With warmer temperatures come shorter hemlines, sleeveless tops, revealing beachwear, and the need to up your hair removal game. Discover this comprehensive summer hair removal guide for making quick work of unwanted hair anywhere on the body this summer for smooth, sexy skin.
Perhaps the most common method of hair removal, 85% of women shave their legs while 77% shave their underarms. Shaving offers a simple, low-cost, flexible option that’s perfect for tight summer schedules or last-minute hair removal for spur-of-the-moment beach dates. The cheapest hair removal method per session at about $1.50, shaving isn’t always worth the cost savings with skin irritation, cuts, razor burn, and ingrown hairs being common drawbacks to this hair removal method. And while shaving in the summer may do in a pinch, it often requires more frequent maintenance. For those devoted to shaving during the summer, exfoliate and moisturize regularly to prevent ingrown hair, dry skin from frequently shaving, and the oh-so-common razor burn. Skip the foaming creams and body wash and invest in a smooth, non-foaming cream or gel for a closer, longer-lasting shave.
While more expensive at an average of $35 per session for a medium-sized area (think half-legs), waxing offers longer-lasting results with noticeable regrowth expected approximately three weeks post-appointment. Exfoliating and moisturizing could extend those smooth, hair-free results. However, for those committed to spray tans or self-tanning lotions, waxing can become a hassle. Because waxing removes the first layer of skin, if tanning appointments aren’t made with waxing appointments in mind, a streaky or faded finish could be the end result of that fabulous glow. Likewise, waxing may cause embarrassing redness, bleeding, or even blisters (if the wax is too hot), which is harder to cover up with summer’s skin-revealing fashions. Finally, post-wax skin may be much more sensitive to skincare products, including sunscreen. It’s best to avoid going outside or applying sunscreen for the first 24 hours, so salon appointments on beach days are a no-go. If sunlight cannot be avoided, opt for a mineral sunscreen over no sunscreen at all.
Hair removal creams may seem the perfect balance between shaving and waxing: there’s no need to commit to an appointment or waste travel time getting to a spa, but the results last longer than shaving and hair often grows in much softer. Budget-friendly depilatory creams have their drawbacks, though. Because these treatments use chemicals to burn the hair at or just below the skin’s surface, it’s best to keep these treatments away from sensitive areas, particularly the bikini line and especially not beyond that. These creams also leave skin photosensitive for 24 hours, so no sun exposure or tanning during that time. Also note that overuse can result in chemical burns and/or scabbing, so it’s best to wait for significant regrowth before applying a hair removal cream for a second time. Lastly, if you have a sunburn already, stay far away from depilatory creams until the skin has healed.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser hair removal technologies utilize light and laser energy to target and destroy hair follicles, permanently reducing hair growth. These treatments tend to irritate the skin less than the alternatives and, eventually, cut out the need for hair removal altogether, particularly if maintenance treatments are kept. For best results during the initial treatment plan, it isn’t unusual to have anywhere from four to 10 treatments,depending on the area being treated, since these technologies are most effective on hair that is the anagen, or growth, phase. Since hair follicles go through three phases, all at different times, one hair removal session isn’t enough to target all hair. For this reason, be prepared for some regrowth between treatments, which can only be removed with shaving to ensure the follicles remain undisturbed in future treatments. Generally speaking, IPL and laser hair removal are a better option for the fall, winter, or spring months, as treatments can make the skin sensitive to sunlight. A sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 is recommended (30 is better) and excessive sun exposure (think beach days or long hikes) should be avoided. For those who can’t go without a tan in the summertime, opt for diode laser hair removal treatments instead. These are a much safer option for all skin tones, including tanned skin.
Just as many may choose to go hair-free for the summer, feel free to choose to go au naturel. Aside from aesthetic preference, there really is no difference made to your health or otherwise between being hairy or hair-free. Opting out of hair removal can be an easy way to save time, money, and stress, while leaving sensitive skin to do its thing without causing irritation. Of course, there is the argument that hair under the arms may capture more sweat, leading to increased odor, so opt for a good deodorant as part of your summer beauty regimen.
What it all comes down to is choosing the best hair removal option to meet both the needs of your skin and your aesthetic preference. If you’re ready to make the commitment to hair-free skin and are considering IPL or laser hair removal treatments, contact a certified treatment provider using our search field below to get started with your initial consultation and get a plan that’s designed with your needs in mind.