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Hair removal at home – What hurts? What works?

Let’s face it hair removal can be a messy, painful business. Waxing, plucking, exfoliating and experimenting with other more bizarre forms of hair removal can have its consequences.

But which hair removal is right for your beauty routine?

We asked, beauty blogger Eltoria to investigate.

Why Do We Remove Hair?

Hair removal has been a part of human grooming habits for centuries, originating from early civilisations’ need for cleanliness and aesthetics. Today, we remove hair for a multitude of reasons. For many, it’s a matter of personal preference; some find clean, smooth skin more attractive and comfortable. Hairless skin can provide athletes with a slight competitive edge, reducing friction and improving performance. Also, it’s important to note that hair removal can be a vital step for transgender individuals during their transition.

Areas Commonly Targeted for Hair Removal

Hair removal is commonly performed on various parts of the body. The most targeted areas include the face (especially the upper lip and chin for women), underarms, legs, and bikini line. Men often seek hair removal services for their chest, back, and shoulders. The choice of area generally depends on personal preference, comfort, and societal norms.

The Science of Hair Growth

Understanding the biology of hair growth can shed light on why some hair removal methods are more effective than others.

The Hair Growth Cycle

The growth of hair follows a specific cycle consisting of three phases: Anagen (growth), Telogen (resting), and Catagen (transitional). The effectiveness of hair removal techniques is often determined by the hair growth phase during which the method is applied.

Factors Affecting Hair Growth

Hair growth is influenced by numerous factors, including genetics, hormones, diet, and health conditions. For example, hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to increased hair growth, while conditions like alopecia can cause hair loss.

Hair Removal Methods At Home – What Works?

There are several at-home hair removal methods available. Each has its pros and cons, and effectiveness can vary widely depending on individual factors.



Shaving is a simple, cost-effective method that cuts hair at the skin’s surface. However, it can lead to ingrown hairs and needs to be repeated frequently.

Hair Removal Creams

Hair removal creams, or depilatories, dissolve hair at the skin’s surface. They offer longer-lasting results than shaving but can cause skin irritation in some individuals.


Waxing involves removing hair from the root, providing longer-lasting results but can be painful and cause skin irritation.


Epilators remove hair from the root, similar to waxing. They can be used on various parts of the body, but the process can be time-consuming and painful.

Home Laser Hair Removal Devices

Home laser hair removal devices use light to target the hair’s pigment and damage the hair follicle. They can provide long-lasting results, but their effectiveness varies, and they are not suitable for all skin and hair types.

Hair Removal – What Hurts?

Pain perception during hair removal varies greatly among individuals and depends largely on the method used. While shaving and hair removal creams typically cause little to no pain, waxing, epilating, and laser hair removal can cause discomfort.

Choosing the Right Hair Removal Method for You

Selecting the appropriate hair removal method is a personal decision based on numerous factors, including pain tolerance, budget, available time, and desired results. It’s advised to experiment with different methods and consult a professional if needed.


Hair removal is a personal choice that can serve various purposes, from aesthetic preference to medical necessity. Understanding the science behind hair growth and the pros and cons of different hair removal methods is useful for those choosing the best method for their case. Ultimately, the best method is the one that aligns with your individual needs and lifestyle.


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