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How to Determine Which Hair Removal Technique is Right for You

How to Determine Which Hair Removal Technique is Right for You

Unwanted hair is something that plagues everyone — whether it’s hair on the face, chest, arms, legs, or anywhere else. If you want to remove hair from certain areas of your body, take a look at these eight ways to decide which ones are best for your short-term and long-term goals.

Shaving

  • Length of Results: 1-5 days
  • Approximate Cost: Less than $5 per month, $50+ for an electric razor

Shaving is the most common way that people remove unwanted hair from the body, but it’s also the least effective in keeping the hair away. For instance, most men have to shave their face daily, and the average woman shaves her legs and underarms every other day.

Shaving can be done with an electric razor or a handheld razor. Many people prefer an electric razor because it minimizes cuts, doesn’t involve the use of creams or gels, and is more cost-effective than buying a pack of razors every month. However, you can conveniently use a handheld razor in the shower while getting a closer shave.

In this case, an electric razor probably works better for the guys and the handheld razor works better for the gals, being that the former is used only on the face and the latter is used in different areas of the body like legs and armpits.

Plucking / Tweezing

  • Length of Results: 1-2 weeks
  • Approximate Cost: $5 for a pair of tweezers

Plucking involves using a pair of tweezers to remove hairs one-by-one by pulling them out of the follicle. It’s most commonly used on the eyebrows for routine shaping. However, most people prefer not to pluck because it’s painful and time consuming. Additionally, plucking can cause painful ingrown hairs, especially if you pull the hair out against the grain. Wash and exfoliate your skin before plucking to minimize discomfort.

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When deciding whether to use this option, weigh out how much it would otherwise cost to wax your eyebrows instead. Waxing is an effective method for eyebrows, especially because it’s a small area that’s done fast and efficiently. If it’s too much, then perhaps the cheaper alternative is the way to go.

Hair Dissolving Cream

  • Length of Results: 1 week
  • Approximate Cost: $10-$20 per bottle

Hair dissolving creams break down the protein structure of your hair so that it easily falls out of the follicle when the cream is wiped off. They contain chemicals that include calcium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide. The chemicals can cause skin irritation, and you can’t use them on broken skin or acne, but the results last longer than shaving.

Hair dissolving creams sound good in practice, but they’re only effective for certain skin and hair types. Thicker hair doesn’t dissolve as well, and areas with a higher saturation of hair are also difficult. Hair dissolving creams can be used all over the body, but the face is the most common area.

Epilating

  • Length of Results: 1 week, but varies
  • Approximate Cost: $20+ to buy an epilator for home use

An epilator is similar to an electric razor, but the hair is ripped out of the skin instead of just being cut off at the surface. For an epilator to work, you have to have some hair growth visible, so it’s best used on the legs.

There are different kinds of epilators — some use a spring system, some use a rotating disc system, and others have more of a tweezer design — but they all work about the same way. Many people complain about discomfort when using an epilator. You can avoid this by waxing first and then using an epilator to control regrowth every three or four days.

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Waxing

  • Length of Results: Up to a month
  • Approximate Cost: $10-$50 per treatment, less at home

Waxing is the preferred method for people who want to remove hair from the bikini line, chest, or back. It can be done at home or at a Salon. You should let your hair grow out for at least five days before waxing so that the hairs can be gripped. There is hard wax and soft wax, but both involved applying the wax to your skin, letting it sit for a short period of time, and then pulling it off to rip the hairs out of your follicles. Over time, waxing thins the hair so that less grows back.

Waxing is painful, especially for people with coarse hair. However, the pain only occurs during the treatment. For areas like eyebrows, the pain happens once, which makes it a great option. For broader areas like chest and back, perhaps trying another method might be better.

Also, there can be hygiene problems with the wax because bacteria can grow inside of it. So, make sure that your salon does not double dip strips.

Threading

  • Length of Results: 6 weeks
  • Approximate Cost: $10-$50 per treatment, plus gratuity

Threading is an ancient technique practiced in Eastern countries to remove facial hair. However, in recent years, it has become popular in the West, too. A trained professional pulls cotton thread along unwanted hairs with a twisting motion that traps individual hairs like a mini lasso. This causes the hair to lift out of the follicle.

Threading is typically only performed on the face and it’s hard to find a salon that does it. You can perform threading at home, but it’s a hard skill to master. Many people claim that threading is the best way to get perfectly shaped eyebrows, but unfortunately the results are not permanent.

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Because of how hard it is to find someone who does this method or to perform it yourself, it’s probably best to stick to plucking, shaving, or waxing when it comes to getting hair off your face.

Laser Hair Removal

  • Length of Results: Long term and nearly permanent
  • Approximate Cost: $200-$500 per treatment, $150-$300 for touch ups

Laser hair removal is when hair follicles are killed by heat, and then the hair falls out of your skin. Most people opt to have this procedure done at a salon; there are some home kits but they are less effective. According to Statistic Brain, the average number of laser hair removal treatments needed is four. Hair regrowth is so minimal that touch ups are only needed every six months.

There are several types of lasers used at salons for hair removal. For instance, one Miami salon and spa may use the Candela Nd:YAG laser system for hair removal because it is regarded as the safest and most effective, but another salon might use a some more intense form of laser beam. Make sure to research the method of the salon before going because you don’t want to put your skin at risk. You can also find laser acne treatments and wrinkle reduction treatments.

In all the permanent hair techniques known, this was is the least consuming and least painful. Although, this treatment doesn’t work as well with people who have lighter toned hair, and you’ll have to go in for multiple sessions. So, if you have dark hair and time, this is probably the best option for you if you want to remove your hair for good.

Electrolysis

  • Length of Results: Permanent
  • Approximate Cost: $500+

Electrolysis is the most effective way to remove unwanted hair and is also the most permanent. During electrolysis, a small needle or probe is inserted into the hair follicle and then an electric current passes through the follicle, killing it. This prevents the hair from growing back.

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Even though electrolysis is the most effective, it is also the most expensive and the most painful. It’s not a good treatment for people with low pain tolerance because you must endure a shock for upwards of 15 seconds on each hair follicle. There are at-home electrolysis kits, but people report varying levels of success. Also, if it’s not done correctly it can discolor your skin.

If you have lighter toned hair color, this is the best option for you. Although it’s more painful than electrolysis, it’ll give you guaranteed results. This is also the only permanent hair removal method recognized by the Food and Drug Administration, so that should help with the pain knowing that it’s approved by an authoritative agency.

There’s no one best way to remove unwanted hair; you have to determine which one meets your goals and pocketbook best. Have you tried some of the more permanent hair removal techniques like electrolysis or laser hair removal? Were you satisfied with the results? Share your experience in the comments below.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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