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Hair Removal Methods:
Waxing, Chemical, Shaving & Laser Hair Removal

One of the things Mom didn't tell you when she was stumbling through the spiel on how great it is to become a woman was that you'd spend a significant portion of your life removing hair from the places where it naturally grows. The rule of fashion seems to be that whatever is least convenient and most unnatural is the most fashionable, which explains why women can't go to the beach or the pool without feeling uncomfortable in show-it-all bathing suits, and suffering from the combination of shaved legs and an application of stinging sunscreen.

Hair Removal for Your Bikini Line Requires Special Attention

The bikini area is composed of the coarsest hair on the body and the most sensitive skin, so fashion insists that it be placed on public view, and it must be utterly smooth. Some lucky souls are either so blond or so tough-skinned that keeping the bikini-line hair-free isn't a big deal, but most women have a terrible time.

Pros and Cons: Shaving, Waxing, Depilatory Creams and Laser

  • Shaving is Quick & Easy, But Irritating - Shaving, the most commonly used hair-removal method, is quick, but often creates a new problem in the form of razor burn or bumps. Waxing lasts longer because it yanks the hair out from the root, but it's very painful, and unless you get do a highly professional job of it, you'll end up with skin irritation. Ingrown hairs are a problem with both methods, contributing to skin irritation.

  • Chemical Hair Removal Last Longer, But Can Cause Reactions - Chemical hair removal by using products like Nair or Neat works for some people, but can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation, especially if you are trying to remove facial hair. After all, hair and skin are both composed of collagen, and an acid that breaks down hair is going to affect skin as well. Chemical depilatories last about as long as shaving, because they don't really take much hair off below the skin, no matter what the ads say.

  • Waxing: This can be a very effective way to remove hair from larger areas quickly and will help to control regrowth. Waxing is done by applying a thin layer of hot wax to the area of skin needing hair removal and using a strip of fabric or paper to pull all of the hair out at once, from the follicles. Waxing will leave skin smooth and hair-free, and can last up to several weeks because it pulls hair out, the actual time for regrowth will depend on the coarseness of the hair. Waxing can be done in a salon or at home. Some irritation may occur immediately after waxing, apply a soothing, moisturizing lotion right away. Try not to wax immediately before heading to the beach, give your skin at least a few hours to recover. While it is somewhat painful, the pain is over very quickly and the results may be well worth it!

    --Editor's Note-------------------------------------------------------------------

    Keeping Your Bikini Line Hair Free
    Without the Expense of Laser Treatments

    Permanent laser hair removal can be quite a kick to any woman's budget and it isn't for everyone. Not to mention that it is a process that takes a few months, which won't help you stay hair-free on your tropical vacation next week. Shaving and waxing aren't "old fashioned" or "out of date" hair removal techniques. In fact, many women still do wax and shave on a regular basis and there are many beauty products and tools that make bikini line hair removal a breeze (and leave you rash free).

    See a selection of hair removal beauty products and tools that are inexpensive, easy to use and will rid you of body hair where you don't want it.

  • Laser Hair Removal Lasts Forever, But is Expensive - The most effective hair removal system to date is laser hair removal. Laser methods work by directing a beam of intense light into the hair follicle. It burns the hair (you can actually hear it fry, and smell a little hair burning), and can disable the follicle if and only if the hair is in a particular growing stage when it gets zapped. Laser hair removal is not very painful (it feels like getting snapped with a rubber band), the hair is gone immediately, the area is usually hair-free for up to six weeks. Hair that does regrow comes in lighter. Repeated treatments can eventually kill hair follicles, but it takes 8 or 10 treatments, averaging around $200 apiece. On the upside, if you're headed for a summer in the sun and don't want to be bothered with troubling bikini-line issues, two laser treatments will keep you hair-free. Also, laser hair removal causes very little skin irritation, usually just some redness the day of the procedure.

    Last week, my friend Melanie had to make a tough decision. She desperately wanted a new rug for her living-room because her sister-in-law was coming to visit. She had also already invested her ready money in a ticket to the Bahamas, and wanted a sure-fire cure for a bikini-line that doubled as a hedge (her words, not mine). There was probably no way to do both, but we hit the rug stores on Saturday, looking for just the right thing. We saw a lot of ugly, overpriced rugs that day! After we'd been all over town, it occurred to me that we should look online, and within minutes, Melanie found the rug of her dreams on Overstock.com. It was a Tabriz, handknotted confection made of "kurk" wool. (The wool comes from the sheep's neck and is known for its luxurious softness.) It had a pale background, and was decorated with stylized peaches and a leafy border. It was gorgeous! And the price was right, too. Melanie snapped it up. Then she got on the phone and called the laser clinic and made an appointment for a bikini line treatment. Problem solved, and she still has enough cash to buy tourist knick-knacks when she gets to Grand Turks.

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