Of all the joys of being a woman hair removal is probably the one that offers the widest range of solutions. As each one comes with its advantages and disadvantages and because it is easy to loose track (especially alone in your bedroom when you are 14), we asked Virginie Landry-Dulude, beautician, to unveil some of her secrets to inform women and men of all ages.
When to start?
According to Virginie, it is around 11 or 12 years old or around the 6th grade and to avoid shaving that mothers take their daughters to the beauty salon. Often, the daughters ask to go because they are too shy to show dark down and long dark hairs at the school gym. It is also during that period that they start noticing the first underarm hair and they really want to get rid of it. Besides, Virginie told us that most young girls talk about hair together and end up shaving in secret, using a razor they found in the shower or in a cabinet.
For their part, men rarely consult in a beauty salon before the age of 30, when the first hairs appear on their shoulders and back. According to Virginie, the bare chest is less and less fashionable, like the clean-shaven beard that has been outgrown by a little stubble.
Wax strips is the most popular product among beauticians who can easily sell the fact that strips are not too expensive and should only be used every three weeks or so. It is an effective method that can cover large areas quickly, even if the hair is plentiful.
Laser and pulsed light
Laser cannot start before the age of 16 for girls and before the age of 21 for boys as that is when the hairs have fully matured. Body hair should always be shaved first to gain strength and be easily extracted. Laser and pulsed light are much faster than electrolysis because it covers about 3 cm par 4 cm at a time.
Shaving is an extremely fast and effective solution. Inexpensive, this method gives a perfect result at low cost. However, like Virginie Landry-Dulude told us: “after several years of use, some women have hair so strong that it must be shaved in the morning before work and in the evening before going out.”
This machine manufactured by Braun gives a result that is similar to the wax strips and it can be used every three weeks. According to Virginie, it is a good alternative for those who prefer to take care of their body hair at home. The only down side? It is very painful, especially the first time.
Virginie told us that hot wax gives a result that is not comparable to wax strips and is a lot messier. That is why beauty salons have left it aside and only use it for small regions when they cannot use electrolysis.
Effective but very slow, electrolysis takes out your hairs one by one. Formerly, an armpit done with electrolysis took about an hour while today with wax or laser it takes about a minute. “Besides, no one does that anymore, says Virginie, but electrolysis is still used for eyebrows, upper lips or other small areas. Electrolysis also allows taking off blond, red and white hair, not captured by the laser.”
Depilatory creams (Nair, Veet, etc.)
Depilatory cream acts the same way as the razor but chemically, by burning the hair. Since the body hair is only burned to the skin, regrowth begins right away.
Threading hair removal
This technique originates from India and is not offered extensively in the West although some salons offer it. Used in India, Egypt, Iran and Turkey, threading pulls hairs out in a line or one by one and is mostly used for facial hair.
Some girls who have fine hair prefer to wait and bleach it rather than risk a more abundant regrowth. Virginie told us that women use these products mostly on the upper lip and between the navel and pubis, where some hair may grow, especially during pregnancy.
According to Virginie, bikini waxing begins around 14 years old. The methods used are as varied as on the legs and armpits and she told us that a full bikini is the current trend. “This trend seems to be here to stay. People ask us to remove all hair from the pubic area to the buttocks. They want everything off or leave a small line… sometimes they ask for a special design. This trend is very popular in both men and women, from 16 to 76 years old.”