How to Find the Best Hair Removal Method for You

Rachel Krause
Hair removal

Yagi Studio/Digital Vision/Getty Images

There are a fair amount of hair removal methods to choose from, so much so that it can be difficult to choose which one is right for you. If you’ve ever suffered through an unimaginably painful bikini wax, you can attest to the fact that sometimes things just aren’t as ideal for one person as they are for another—and that’s where this handy guide comes in, so that you can take the trial and error (read: pain) out of the hair removal ordeal.

If you have dark hair and fair skin…
Lucky you—because laser hair removal treatments work by allowing the pigment in the hair to absorb the laser’s energy, thereby effectively removing the hair, those with dark hair and light complexions are the ideal candidates for this type of hair removal. It goes without saying that laser removal is a pricey option that requires regular treatment every few months at first, but if you’re looking to get fuzz-free and stay that way, this approach is your best bet.

If you have sensitive skin…
Waxing can wreak havoc on sensitive, easily irritated skin, which is when we turn to sugaring. The sugar in question is generally comprised of natural, food-grade ingredients like lemon juice, water and, yes, sugar. Though sugaring works in a similar way to waxing—the sugar solution is smoothed onto the skin, then removed with similar cloth strips—the sugar is never hot like wax, and it’s also applied in the same direction the hair grows rather than against it, so there’s less tugging (and, might we add, less potential for pain).

If you have fine hair…
Likely the oldest method of hair removal, threading is perfect for removing fine, sparse hairs in small areas, like the face. Facial waxing can be wildly irritating and often ineffective for super fine hairs as they’re difficult to grip, while threading offers the kind of precise control and gentle removal that the eyebrow and lip area needs.

If you use retinoids…
If you use topical retinoids like Retin-A or any similar treatment, there’s just one thing you shouldn’t do, and that’s waxing. These topicals make your skin far more delicate and prone to peeling and burning, and trust us when we say that ripping wax from such sensitive skin does not make for a good result. (Don’t Google it.) Stick to shaving or threading, and if waxing is a must, stop using your retinoid a minimum of 10 days before.

Read more from Daily Makeover: 5 New Ways to Make Hair Removal Less Painful