Pros: Waxing pulls hair out at the root, so you’re guaranteed a few weeks of that lovely smooth-as-a-baby’s-bum feeling. It also weakens hair over time, meaning that re-growth will become slower, and will feel softer.
Cons: It can be eye-wateringly painful, especially on sensitive areas like your bikini line and underarms, so take an aspirin 30 minutes before you start to help block pain and reduce inflammation. You also have to let the hair grow to at least 6mm long before wax can grip it properly, meaning you’ll have to tolerate re-growth for several days before booking in for your next session.
Ouch Factor: 4/5
Pros: Laser is the most permanent method of hair removal. After a few sessions, most people will have noticed a drastic reduction in growth. Leave it in the hands of the professionals by booking into a salon (award winning medispa Destination Skin has 26 clinics nationwide, call 0800 644 0016 for more information), or try it DIY-style with an at-home device; we recommend Tria’s Hair Removal Laser 4X (£375, triabeauty.co.uk).
Cons: It’s pricey. Professional in-salon treatments, which deliver the best results, are the most expensive. Prices vary widely, but you can expect laser hair removal on half a leg to cost around £400. Also, it’s far more effective on certain skin tones – the lighter your skin, and the darker your hair, the more effective the treatment.
Ouch Factor: 2.5/5 – it feels like an elastic band pinging against your skin, but can be more painful on sensitive parts.
Pros: It’s quick, relatively cheap and instantly effective.
Cons: Shaving removes the hair at the skin’s surface, not the root, so regrowth is fast and feels bristly. It can also be drying on your skin, so be sure to use a moisturising shave gel rather than soap, which will cause further drying.
Ouch factor: 0.5/5 – virtually painless, apart from when you knick yourself
InStyle recommends: Gilette Venus & Olay Sugarberry Scent Razor (£8.99, boots.com). In-built moisture bars contain hydrating Olay skincare ingredients, which help to banish dryness.
HAIR REMOVAL CREAM
Pros: Like shaving, depilatory creams are fairly cheap and easy to use. They’re a good alternative to shaving if you have sensitive skin and suffer from shaving rash or ingrown hairs.
Cons: Application can be messy, and they tend to smell pretty bad.
Ouch factor: 0/5 – it’s painless, but remember not to leave it on for too long!
InStyle recommends: Veet’s Sensitive Skin Hair Removal Cream (£7.55, boots.com). It contains soothing aloe vera and vitamin E to help calm sensitive skin.
Pros: Like waxing, epilation removes hair from the root, so you get long-lasting silky smooth skin. It’s also cheaper than waxing, as you only have one initial outlay on buying an epilator.
Cons: If you think waxing is too painful, don’t even think about trying epilation. Rotating metal blades pull hair from the root which can feel excruciating, and as an epilator covers a much smaller area than a wax strip, the process is more drawn out.
Ouch factor: 5/5
InStyle recommends: Braun’s Silk-Epil 7 (£129.99, available nationwide). It can be used in water, which helps soothe pain.
By Jess Tibbetts