Getting Out Of A Hairy Situation: What You Need To Know About Hair Removal

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Summertime means a lot of things -- cookouts, longer days, special summer deals -- but the one thing they generally mean for women is hair removal. While you may love the look and feel of smooth, hairless legs (or armpits, or arms, etc.), but you might not love the sometimes painful, often boring process of shaving off all of that hair. If you're looking past the razor to alternate hair  removal technology and wondering exactly which option might be right for you, then here's what you need to know.

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to fry

The new kid on the block when it comes to hair removal, electrolysis is quickly growing in popularity due to its low pain levels (a topical anesthetic is usually all that's needed). It also holds the elusive 'permanent hair removal' label assigned to it, rather than a hair 'reduction' technique. A small electric probe is inserted into a hair follicle and fries the follicle, ensuring that after the (now dead) hair is removed from the skin by a pair of tweezers, no hair can ever grow from that follicle again.

Electrolysis works for every hair color/skin color combination, as it relies on pinpointing the follicles rather than relying on a machine to tell the difference via pigmentation. And speaking of...

One light to rule them all

Laser hair removal is automatically the 'other' option when you throw out the razor, but what do you actually know about this method? Laser hair removal is done by beaming high-intensity light onto the hair follicles, effectively preventing them from growing new hair for a time. You have to have several sessions, but after all the hair has been treated it is slow to grow back, and you'll only need to touch up every year or so.

The downside to laser hair removal is that it requires fair skin and dark hair to be most effective; those with darker skin or lighter hair may be unsuccessful in targeting the hair.

Applying creams ain't like dusting crops, boy

Technically called depilatory creams, hair removal creams work by simply applying the formula to your skin, most of the time while in the shower, and waiting for a couple of minutes (usually somewhere from 2 to 5, depending on the formula) before rinsing it -- along with the hair -- off. While this is possibly the easiest method of DIY hair removal, it is not without its problems. Those with sensitive skin should probably not reply too heavily on hair removal creams, as they might react poorly, and you may need repeated coats in order to get rid of stubborn hairs.