Imagine this: You’re getting ready for an afternoon date with someone you’ve had your eye on for a while. You have a great outfit; your hair looks wonderful; your shoes are gorgeous; your makeup is flawless; and there’s not a blemish in sight. You’re feeling fierce! As you hop into your car to go meet your dream date you flip down the mirror to check out your fabulousness one more time – and then you notice it. Right there, framing that perfect shade of lipstick is a mustache you hadn’t noticed in your bathroom mirror and you have exactly zero time to do anything about it.
Each one of us will deal with unwanted hair creeping up to haunt us when we least expect it. In that situation there’s little you can do aside from a bit of translucent powder, but your best bet is to properly remove hair regularly so you can avoid those catastrophes. Let’s talk about different hair removal techniques and what I recommend for different areas of the body, starting from the top and working our way down.
Eyebrows/face – Never shave your face. Are we clear? I know a lot of eyebrow grooming kits come with that little tiny razor, but it’s not your friend. First, shaving is a temporary fix and not even worth the effort. It can leave the skin in the shaved area dry and flaky. Second, hair that has been shaved grows back with a blunt tip so it may look thicker and will leave the dreaded “5 o’clock shadow” as it starts to grow back. That was a great look for George Michaels in the 80s, but it’s not a good look for you and your eyebrows, lip, chin, etc. Depilatory creams are normally too harsh for facial use. Buffing can leave skin with “road rash”. I suggest waxing, tweezing or threading for the face.
Underarms – Shaving is fine for the underarm area. Waxing can be rather painful in this sensitive and inconveniently-angled area and threading would take ages. Some people can handle a depilatory cream in this area but if you’re not sure then don’t risk it.
Arms/legs – Arms and legs can handle just about any hair removal technique based on your skin type. Sensitive skin should avoid depilatory creams and buffing as both can do more harm than good. Normal skin types are good to go with your preference. Oily skin may have a harder time with waxing.
Tummy – Some women, especially those who are just hairier to begin with or experiencing hormonal changes like ovarian issues, pregnancy or menopause, encounter hairy bellies. I suggest shaving your tummy.
Bikini area – This is another area where personal choice and skincare will matter most when it comes to hair removal. However, I strongly suggest against depilatory creams in the bikini area. The skin here is sensitive and you’re very close to areas where the slightest slip could cause a urinary tract infection or some other issues. Bikini Zone Chemical Burn might be a great name for a punk band, but it’s certainly not something I imagine many of you want to experience firsthand.
No matter what area we’re talking about or how the hair is removed, it’s important to remember to keep that specific area clean, exfoliated, moisturized and protected once the hair is gone.