There is no such thing as a natural hair removal cream, as they are packed with chemicals to dissolve body hair. They are also not suitable for sensitive skin, and most causes rashes, and smell icky too. The first hair removal creams were invented by Native Americans from lye (caustic soda!) One laser hair removal company says that hair removal creams are so harsh, they are simply ‘like using a razor, but with no blade’. Also see how to switch to a reusable razor.
Colibry Threading Epilator (from Italy)
Threading is an ancient Indian technique to pluck hairs from the root, using cotton. Quite skilled to do, a recent invention has made it easier to use this method at home. Colibry Threading Epilator (from Italy) is made from plastic but a one-time purchase. Safe and painless, it uses a durable thread to uproot the shortest of hairs, and a few sessions can remove excessive hairs on the arms forever (store replacement threads away from pets and children). The company recommends letting hair grow to 3mm to 6mm for first use, then shorter for regrowth.
Sugar Coated Wax Hair Removal
Sugar Coated Vegan Hair Removal made from sugar and water. It’s water-soluble and biodegradable, and used with washable reusable strips. Made in Nottinghamshire, one jar lasts around three pairs of ‘half legs! If you are using it for underarms or eyebrows, it will last for longer. The main jar is sold alongside versions for legs (rosehip oil), bikini line (calendula oil), underarm (lemongrass oil) and facial hair (lavender oil). Do not use sugaring for 4 months after acid treatments or dermabrasions, nor if you suffer from vein diseases, acute varicose veins, sunburn, moles, warts, wounds, acne, oedema or weak connective tissue.
Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing & affected medical conditions (epilepsy, asthma, heart – no rosemary, citrus or sage oil for high blood pressure). Avoid shea butter for latex allergies. Keep essential oils & cocoa butter (toxic if licked) away from pets.
Waxing is not as popular as sugaring, which is less painful and a biodegradable mix of sugar, lemon juice and water, to remove hair for weeks from the root. Hair grows back softer and finer. However it’s painful and expensive unless you do it yourself.
Epilation Hair Removal
This expensive machine (around £140) still works out cheaper, if you regularly visit the salon to wax large areas. It’s a device with tiny electric tweezers that rotate across the skin, to remove hair from the root, with results lasting up to 4 weeks. It can be painful, so choose a wet/dry version that you can use underwater in the bath, to hopefully hurt less.
Although made from plastic, it’s a one-time purchase and can remove a hair of 1mm, as soon as you spot it. Good Housekeeping recommends Braun Silk Epil 9 Flex which you can use underwater and has a flexible head, for ease of use. It also has a kit for the bikini line, and a smart light, for hairs you may otherwise miss. Sold at Argos, it’s unsuitable for the head or eyelashes.
Use Light to Destroy Your Body Hair!
Home laser hair removal kits use light pulses to damage hair follicles (using UV protection usually) to remove all body hair in 30 to 45 minutes. The devices are costly (around £250) but they remove hair permanently after around 12 uses, so long-term savings are good, especially for hairy people! However they only work for dark coarse hair, rather than blonde or grey hair. Don’t use them near the eyes (upper lip is ok), on moles, pigmented areas or tattoos, not in the genital area (bikini line is fine).
One good brand is Lumi that claims to be painless, with excellent customer reviews (for irritation, just choose a lower intensity level). Say a loud ‘see ya never’ to cuts, razor burn, ingrown hairs, irritation – or bracing yourself for the next bikini wax! You can use Lumi anywhere you have unwanted body hair (though for the face, they recommend staying below the cheekbones).
Professional laser hair removal is only done by someone who is medically qualified, and you usually need more than one treatment for it to work. It’s expensive, but good for small areas if you have a real issue with hair growing back quickly. It works best for pale skin with dark hair – let tans fade, before beginning treatment, and your skin will be more sensitive to the sun.
For excessive hair on the face and body (hirsutism – usually caused by a hormonal imbalance or polycystic ovary syndrome), you may be able to get laser hair removal on the NHS (not for certain skin types or pregnancy).
File Away Your Facial Hair (?!)
Not as scary as it sounds, this does not involve you visiting your garage to find a plane! But it kind of works the same, using a beautician’s fine plane to gently remove ‘peach fuzz’ on the face, ideal for people with a lot of ‘down’ hair.
You visit a beauty salon for this one, where a trained expert uses a scalp blade to finely remove down hair over the course of an hour or so. The sterile blade is held at an angel to in effect ‘shave your face’, and is repeated every 4 to 6 weeks for maintenance. Although safe for most people, it is advised to avoid for cystic/active acne, very oily skin, rosacea, extremely sensitive skin and some forms of hyperpigmentation (ask your dermatologist).