What’s the Best Way to Remove Unwanted Hair?

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Looking for a more permanent solution to hair removal than shaving? We don’t blame you. Between buying razors and creams for the rest of your life — not to mention all the bumps, cuts and ingrown hairs — many people look to longer-lasting, more efficient options to rid their body of hair.

Knowing the best way to remove unwanted hair isn’t so straightforward. Between downtime, pricing, irritation, pain levels and permanence, the best option for you might be something different than for your best friend.

When it comes down to it, for most people, either due to cost, or convenience, the battle for the best way to remove unwanted hair is laser hair removal vs. waxing.


Pros of Waxing

Waxing is often touted as one of the best ways to remove unwanted hair thanks to its relative affordability,  effectiveness and ability to be done almost anywhere on your body. It’s a versatile way to pinpoint and target specific – and large – areas for hair removal, from forehead to feet.

During a session, your attendant spreads hot or cold wax onto the desired area of your skin, going in sections if it’s a larger area like a leg or your back, lets it dry, then removes it quickly. Since hair is pulled out at the root, the results last much longer than shaving, usually between four to six weeks – though you do have to wait until your hair is at least one-quarter of an inch before getting your next wax.

Cons of Waxing

One of the major downsides to waxing is that it can be quite painful for some people. While the sensation of ripping wax diminishes over time for most people, it usually provides discomfort each time. When the wax is ripped away, it can often take the top layer of skin with it – not a great experience if you have sensitive skin. For that reason, if you take medications that thin your skin, waxing is likely not for you.

As the results last for only four to six weeks, it is something that you will need to plan on making several visits each year to have done.


One of the oldest hair removal techniques, sugaring has been around for centuries. Using natural ingredients like lemon juice, sugar and water to create a honey-like substance, sugaring is applied in a similar manner to waxing and produces similar results.

Unlike waxing, sugaring doesn’t remove the top layer of skin and is easier to clean up afterward, as it is water-soluble. This makes sugaring a better option for people with more sensitive skin who want the results of waxing without the irritation to their skin.

Read: The Benefits of Using Organic Beauty Products in Your Skincare Routine

Laser Hair Removal


Like with waxing, laser hair removal can be done anywhere on the body – though special considerations have to be taken around the eyes. Unlike waxing, it is much less painful and causes no damage to the dermis, so it’s great for even sensitive skin.

“The laser detects the hair exclusively by focusing on the pigment cells that reside in the hair follicle,” Carlos A. Charles, M.D., founder of Derma di Colore, told SELF. Once targeted, the laser burns the hair at the follicle and root, essentially killing off the hair and inhibiting hair growth for several weeks.

Over time, the targeted hair grows back thinner and lighter, allowing more and more time between sessions. The longevity of each session and the fact that hair grows weaker over time is one of the reasons that it’s one of the best ways to remove unwanted hair for those willing to make the investment.


While laser hair removal is great for all kinds of skin, since the melanin in the skin is the key factor in the success of the procedure, people with skin color too similar to their hair color can see less-impactful results than people with contrasting skin and hair colors.

People with dark skin and dark hair or people with fair skin and blonde or red hair will likely need special lasers designed to tackle their specific situation, so checking with your provider is important.

Something else to consider – laser hair removal isn’t a one and done deal. Most people need several treatments to start getting the more permanent results that they’re after. Since laser is much more expensive than waxing, it’s a bigger commitment financially.

Read: Is Laser Hair Removal Right For Me?


While laser hair removal does decrease the speed and thickness of hair growth so that over time you need less and less, it is not 100% a permanent solution to hair removal. Electrolysis is technically the only FDA-approved procedure for permanent hair removal.

It works by “inserting an epilator device into the skin. It uses shortwave radio frequencies in hair follicles to stop new hair from growing” according to Healthline. This process destroys the hair with shortwave radio frequencies to prevent future hair growth.

The downside to this procedure is that it is often considered one of the most painful ways to get rid of unwanted hair. The device is inserted into each follicle and zapped and the procedure has to occur several times like with laser hair removal, so many people opt for the less painful if not as permanent laser hair removal as a result.


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