Humans have been on a quest for hairlessness since the beginning of time. Ancient Egyptians removed their body hair with tweezers and pumice stones. Today, nearly 99% of American women voluntarily remove their body hair.
Whether you shave, wax or opt for laser hair removal, here are a few of the most common hair removal mistakes and actionable tips to help you achieve hairless skin.
1. Not Storing Your Razors Properly
Storing razors in the shower leads to corroding and weaker blades. Clean and dry razors after each use and store them outside of the bathroom to avoid moisture and extend their shelf-life.
2. Not Prepping Your Skin With A Hot Towel
Prepping your skin with a hot towel before you shave will soften the hairs allowing for a closer shave. Never prep your skin with cold water since this can make it more difficult for the shaving cream to fully penetrate the skin and be effective.
3. Neglecting To Exfoliate
Exfoliating your skin before you wax or shave will enable you to achieve smoother results. Exfoliating on a regular basis can also help to prevent ingrown hairs.
4. Not Shaving In The Direction Of Hair Growth
You should always shave in the direction of hair growth. Shaving against the grain can cause irritation, and increase the chances of razor bumps.
5. Shaving In The Morning
When you sleep your legs can swell which makes shaving in the morning less than optimal. Shaving at night will allow you to get a closer shave.
6. Not Buying Razors In Bulk
It’s easy to end up using the same razor for months. A fresh blade is necessary in order to get the closest shave. Experts recommend using a disposable razor no more than 4 times. You can generally find good deals on razors on Amazon or at Costco.
7. Waxing Right Before Or After Your Period
If you’re extra sensitive to discomfort, avoid waxing right before, during or after your period. Hormonal fluctuations during these times can make waxing more painful. Instead, opt for a wax mid -cycle.
8. Take Accutane While Waxing
Accutane makes your skin more sensitive and fragile which can result in the wax actually removing some of your skin. Stop using Accutane 7 days prior to your appointment. If you don’t want to discontinue your medication you may want to switch to another method of hair removal such as waxing or laser hair removal.
9. Not Wearing Sunscreen After Waxing
Waxing leaves your skin more sensitive to damage from the sun which in turn can lead to skin burns or hyperpigmentation. Apply a gentle, hypo-allergenic sunscreen with at least SPF 15 if you’re going to be catching some rays.
10. Exfoliating Right After You Wax
According to experts, you’ll need to let the treated areas rest for at least 2 full days before it’s safe to exfoliate. Exfoliating prior to that can be very painful and result in redness and irritation.
Laser Hair Removal:
11. Expecting Permanent Results
Despite often being marketed as providing permanent results, laser hair removal simply offers significant hair reduction and won’t get rid of hair forever. Occasional touch-ups will be needed in order to keep you smooth.
12. Not Picking The Right Device For Your Skin & Hair Color
Unfortunately, laser hair removal won’t work for everyone. Devices which use diode laser technology, such as the Tria laser will not work for those with darker skin colors and blonde, red or grey hair. Fortunately, there are select IPL machines, such as the Tanda Me Smooth which will work for all skin types.
13. Not Shaving Before Treatment
Shaving before treatment ensures that the hair follicle will be destroyed. Any residual hairs will prevent the laser’s heat from fully penetrating the hair shaft. It can also cause the treatment to be more painful.
14. Opting For Expensive In-Office Treatments
In-office visits can cost anywhere from $250-$500 for a single treatment with numerous sessions needed for permanent results. Opting for home laser hair removal will allow you to save thousands of dollars in the long run.
15. Neglecting After Care
Your skin will be extra sensitive and more susceptible to skin damage afterwards. Wear sunscreen in order to prevent hyperpigmentation. Avoid hot showers and steam rooms for at least two full days in order to let your skin heal.