Lady shaving her legs in the bathWhether you’re wearing cropped shorts on a camping trip, a swimsuit at the beach, or a flowing sundress to a party, excess body hair is not an option! But luckily, when it comes to getting rid of the fuzz, you have quite a few options. With today’s technology, the range of pricing and convenience has never been so broad. But if the idea of going bare has you perplexed, I’ll break down the top three processes of hair removal.

Let’s start with waxing. Everyone is a candidate for waxing, and it can be done at home, but should be done in a salon. It’s a quick, thorough method, which can be used anywhere on the body, for all hair types. Waxing can be painful (it feels like a large bandage being ripped from the skin), so it’s best to take an Ibuprofen an hour or so before your appointment. The hair does grow back finer, so the more you do it, the less painful it is. To get the biggest bang for your buck, body hair must be ¼- ½ inch in length for complete removal, which lasts anywhere from three to six weeks. And open communication with your aesthetician is important—don’t be shy if you have questions, concerns, allergies, or sensitive skin.

Sugaring is another option, similar to waxing, with similar results. Some women prefer the sugaring method, for it is less tacky on skin, therefore making the process less painful. Average cost of either method: $15-$80.

Depilatory creams can work well, and this is the least painful of the three options I describe. You can buy the cream at the drugstore, and the process can be done at home. Hair is removed wherever thick amounts of the lotion is applied and then wiped clean from the skin, with results lasting for a shorter duration of one to three days. Make sure the depilatory product you are using is formulated for the correct hair type. Doing a test spot for sensitivity is always advisable to avoid unsightly rashes and irritation, which can kill the joy of any vacation or warm weather outing. Average cost: $4-$14.

For long-term to permanent results, seek out medical spa facilities that offer electrolysis or laser hair removal services. Laser services can significantly reduce or completely remove small to large areas of hair, generally taking between six to twelve treatments. Since they operate by detecting darker pigments, laser hair removal is most recommended for those with lighter skin and darker hair. Electrolysis, on the other hand, is the only FDA-approved method of permanent hair removal for all skin and hair types. It works by zapping each follicle with an electrical current, thus destroying it the root. This can be a very lengthy process, with the number of sessions varying between fifteen and thirty. Most women use this method for targeted areas such as the face or bikini areas. Average cost: $200-$900+.

Whether you’re wearing cropped shorts on a camping trip, a swimsuit at the beach, or a flowing sundress to a party, excess body hair is not an option!

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