Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The In’s and Out’s of Home Hair Removal PART-1

I was meeting a friend for dinner one night and he arrived at the restaurant extremely late. Considering I have always been the fashionably late one in my set, when someone is later than me, it tends to raise an eyebrow. After sincere apologies, he eased himself into his chair very slowly. I had to ask what was wrong and he confided in me that the reason he was late was due to an unfortunate incident with Nair and parts of his body where Nair should never ever touch. Being of Armenian decent, I have been tortured with the issue of unwanted hair removal for more years than I care to acknowledge and I believe I have tried ever method imaginable to obtain smooth skin. Now that I write for Antonio’s blog and it is all about hair and hair care, I thought I would share with you some experiences with regard to what to do when you want to remove unwanted hair.

While this is a challenge that many do not have to live with, for those of us who have spent hours annually grappling with the removal of unwanted hair the tasks can at times seem daunting. It often seems that as soon as you successfully remove it, the hair seems to be growing back. There are various methods of removing unwanted hair including, home remedies such as cutting, clipping, shaving, Nair and plucking. Salon remedies include waxing, electrolysis and laser hair removal. Sadly, I have tried them all and offer my take on each so you can benefit from my years of torture. In this article, I will address home remedies and in a subsequent article I will address salon remedies.

You can cut unwanted hair, although it will obviously grow back. Revlon makes manicure scissors that are small enough and sharp enough to cut the hair very close to the skin so it appears to be gone. Cutting away unwanted hair works well if you have a few fine stray hairs, especially around the eyes. Shaving these hairs is difficult and can make them grow back coarser. Waxing and plucking can sometimes cause irritation and is more prone to ingrown hairs. The challenge with cutting the hair is that it grows back faster than waxing or plucking and you must be very careful not to cut the skin.

Clipping is a method used more by men than women to remove unwanted hair on the legs, arms and chest. When using clippers, it is important to make sure that you cover the entire area and do not miss spots. I recommend either Oster or Remington hair clippers as they seem to be the most durable. A few years ago, Norelco launched the Body Groomer which is the hairy man’s new best friend. This product was designed to be used on a man’s private parts so it gives a close shave without irritating sensitive areas. Had my friend used the Body Groomer on his private parts, he would have been on time for dinner. The challenge is that the blade tends to get dull after a few years but the price is so reasonable that replacement is not a problem.

Shaving is the most popular option for men to remove unwanted facial hair and for women to treat unwanted hair on their legs. The key to a good shave is how you prep the skin prior to shaving. Moisture is very important which is why I always shave after I shower and my face is still wet. I also recommend that before you apply your shaving cream you apply a very thin layer of hair conditioner. Any brand will do so use the cheapest you can find or one you purchased for your hair and found that it was not working for you. The conditioner will soften the hair and allow the blade to easily cut them giving you a closer shave with less irritation.

Nair works very well on legs for women and several years ago they began making a product specifically for men. After applying a thin layer of Nair to the unwanted hair and waiting ten to twelve minutes, use a wash cloth and wipe away the unwanted hair. A word of caution is to not use the Nair which works in four minutes. Those extra six to eight minutes can seem like a long time but in reality are your best friend as the chemicals in the four minute Nair are very harsh and can easily burn your skin. And take advice from my friend, whatever you do, NEVER use Nair on or near your private parts.

Plucking unwanted hair seems to me to be the most dreadful method of hair removal. The procedure is slow, painful and the hairs grow back quickly. This procedure works best on small areas where there are a few fine hairs. The right tweezers and a magnifying mirror are the key tools to successfully tweezing your unwanted hair. Given how course my hair is, I have found that plucking tends to lead to ingrown hairs, although many of my friends have used this method for years and are fine with it.


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