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Ways to Get Rid of Hair

Updated on March 13, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Shaving

Shaving is the go-to of hair removal methods because it's fairly fast, it's very cheap and it always works as long as you razor isn't too ancient. But, there are down sides as well. Shaving can irritate the skin, it can cut you (I've looked like the scene from Psycho a few times when leaving the shower), and the hair removal results don't last very long. Once you've shaved, you pretty much have to shave again every day or two to keep from having skin like sandpaper.

There are many, many alternatives to shaving, though. Some of them are easy, some are scary and all of them work just as well at removing hair. Here are several of them, how they work and what the pros and cons are of each. Above photo by African Fi.

Using Chemical Hair Removal

Chemical hair removal was made famous by Nair, but there are a lot of brands on the market today. These products remove hair by dissolving it away. The chemicals can be irritating to the skin or some people, myself included, and they can smell horrendous. 

On the pro side, chemical hair removers are cheap and they do work pretty well. With some brands, like Sally Hansen, you have to leave them on a little longer than the directions say in order to remove the hair, but the results are nice. And, the hair is gone longer than it is with shaving.


You can actually remove hair effectively with nothing more than a few threads. It takes a skilled threading practitioner to use the threads to remove hair. The threads are twisted together in such a way as to remove strips of hair by the roots, just like plucking. Many people see a threading specialist to have their eyebrows done or facial hair removed instead of getting them waxed.


Waxing for many people is the most frightening form of hair removal. It is painful, it takes a long time, and it can be expensive if you go to the salon. To remove hair with wax, hot wax is applied to the skin and strips of fabric are pressed into the wax. Once the wax cools. the strips are ripped away, taking (most of) the wax with it and ripping the hair out by the roots.

If it sounds painful, make no mistake- it is. The hot wax is almost as painful as the ripping motion, making the procedure doubly painful. And, you often get little pieces of wax stuck behind that are hard to get off later.

Many people choose waxing over other hair removal methods, however, because it does result in smooth skin and it takes a couple of weeks for the hair to grow back. Personally, I can't deal with it.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is expensive and kind of scary, but it's the only permanent hair removal method out there. When you get laser hair removal treatments, it isn't permanent the first time, as many people believe. People often need five to 10 sessions with the laser hair remover before they never see any of the hair grow back again. 

The laser must treat all of the hair follicles in a specific phase of their growth and development, and catching all of them in that phase is what takes time. But going every week or two for a few months will result in never having to worry about shaving or waxing the hair again. 

Laser hair removal can be used anywhere- even for bikini line, underarm and facial hair removal.

Smooth Away

Smooth Away is a neat little product that basically sands away the hair. I have another hub that is a full review of how to use it and what the pros and cons of it are.

It's very effective and incredibly simple to use, and it leaves skin very smooth after a session with the Smooth Away pad. But, there is a major con to using it. the hair removal doesn't last very long at all. it lasts just about a long as shaving, and it needs to be done every two or three days to keep the stubble from coming back.

You also can't use Smooth Away on the bikini area or on the underarms, so you still may have to shave a few areas. But, it's an inexpensive product, and you have virtually no risk of cutting yourself with it since there are no blades or coils.

Using an Epilator

Using an epilator sounds pretty scary when you first hear about it. Actually, it sounds pretty scary the second and third time you hear about it. An epilator works by using rotating coils to pull the hair out of the skin.

So, it basically rips the hair out by the roots. As you can imagine, it can be pretty painful to use an epilator. But, you actually do get used to it. If you use it once a week or so for awhile, you don't have the same pain anymore.

After the first few times that you use an epilator, the hair doesn't grow back as quickly. It takes a few sessions with the epilator to make sure that you've gotten all of the hair, and if the hair is in its growth phase, it will come back a lot faster. After a few weeks, you can usually go to using the epilator about once a month without having a lot of stubble to deal with.

This hair removal may seem scary, but it keeps the hair gone for a lot longer than shaving. It's time consuming, but the hair removal is on a deep level, making the skin much softer than shaving.


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