The Different Types of Hair Removal

Oct 24,2023

hair removal

There exists various hair removal methods on the market. These methods have different levels of effectiveness depending on factors like hair type, color, and skin sensitivity. Understanding these types of hair removal can help individuals to select the most suitable ways to remove unwanted hair. In order to minimize the potential adverse reactions, safety issues associated with each method should also be considered. Therefore, it’s essential to get a thorough understanding of various hair removal processes, which ensures to make informed decisions that align with individuals’ preferences, needs, and circumstances, as well as enjoying a positive and effective treatment experience.

Why People Opt for Hair Removal

When it comes to people’s motivations for hair removal, excessive hair growth can be a significant factor. Proper hair removal options can help restore their confidence and improve body image, reducing the negative impacts of excessive hair growth on their daily activities. Hair removal can also make it easier to maintain personal hygiene, which may greatly reduce the likelihood of sweat and odors getting trapped in hair.

Aesthetics could be another reason. Influenced by general beauty standards, people may prefer smooth and hair-free skin, so they remove unwanted hair especially in areas like legs, underarms, and face. Apart from that, some individuals think that hair removal can bring comfort and sensory preferences. Smooth skin can make them feel more comfortable when wearing tight-fitting clothes.

Temporary Hair Removal Methods

Temporary hair removal methods refer to techniques that can remove unwanted hair from the body or face for a short time. It’s advised to try these options before applying permanent methods, which can help to assess your preferences and minimize risks, so that you can make well-informed decisions when considering more permanent and costly solutions.


As a widely-used method for hair removal, shaving works by using a razor to cut the hair at the skin’s surface. It’s commonly regarded as a quick and easy method that can be done in the comfort of your own home. And shaving products are relatively inexpensive compared to other hair removal methods. Shaving can be also suitable for most body areas, including the face, legs, arms, underarms, and bikini line.

But there also exists drawbacks of this hair removal type. It has to be admitted that hair grows back relatively quickly after shaving, typically within a few days. To maintain a hair-free appearance, you need to shave frequently, which is more likely to make the hair thicker and stubbly. If not done carefully, nick cuts or razor burn can be caused, and ingrown hairs may occur as well.

You’d better exfoliate your skin 24 hours before shaving to reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs. Use a clean and sharp razor with multiple blades, and apply a shaving cream or foam to lubricate the skin and hair, so that a smoother shave can be expected. And shave in the direction of hair growth to minimize the risk of irritation.

Depilatory Creams

Depilatory creams are also known as hair removal creams, which work by chemically breaking down the protein structure of the hair, making it easier to dissolve and remove. The process is relatively quick and the results are more lasting when compared to shaving. The hair regrowth after applying depilatory creams becomes softer and less noticeable, and it takes several days to a week or more for hair to grow back.

As a convenient option for temporary hair removal, depilatory creams are available in various formulations for different skin types and body areas, especially for larger body parts like legs, arms, or back. But these creams may cause skin irritation, and some people find the odor unpleasant because chemicals are involved. And it should be noted that they may not work effectively on coarse or very thick hair.

Before applying depilatory creams, remember to do patch tests on a small area of skin. Try to avoid using hair removal creams on broken, irritated, or sunburned skin. Be cautious when applying them around sensitive areas, and follow the recommended duration for leaving creams on your skin. When removing creams from your skin, you’d better gently wipe in the direction of hair growth to minimize irritation.

Waxing & Sugaring

Waxing and sugaring are both popular hair removal methods, whose results are longer-lasting than shaving and depilatory creams, with hair regrowth taking weeks instead of days. The wax used in hot waxing is mainly made of natural or synthetic resins. While sugaring hair removal uses a paste that is made from natural ingredients like sugar, water, and lemon juice.

Both methods involve applying a product to the skin and removing it against the direction of hair growth, which can cause some discomfort. However, sugaring typically involves flicking off the paste, which can be less painful than the quick strip removal in waxing. Therefore, sugaring is more recommended to be applied on sensitive areas.

You’d better wash the area to be waxed or sugared to remove any ingredients that may interfere with the hair removal session. To get optimal results, it’s advised to ensure the hair you intend to remove is around 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. After the process, remember to apply a soothing lotion to reduce redness and irritation. And exfoliate the skin a few days later to prevent ingrown hairs.

Epilator, Tweezing and Threading  

Epilators are electrical devices that work by grasping and pulling hair out from the root, whose process can be uncomfortable. Tweezing is also known as plucking, which involves using tweezers to manually remove individual hairs. It’s suitable for small areas like eyebrows or upper lip because it takes your time to continue the process. Threading is a traditional technique that uses a twisted cotton thread to trap and remove individual hairs. It is commonly used for precisely shaping eyebrows or removing facial hair.

One of the tips for tweezing is to use quality tweezers with sharp tips, and sterilize them to prevent infection. You’d better do tweezing after a warm shower or bath because the heat and the moisture can make hair easier to pluck. For threading, it’s necessary to seek professional threaders who have the skills to achieve precise results. No matter after epilation, tweezing, or threading, you’d better apply a soothing gel to calm the skin and reduce redness.

Hair Removal Devices

As an effective hair removal type, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) uses broad-spectrum light to target various skin and hair concerns. The devices can emit multiple wavelengths of light, whose energy is converted into heat. It has been widely used not only for hair removal at home, but also for skin rejuvenation and acne treatment.

Typically, to achieve optimal results, 6~12 sessions are required for hair removal, each about 1 month apart. After a full treatment series, individuals may experience a significant reduction in hair growth. However, IPL may cause temporary redness or swelling, but these effects typically subside within a few days.

On the treatment day, remember to shave the area you plan to treat. Shaving can make the energy more focused on the hair follicle rather than on the hair. You should pay more attention to sun protection before and after IPL treatments. It’s essential to minimize the risk of side effects and maintain results.

Permanent Hair Removal Methods

Permanent hair removal methods stated below can offer long-lasting reduction in hair growth, which includes laser hair removal, electrolysis, as well as crystal hair removal. For guidelines, it’s important to choose a licensed practitioner for treatments, and follow aftercare instructions to minimize the risk of infections and scarring.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal uses a laser to target the pigment in the hair follicles. The heat generated by the laser damages the follicles, which inhibits further hair growth without affecting the surrounding skin. Laser hair removal can be applied on various body areas, and it’s most effective for individuals with light to medium skin tones and darker hair.

Laser hair removal is an effective procedure for long-lasting hair reduction, which can precisely target dark and coarse hair. The discomfort caused by the treatment can be minimal and well-tolerated. But the procedure can be costly, especially if multiple sessions are needed. Temporary side effects like redness and skin irritation are also common after the treatment. If you’re considering this option, you may find more comprehensive information on the website of American Academy of Dermatology.


Electrolysis hair removal applies an electrical current to target hair follicles, preventing them from producing new hair. Specifically, the electrical current generates heat or a chemical reaction to damage the hair follicle. After that, tweezers are used to gently remove the hair from the follicle. Then repeat the process for each individual hair follicle in the treatment area.

As one of the few methods that can provide permanent hair removal, electrolysis can effectively treat hair follicles to prevent them from producing new hair, so that you won’t need to continuously repeat treatments. And it can be applied on most areas including the face, especially ideal for small or sensitive areas due to its high precision.

However, it’s relatively time-consuming because it treats one hair follicle at a time. And the treatment can be costly, especially for extensive treated areas. Besides discomfort or even pain during the process, redness and swelling are also common following electrolysis.

Crystal Hair Removal

Crystal hair eraser exfoliates dead skin, improving your skin tone and making your body more smooth. When you lightly rub the crystal hair eraser on your skin in a circular motion, the hair will clump together and slough off, whose result is similar to shaving. Since this method only removes hair from the skin surface, it may take a few weeks for the hair to grow back fully.

The key benefit of crystal hair removal is that it can be used for most skin types. Moreover, it can be safe and accessible when used on different body areas. As a reusable hair removal type, it can save your money and reduce waste. But some individuals think it irritates or even burns their skin when used too much.

Hair Removal Treatments

When it comes to professional hair removal treatments, they are generally conducted by licensed practitioners and often offer more effective and long-lasting results. Here’s an overview of some common professional hair removal treatments, including laser hair removal, electrolysis, IPL hair removal, etc. These types have their own advantages and drawbacks, which should be considered when you choose. Besides that, your skin and hair type, the area you want to treat, your budget, and the desired duration of results should also be taken into account.

Comparing Hair Removal Methods

After getting familiar with each hair removal method stated above, here you can find a detailed comparison of all these options, so that you can directly choose the best hair removal method that suits you most.

Hair Removal MethodsSuitabilityLongevityCostProsSide Effects
ShavingLarge AreasA Few DaysLowQuick ProcessTemporary Results; Quick Hair Growth
Depilatory CreamsMost Hair TypesAround 1 WeekLowQuick & EasySkin Irritation; Unpleasant Odor
Waxing & SugaringMost Hair TypesSeveral WeeksLowQuick & EffectivePotential Ingrown Hairs
Tweezing & ThreadingSmall Areas & Facial HairSeveral WeeksLowPrecise TargetingTime-consuming; Skin Redness
IPLMost Hair & Skin TypesAround 1 MonthHighLong-term ResultsTemporary Swelling
Laser Hair RemovalFor people with light skin tone & dark hairLong-termHighLong-lasting Results; PrecisionMultiple Sessions Required
ElectrolysisMost Body Areas (Especially for small or sensitive areas)Long-termHighPermanent Results; PrecisionTime-consuming; Discomfort


Choosing the right hair removal method is of great importance, which can bring you an effective result depending on your hair type and treatment area. Moreover, a suitable method that aligns with your pain tolerance and skin sensitivity can ensure a more comfortable experience, without causing skin irritation, burns, or other adverse reactions.


1. Which type of hair removal is the best?

There is no so-called best hair removal type, for the reason that it depends on your individual preferences, budget and factors like your skin type, hair type, and the area you want to treat. All the common hair removal options have their own advantages and disadvantages. It’s recommended to use a combination of hair removal types for different body areas.

2. Are there different types of hair removal?

Yes, there are several different hair removal methods, like shaving, waxing, depilatory creams, epilation, as well as laser hair removal and electrolysis. When choosing a hair removal method, you’d better consider the location of the hair, your pain tolerance, and how long you want the results to last.

3. What are 3 types of permanent hair removal?

Permanent hair removal refers to those that can significantly eliminate hair growth and provide long-lasting hair reduction. Three common types are electrolysis, laser hair removal, and IPL. But it’s necessary to note that some individuals may still experience hair regrowth, so that occasional maintenance should be adopted.

4. Do hair removal creams really work?

Hair removal creams can break down the protein structure of the hair, which is effective in temporarily removing hair from the skin’s surface. These creams can be used for removing leg hairs, arm hairs, and even pubic hairs. They are generally easy to use and less time-consuming than methods like shaving or waxing.

5. Which method is safe for hair removal?

The safety of a hair removal method depends on various factors, like an individual's skin type, hair type, sensitivities, etc. Among those hair removal processes, shaving can be considered safe for most people. Although there is a risk of razor burn if not done carefully. Using a sharp, clean razor and moisturizing the skin can help minimize friction.  

6. Which hair removal method is best for teenage girls?

Shaving can be a safe option for teenage girls if they follow safety guidelines to avoid nicks and cuts. Depilatory creams can also be considered when they are under parental guidance. And teenagers should be educated on proper aftercare to prevent any potential issues like ingrown hairs or skin irritation.