Found yourself in a hairy situation this summer? If you want smoother limbs and bikini lines, then here are your options for getting fuzz-free, fast!
Found yourself in a hairy situation this summer? Well according to the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australia (CPSA), you’re not alone. Their research shows that IPL laser hair removal is near the top of the list of most commonly requested non-invasive treatments within an industry that turned over $773.6M in one year alone. So don’t be shy. If you want smoother limbs and bikini lines, then here are your options for getting fuzz-free, fast!
Most women perform the age-old shaving ritual weekly, with a survey by Schick showing that 69% of women view shaving as a chore, but most of them enjoy it anyway! This may be due to the ease of shaving and the more advanced razors on the market now which include things like blade heads specifically designed for a woman’s body, and water-activated moisturising serums to help prevent irritation during shaving. Razors can be used on the legs and underarms. That’s about it. Don’t go near your fuzzy facial hair or bikini line with these bad boys. Ever!
Shaving does not make hair grow back thicker, it only removes hair at the surface of the skin and it is the sharp edge caused by shaving the hair that creates the "stubble" felt afterwards on legs and armpits – often mistaken for a ‘thicker’ growth.
For best results always ensure the skin (and therefore the hair) is soft and moist, so take a pre-shave bath or shower to avoid ingrown hairs. These are caused by the shaved hair growing outwards and curling back into the follicle, explains says Svetlana Burckhardt, author of ‘Confessions of a Brazilian Waxing Queen’. To avoid this, loofah the area whilst it’s wet so follicles remain soft, and clean.
2. DEPILATORY CREAM:
Formulations for Depilatory Creams have come a mighty long way, with many now containing natural oils to infuse the skin with moisture whilst the formulation goes to work breaking down the hair. Once broken down, the cream and hair can be swept away with water, leaving skin smooth and – hopefully – irritation free after only a few minutes. Creams can be used for underarms but they are also great for bikini lines too. However they are messy, so it’s a method that has to be mastered for maximum results.
Hair has to be long for the cream to grab so depilatory creams are best for patient people who only want to de-fuzz every six weeks or so! However, the patience pays off as the more long-term your use of depilatory creams, the more effective they become and the weaker hair grows back.
As there are so many ingredients at play here – including calcium thioglycolate or potassium thioglycolate, which breaks down the keratin bonds and weakens the hair - it is best to do a patch test on your skin to ensure you are not sensitive to the product. Try this on the inner forearm.
Many varieties of wax are used in salon for all areas of the body. Hard wax hardens on the skin and is then stripped off once cooled, whereas soft wax remains soft on the skin, “therefore, you need to use a waxing strip or a muslin cloth to remove the wax and the hair,” explains Svetlana. “However, if you are using hard wax, you don’t have to use a waxing strip. The wax attaches firmly on the skin, so you can simply lift and pull the wax.”
More is less when it comes to waxing. Keeping up with waxing through the winter can mean that, come summer, your legs, bikini area or underarms could be hair free for up to eight weeks at a time, so visits to the salon become fewer.
You can wax at home but if you do take your de-fuzzing into your own hands, avoid the sun and steer clear of tanning products for at least two weeks prior to prevent skin sensitivity. “And don’t pluck, wax or use electrolysis or depilatory cream for an least 4-6 weeks before treatment either,” Svetlana suggests.
4. LASER / IPL
Laser - or Intense Pulse Light (IPL) - is hugely popular to nix the fuzz underarms, on the legs and on the bikini line for females and the back and chest for men, explains Dr Garry Cussell, Founder of Facial Rejuvenation Clinic. However its success is largely dependent on the colour and texture of the hair, he adds. “Lasers need melanin in the hair follicle to destroy it and there is not enough melanin in red, grey and white hair, so it will not work on these hair colours."
To get lifelong smooth limbs, it may take several sessions of IPL. “For hormonal areas this typically requires at least 10 treatments and other areas we suggest six to eight treatments,” Dr Cussell says. “Maintenance treatments may be required in the future but these are sparse.”
There is not a lot of pain encountered with IPL – it is likened to being flicked with a rubber band repeatedly – but you may feel the pinch when you go to pay as it costs approximately $90 per five minutes. “This would equate to say a bikini line and underarm, or an upper lip and underarm to give a general indication,” offers Dr Cussell.