more painful than shaving or using depilatory creams and have a greater tendency to cause ingrown hairs.
Laser hair removal and electrolysis have the potential to provide the longest lasting results of all of the hair removal methods, at the cost of inconvenience and a substantial amount of money. Laser hair removal can potentially last for several months after the initial series of treatments, while electrolysis permanently destroys the hair follicles, preventing new hairs from growing. Both methods require several treatments in a professional setting to get rid of all or most of the hairs. Home electrolysis kits can be used, but are usually less reliable and carry a greater risk of pain and scarring.