Body Hair Removal: A Guide to the Latest Lasers and Treatments
Ah, hair removal. It’s the one part of our beauty routine we dread—particularly during the summer when hairy situations are impossible to ignore. If there was ever a silver lining in this necessary evil, it’s that we have plenty of options. And thanks to advances in technology, getting rid of fuzz is easier than ever before. Keep scrolling to read up on the latest hair removal methods and products, from a flexible razor that will get you your closest shave yet, to permanent laser treatments that will tackle every last stray.
For a quick fix:
You can always trust the shaving method, which removes the hair at the surface of the skin for a super smooth touch. And there’s no need to steal your man’s razor—these days there are tons of lady-friendly options to choose from. Gillette’s Venus Swirl ($12; target.com), for example, comes with a flexible ball that makes it easier to glide over curves and tricky areas like the ankles and the back of the knees. Plus, the attached serum means your skin will stay moisturized long after shaving. Oh, and don’t be shy about getting rid of unwanted whiskers on your face also—according to dermatologists, the idea of the hair growing back darker and thicker is only a myth. The true downside to shaving (aside from chances of razor burn and ingrown hairs, of course) is the short lifespan—the effect only lasts for one to three days.
Another popular and fairly inexpensive choice is a depilatory cream. They dissolve hair at the surface of the skin for a quick removal that can last for days (typically longer than shaving). But be warned: These formulas contain chemicals that sometimes have an unpleasant odor and can irritate sensitive skin types. Be sure to follow the instructions closely (like when it says to leave it on no more than 10 minutes) to avoid redness and stinging. To safely remove hair on areas like the arms and legs in the shower, we recommend using products like Nair Moroccan Oil Shower Power ($9; target.com) and Bliss Fuzz Off Foam ($32; ulta.com). Unlike some depilatory products, these have fresh scents and condition the skin.
For a permanent solution:
At-Home Laser Hair Removal
If you prefer tackling unwanted hair in the comfort of your own home, a hair removal device like Silk’n Flash & Go Luxx ($300; silkn.com) can help you do so. Thanks to its advanced light-based energy, it destroys hair at the follicle and prevents it from growing back. It’s safe to use on all parts of the body, but might require up to eight sessions to see the full results. Unfortunately, a gadget like this isn’t for everyone. This particular product isn’t suited for dark skin types and those with light hair might not respond to the treatment.
Professional Laser Removal
Another long-term option is professional laser removal, which uses a concentrated beam of light to target unwanted hair on all parts of the body, including the face, bikini line, legs, and even the underarms. If you’re worried about pain and endless appointments, you’ll be happy to know these problems are a thing of the past. “The newer lasers are much quicker, have less pain, require fewer sessions and do not require the use of a messy gel that most of the older generation lasers require,” says plastic surgeon Norman Rowe, MD. Of course, this means it might cost you a pretty penny. Prices range from $200-$2000, depending on the area you’re treating and the number of sessions you need.
Here are two innovative laser treatments you should know about:
The Diolaze Laser
“It's the first laser with the combination of high peak power and largest spot size, making it first in its class. The most impressive part of this specific hair removal technology is that it has a simultaneous pre and post cooling hand piece which minimizes discomfort,” Lauren Abramowitz, founder of Park Avenue Skin Solutions tells us. “Patients with lighter skin complexion and darker hair color will see faster results than patients with darker complexion or lighter hair color due to the laser being designed to absorb melanin pigment.”
The Cool Glide
“This is another laser removal system for all skin types,” Abramowitz adds. “It has the ability to treat light to dark skin on all parts of the body and offers permanent hair reduction for lasting results.”
A minimally invasive alterative:
Another technique Abramowitz recommends is electrolysis, which is a minimally invasive procedure that destroys one hair at a time. “It involves sticking needles into each individual hair follicle and delivering an electrical charge directly killing every hair follicle the specialist treats,” she tells us. “This procedure is better for light peach fuzz, grey or red hair. It is also preferred for the treatment of small areas such as the eyebrows, upper lip, and chin.” While the cost varies from place to place, the average price is $60 for 30 minutes.