The best way to remove body hair based on your pain tolerance
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BEST FOR Anyone. Down with those who demand we remove anything.
PAIN LEVEL Non-existent, because you’re happily binge-watching Billions instead.
BEST FOR When you swiped right and suddenly have a date.
MAKE IT LAST Shaving cuts hair instead of pulling it out at the root. To avoid stubble five seconds after you step out of the shower, “exfoliate and rinse with warm water to remove excess oil and dirt before shaving,” says Christine Jew, brand manager for Schick.
PRO TIP A two-blade razor does the job fine, says Dr. Renée Beach, a dermatologist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. Shaving cream, gel or oil will give you a closer shave; they are gentler on the skin than soap.
PAIN LEVEL If boredom is pain, then off the charts.
BEST FOR Those who are wary of waxing but sick of shaving.
MAKE IT LAST You can’t. Depilatories kill hair just below the root, so they don’t affect hair growth.
PRO TIP Depilatories are exfoliants, so feel free to apply self-tanner about 24 hours after.
PAIN LEVEL None, other than for your nose – it can get irritated by the chemical smell (which companies are getting better at concealing). Note, do not use for DIY Brazilians or on moles, scars or broken skin.
BEST FOR Small surface areas (i.e., the face) and fine hair (i.e., not the bikini), since threading uses cotton thread to lift hair from the root, says Claudia Liera from Toronto’s Ritual Hair Skin Beauty. It’s also a great alternative for people who use retinol or Accutane – these sensitize skin, making it more easily irritated by waxing.
PRO TIP Before and after, ask your aesthetician to apply soothing and sanitizing witch hazel.
PAIN LEVEL Comparable to tweezing.
BEST FOR Lazy types who want to go hair-free longer.
MAKE IT LAST Hair should be the length of a grain of rice, says Lexi Miles, founder of the Waxon Waxbar chain. She recommends returning at four- to six-week intervals. Continually waxing hair at the same part of its growth cycle will help stunt its growth.
PRO TIPS Stripwax – think Steve Carell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin – is great for arms and legs. For the bikini and armpits, Miles prefers hard wax, which hardens on skin. It’s not as hot and won’t burn or lift skin. Look for salons that use waxes with titanium dioxide, which reduces redness, and mica, which grips hair.
PAIN LEVEL Unavoidable. Schedule your wax post-period; when it’s that time of the month, hormonal changes make our bods more sensitive to pain.