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PLUCKING: Some people prefer to pluck their body hair with tweezers but, although the finished result is very smooth, it can be time-consuming and painful, and could lead to in-growing hairs.

THE EPILATOR: This has a similar effect to the tweezers, but could also be quite painful, possibly leading to red blotches. The epilator consists of rotating disks that grip the hair and pluck it out. It is quicker than using tweezers, but of course the hair has to be left to grow to a reasonable length in order for the blades to get a good grip.

WET RAZOR: Many people prefer this method as with the right equipment (the Mach 3 is highly recommended), it gives a very smooth finish to smooth skin. However, it is also possible to end up with nicks, bumps and rashes as the razor also shaves off the tiny layer of skin surrounding each hair follicle. The re-growth can also be very harsh and itchy. It can be difficult for people to shave their entire pubic region by this method unless they are able to see around corners or enlist the help of their partner!

ELECTRIC SHAVER: This method is the best for those who are inclined to have rashes or red blotches from using wet razors and is best on new growth, when the hair is very short. The re-growth also tends to be softer than with the wet razor as the tiny area of skin surrounding each hair follicle is pushed down, rather than being sliced off. It is easier to shave areas which can’t be seen as you can have more of a “feel” for what you are doing, and don’t need to be able to see around corners! The Philips Bodygroom series is made specifically for body hair removal and can be highly recommended - click HERE to view.

DEPILATORY CREAMS: These can be useful in that the effect lasts longer than shaving, but it can cause discomfort on those people with sensitive skin, so you should always follow the manufacturer's recommendations carefully. Care needs to be taken as the skin in some areas is very sensitive, so make sure that you buy a cream or mousse which is for sensitive skin. Try a test patch first. Make sure that you thoroughly wash away all the cream after you have finished, both from the area being treated and from your hands. It is advisable not to use any soap or shower gel on the treated area for several hours. Depilatory creams or mousses work better when the hair has grown to about 5mm long, so you would have to leave it to re-grow for a while before a repeat application.

WAXING OR SUGARING: This can be done at home, but waxing can be very awkward to handle and difficult to remove if it becomes stuck to the skin. Sugaring is easier as it is water soluble and just washes off in warm water with the ingredients being natural and ecologically friendly. Again, for waxing or sugaring to work effectively, you will need to allow the hair to grow long enough for the procedure to work. There is also the disadvantage of the pain when the strips of cloth are ripped off. You can have this procedure at a professional beauty salon by an expert, although this could be costly if a large area of the body is to be treated. Waxing or sugaring has a very smooth finish and lasts as long as 2 or 3 weeks.

ELECTROLYSIS: Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal method which has changed over the years, but the method used nowadays effectively cauterises the blood supply to each hair root by the use of a probe being inserted into each hair follicle and sending an electrical charge. This is not something which can be done with a “home kit”. Another variation is where each hair is grasped by a conducting pair of tweezers, which are then supplied with the high frequency electric current, although this system may not be adequate for strong pubic hair. You can buy home electrolysis kits but they are probably more suited to facial hairs only. Permanent hair removal is very costly and requires frequent treatments until the hair eventually becomes weak and disappears permanently. This could take more than a couple of years, depending on the strength of the charge and the amount to be removed.

LASER: The laser works by emitting a beam of light that passes through the skin to the root of the hair follicle, where it is absorbed. The laser energy is then transformed into heat, which disables the hair follicle. As a result, the hair growth is significantly impeded, or permanently eliminated. Nearly any area with unwanted hair can be treated, such as the legs, back, chest, arms, bikini areas, underarms and facial hair. You need to avoid natural and artificial sun exposure for 4-6 weeks before and after your treatment. Unlike other hair removal methods that require some degree of growth prior to treatment, all you need to do is shave before coming in for your appointment and avoid bleaching, tweezing or waxing six weeks prior to your treatment. The number of treatments required depends on your skin, hair colour and coarseness.

EPILIGHT (now LightSheer): This is a hand-held computer controlled treatment that generates an intense pulse of coherent light which safely heats and disables the hair root during growing phase of the hair. The light is delivered and penetrates the hair follicle via the melanin (colour) in the hair - it is for this reason that white and very fair hairs cannot at present be eliminated. The light disables the growing hairs which are then shed naturally over the next two weeks. Two days' hair growth is required prior to each treatment which takes place every 6-8 weeks over about a year. It is a simple, fairly painless, procedure which will leave you with long term hair-free skin. All parts of the body (including the genital region) can be treated and its unique design offers the flexibility of customised treatment depending on hair colour, texture and skin type and colour (dark hair on fair skin is best). As with electrolysis and laser treatment, it is very expensive, but worth it to achieve that totally smooth feel. See our Links page for details of the Harley Street Clinic.

Body Hair Removal Methods