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  • Sheela M.

Hair Removal at Home! Different Options, and the Best I've Found!

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

*This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This, however, has no bearing on my reviews and comparisons. I vow to always be honest in my feedback and product reviews. If there's one thing I can talk about, its body hair! Being a South Asian woman, we are naturally blessed in this department. Whether its leg hair, or arm hair, we have too much of it! Many women will even suffer from facial hair - a hairy upper lip is definitely not a look I prefer! Thus it is not uncommon to see teenagers as young as 13 or 14, who are already getting their eyebrows waxed, and much more! Being someone who knows this struggle all to well, I have been experimenting with many different hair removal methods ever since I was a teenager. Which also means I have spent a TON of money, on those different methods. Some of the options I have tried include shaving, waxing, hair removal creams, epilator, threading, tweezing, sugaring and laser treatments! Thats quite a bit of experience under my belt! So how do these work, and what did I think of them?

hair removal of the legs, one leg done

Threading

A common practise in the Middle East and South Asia for hair removal. Typically used for smaller areas, like on the face. This method involves the twisting of thread to catch even the smallest of hair between the "twisted area", to pull the hair from the root. This is still my favorite method for shaping eyebrows, as it is quite precise in shaping the brow, and not too painful once you get used to it. Plus it's super affordable! With most places charging between $3 to $6 for brow shaping. Or, you could just learn to do your own like I did!

threading technique for removal of facial hair

Waxing

This one is so common around the world, perhaps it doesn't require an explanation, but I'll still give it a go for the newbies. Waxing consists of a sticky substance made mostly from ingredients like sugar, honey and lemon, and now commonly found in a creamy form as well. This is applied to the skin while it is warm/hot in temperature to grab the hair well, and then followed by a strip of cloth or paper. The strip is pulled abruptly in the opposite direction of hair growth, to pull out the hair from the root. It can also be a cold wax, but in my experience, those didn't work as well. Yes, it is as painful as it sounds. But still highly effective, as long as your hair is the correct length. Hair that is extremely short in length is often not picked up, so you have to wait for some growth to get your session done. These strips can be purchased pre-waxed, so its 1 step instead of two, and usually used at room temperature, by warming the strips between your hands. My favorite pre-waxed strips are these ones by Nair for sensitive skin. I have used them for myself in the past, and also on others for a quick removal of leg, arm, upper lip, and even underarm hair! My pre-teen prefers these at the moment too! We cut them down to size for the area we are targeting. Super simple and easy to use. Here is the link below of the pre-waxed strips we have been using!



If you want a laugh, do watch "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and watch his chest-waxing experience!



waxing of the legs for hair removal

Sugaring Sugaring is a tad different from waxing. It is a very common practise in the Middle East. This is a sugary sticky substance traditionally made at home. It is warmed up between the fingers first, and then rolled out onto the skin. It is also abruptly pulled in the same direction of the hair growth, but no strip is needed. The substance itself is rolled over the hair again and again, until it loses its stickiness (probably because its full of hair and dead skin cells at this point!). Then the next fresh piece is used. It is actually less painful than waxing in my opinion, and prolonged my hair growth cycle, so I had to remove the hair less often. I also felt I experienced some hair reduction also. This process actually has a very specific technique that not all professionals are aware of, or even know how to do. I've had this done at specific salons, where they have a sugaring professional who is trained in this method.

Sugaring wax on the leg for hair removal

Hair Removal Creams/Depilatory Creams

I can easily say this is my least preferred hair removal method. I was introduced to these creams back in high school, when a couple of girls in the locker room were talking about how easy these creams were to use on leg hair! So I of course went and grabbed a bottle the next day! I was so excited for super easy smooth legs! What I got instead, was itching and burning, and the worst smell of my life! It stunk up my entire bathroom for hours afterwards! And quite honestly, did not work as well as I had expected! These creams consist of extremely strong chemicals, that basically melt/break away the hair, and detach it from the skin. It is not as quick as I had thought it would be. It required many many towels that now stunk of chemicals to remove the cream covered hair. I was terrified my mom would be upset for the smell in the towels! Not to mention the itching and burning feeling I got while it was "working" was just not worth it for me. I don't like shaving, but honestly I would choose shaving with razors over these creams any day! Besides, it does the same thing as a razor, and does not remove the hair from the root. To be fair, I never went back to trying this method again with what's available in the market now, but honestly, I don't think I'd give it another try. A big thumbs down from me!

depilatory cream hair removal cream on the leg

Epilator This is a device I learned about in my teens. I saw my aunt using it once while visiting her home, and was immediately intrigued! I saved up all of my pocket money and bought one to use on my arms and legs. This is an electric handheld device, that has little metal pieces that look like flat clips, that open and close to catch the hair, much like a tweezer would. As you roll it over your skin, it pulls the hair from the root. My initial reaction was that I loved it. Now don't get me wrong, it was PAINFUL. You will feel each and every hair being pulled out from the root. I felt after a few minutes my legs would go numb from the pain actually so I could actually keep going, so it definitely wasn't easy. But why I loved it was that I enjoyed the convenience of doing this at home by myself, without any creams or sticky wax. It allowed me to remove the hair much faster, and I could do quick touchups in between as needed. Although I thought I had found a system that worked for me, I quickly learned about a major drawback with this method. Ingrown hair. The more I used the epilator, the more I discovered ingrown hair on my legs and arms. My knees became covered in ingrowns, and I began spending a lot of time using my tweezer to try to pick out the hair that was now stuck. I tried fixing the problem by going back to waxing, and the aesthetician immediately recognized the ingrowns and told me the wax wouldn't work on them (she was right!) I had to manually remove these for months, began using body scrubs to keep my dead skin cells at minimum, but ultimately decided to stop using the epilator. It was good while it lasted, but definitely not a long term solution for me.

An epilator device

Laser Hair Removal

It's fair to say, by the time I got to my 20's I was exhausted, and had spent a LOT of money on all of these different hair removal methods. I decided to finally bite the bullet and get some laser hair removal done. Laser Hair Removal is marketed as a method of major hair reduction, but not permanent removal. You may be one of the lucky ones that never see hair grow back, but for most people, a few touch ups may be needed over the years. Specific machines and technologies work for people of specific skin tones and hair color. You will need to get a consultation done first, to see if you are the right candidate for good results. My first experience was with the IPL technology. I bought a package for just my underarms which consisted of 6 sessions. I saw a major difference by the 3rd session. This technology has the feeling of elastic bands being snapped onto the skin. It is not pleasant, but not the most painful either. Plus, as the hair reduces, the pain becomes less and less. The results lasted me a good 5 years before I required any touchups. I was definitely pleased with my experience, and not having to spend any more time or money on this area for 5 years straight. My second experience was with the technology called Soprano. It was marketed very well and I was described as the perfect candidate with my skin tone and hair color. I opted to get my legs done. Now I can't say for sure if it was the technology or the technician who used a very peculiar method to go over my legs with the laser machine, but I only saw results for a few months. I paid for 12 sessions which should have been more than enough. I saw results around the 4th session. I was pregnant with my first daughter while getting these done. I was made aware that hormones could impact the results, but it wasn't made clear to what extent. Also, the technician didn't seem bothered or concerned that I was pregnant, so my sessions were not put on hold, and I continued with them. The first 6 months after my 12 sessions (at which point my daughter had already made her entry into this world) went great! Not a single hair appeared. But immediately after those 6 months were up, the hair started to come back. I don't just mean sporadically, about 80% had come back! I concluded this must have been my own fault due to my pregnancy and post-partum hormones and vowed I'd definitely try this again! I was on a mission to be as hair-free as possible! And so many years later, I decided to try again with the Soprano Ice this time, and at a different laser clinic. This was not cheap. I purchased a package for multiple body parts and paid about $2500. The lead technician assured me I'd be hairfree by the end of one year of sessions. Sessions are spaced out depending on your hair growth. You may be asked to come back every 4 weeks, 6 weeks or even 8 weeks. I did see results on both my arms and legs by the 3rd session. However, when I got to about the 6th session, the pandemic happened and all non-essential businesses shut down where I was living. Once my sessions got put on hold (not just once, but twice!), within months I saw the hair coming back. I definitely was not pleased. I felt like I had gone backwards in all of my progress. I purchased an at-home laser device to use for touchups until things got back to normal. This was after doing a lot of research on devices, reading reviews, and what would work for my skin tone and hair color. When the clinic re-opened, I went back to finish my sessions, and stopped using my device at home. Now here is where it gets interesting. My hair growth was not being diminished by their devices any further. The hair kept coming back, even if it was after 6 or 8 weeks, it just didn't want to go away. The company decided to blame it on my "hormones", which had actually not changed at all as per my doctor. I shared pictures of my arms with my technician and how displeased I was with the amount of hair that was still there. I was told this was the maximum reduction I could expect. This was not what had been discussed initially.

Laser Hair Removal on woman's underarms in a clinic

At Home Laser Hair Removal Device After the response from the clinic that I should not expect further hair reduction, despite having a couple sessions left, I decided to pull out my at-home device again. I didn't see any point in getting more sessions at the clinic since I was told they wouldn't work to further reduce hair.

The Tumakou Hair Removal Device is the one I purchased after much research. I used this device as directed, going over the area with hair 3 times during a session, and to use it at least twice a month (more often in the beginning is suggested, even twice a week). This device feels like little zaps. It has some discomfort, but not what I'd call painful. It is definitely bearable.

The process does take a bit of time as the laser head is quite small and you are going over each area three times. So if you are doing larger areas like legs, be prepared to set some time aside for it. I am super happy to share, the hair is 99% gone in the areas I targeted! The same areas the laser clinic told me could not be further reduced! I have had a couple hair here or there come through, and I simply zap them with my laser machine, on an as-needed basis if they bother me. My last "zapping session" was about 2 months ago.

I tracked my personal results below, what a difference!


Sheela Malik right arm results of laser hair removal at home

Sheela Malik left arm results of laser hair removal at home

Here is the best part! This machine is SUPER AFFORDABLE! It is a tiny fraction of what I've paid for my professional laser sessions in the clinic, and even cheaper than what I used to pay for my waxing sessions! For Men: I will write a separate post as I am currently experimenting on my husband! For now, I can vouch that it absolutely works for women who are of my skin tone and hair color (tan south asian, with medium dark hair). This amazing device is the Tumakou Hair Removal Device, which comes bundled with a pair of dark glasses (for eye protection from the laser flash), and a razor. It is described as IPL technology, and has 5 intensity levels for your comfort level and results. I started at Level 1, and checked to see how much higher I could go without causing major discomfort to myself. For different areas, I do adjust the intensity accordingly. I saw some results in my 2nd session, and after my 3rd session I could definitely see it was working. In 6 months time, I have seen great success on my legs, arms and facial hair so far! All that the laser clinic had already written off. It is listed for $105.99 on Amazon Canada. and only $89.99 on Amazon US! Click my link below to grab yours! I am so excited to be able to share this with you all, it has worked so well for me!






Hair Removal is a very personal decision. Some people choose to do it, while others do not, and that's completely okay! If you are someone who chooses to remove body hair, what is your go-to method?

Do share in the comments!




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