PAIN FACTOR: Zero, unless you manage to nick yourself.
COST: Totally affordable.
BENEFIT: There’s the DIY appeal of not having to book an appointment, plus the latest razor launches are making the shaving experience a bit more pleasurable. Gillette has released Venus Platinum, a metal version of its popular razor (not everyone wants a pink handle), while the new Schick Intuition f.a.b. Razor can be used to shave both forward and backwards.
PAIN FACTOR: Imagine plucking out an individual hair, but instead of one hair, you’re plucking handfuls, and instead of one pair of tweezers, you’re using 12.
COST: Varies. The Philips Satinelle will set you back $100, which is about the cost of two full-leg waxes.
BENEFIT: Feeling vaguely European. (Apparently this is a popular method overseas.) Like waxing, this technique pulls hair out from the root, so the results will last a lot longer than shaving.
PAIN FACTOR: Depends on which area you wax, but the default is unpleasant.
BENEFIT: When it’s done correctly, super-smooth skin with zero irritation. Over time, continual waxing of the same area will result in finer hair.
LASER HAIR REMOVAL
PAIN FACTOR: About the same as waxing—feels like being snapped by a hot elastic band.
COST: Varies. Because hair grows in cycles and there needs to be a hair in the follicle for the laser to target, expect to require no fewer than four sessions but sometimes up to six. Be wary of “deals”—these are often for lower-power lasers that require more sessions, and those add up quickly.
BENEFIT: Once your treatments are done, you may never have to think about hair removal again.
PAIN FACTOR: None, other than the general weight of societal expectations.
COST: Continually fielding questions/sidelong glances about your decision.
BENEFIT: Glorious free time.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of ELLE Canada.