Waxing lyrical: the definitive Mumsnet guide to depilation

If you choose to remove your body hair, it's worth considering all possible methods. The smooth-limbed Mumsnetters on our Style & Beauty Talk board have this advice

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Let us first toss out the fiction of the 'average woman' - because while depilatory methods may advertise themselves as lasting for a certain number of weeks, the truth is that each of these techniques will last for different lengths of time for different women.


Depilatory creams


Pros

"It lasts maybe a couple of days longer than shaving, and the regrowth is softer. It really depends on hair type though - if fair and fine it will last longer than coarser and darker."


Cons

"Cream is loads more faff than shaving. And it stinks. Then you rinse it off, still smell and are mostly very smooth but no more so than if you've exfoliated and shaved. It lasts a bit longer but not long enough to justify the increased effort and hassle."



Recommendations

"I use Veet in the pink tube. It smells lovely, and stays on in shower until you sponge it off. My legs are smooth for a week after, and lovely and shiny!"



Shaving


Pros

"No ingrown hairs, no pain, no sticky waxy bits. Okay, it doesn't last as long as a wax, but it's much less time consuming. I use an exfoliator sponge with a creamy body wash first, then shave. Moisturise immediately after your bath/shower. Exfoliate gently every time you bath/shower with the sponge and body wash."


Cons

"Shaving leaves me looking like a strawberry."

Recommendations 

"I use the Wilkinson Sword Intuition razor - the one with the soap around it."

"I use my husband's old Gillette Mach 3 (with new blades obviously!). I think the soppy pink 'laydee-type' ones go blunt quicker and aren't as good."



Waxing

Pros

"Waxing is the best hair removal I have found. It lasts the longest - I get nearly a month hair-free. Get a good local salon and book yourself in regularly; it does make the hair sparser."

Cons

"It does hurt, and you have to grow the hairs in between."

Recommendations

"Body shop sugaring hot wax is the best!"

"Nad's no-heat wax is the only cold wax I've found that works."

"I use Veet Hot Wax (the jar that you put in the microwave then use the strips to remove)."

 

Epilating


Another love 'em or hate 'em product, the epilator is a chargeable electrical instrument of torture that mechanically removes the hair.

Pros

"I'm a recent convert to the epilator, after failing at the pain barrier twice before. I have worked out the trick is little and often: get your legs waxed first, then maintain as needed with an epilator. Really not very painful on short hair and it's so nice to avoid stubble."

Cons

"It can cause lots of ingrowing hairs. Wouldn't recommend it for armpits, in particular." 

Recommendations

"Love my Philips epilator. I've had it for about 10 years. It's saved me £30 every 4 weeks that I used to spend on waxing my legs." 

"I love mine - Braun Silk Epil - and would never go back to shaving or waxing now." 


Laser and IPL 



Laser hair removal works by destroying follicles with pulses of laser light of one specific wavelength. Intense Pulse Light (IPL), on the other hand, uses multiple wavelengths that scatter through the skin. Due to their different wavelengths, IPL only works on paler skin with dark hair; whereas more and more laser treatments now work on darker skin. Complicated stuff. 


Pros

"I have tried everything EVERYTHING, and laser hair removal has been amazing. If you invest now, you'll save thousands of pounds and years of your life."


Cons

"I had a few laser sessions on my top lip and it didn't really work. Apparently the darker and courser the hair, the better it works."


Recommendations

"I bought the Philips Lumea - the one for face as well. It's amazing; my underarms are soft and hair free, face is fab too. My sister uses mine to do her bikini (I'm not brave enough) - she says it is a bit painful but after 3 sessions she can see results."

Last updated: 2 months ago