Jezebel has compiled 8 user-posed questions that address not just the hair-down-there, but any and all shaving and waxing concerns.
- How do I avoid ingrown hairs?
- How can I remove lip/chin/facial hair without causing blemishes or scarring?
- How can I get my legs to stay smooth after shaving?
- How do I remove/trim/shape my pubic hair/bikini line?
- What's the best way to remove arm hair?
- How can I avoid cutting myself while shaving?
- I'm thinking about going totally natural—any tips? Personal experiences to share?
- Should I pluck, wax or shave stray hairs on my chest/chin/nipples/lip etc.?
Lucky for us, Jezebel sifted through 700 responses and highlighted the most informative ones. A few samples shared below, click through for the entire selection. (Prefer to learn via video? WonderHowTo has a whole library of hair removal videos).
Shaving: DO IT AT NIGHT. Then your blood is up and moving around, and you'll get a better shave. If you can, take a bath for approx 20-30 minutes to soften the hair. I throw some sweet almond oil in the bath while the water's running, and it smoothly coats my skin. Use a sharp razor!!! When you shave, take two or three passes and then rinse your razor, then repeat. I like shaving with oil because it's less messy and I can see the hair I haven't gotten. The downside is that you probably have to clean your tub after doing it in the bath.
For unwanted facial hair, I cannot recommend threading enough.
It's cheap, it looks good, it's better for your skin than waxing, you won't cut yourself with a razor, you can get more hair at a time than you would with tweezers. They can remove the hair when it's still so short you wouldn't notice, though you can see the difference after it's done. And it's fast and relatively painless if you get someone really good.
I've had a few not so good people (mostly trainees, which sucks, but they've gotta learn somehow). If you get someone who's not so great (yet?) it hurts for a few minutes, and can take longer, but your brows will look good for a few weeks.
Suggestion for those who decide to try it: put some of your moisturiser of choice on your brows afterwards, it'll help sooth your skin and reduce redness. You can bring it with you if you think you'll need it right away, but it's not really necessary, just as long as you do it sometime that day.
I have really thick, dark, ingrown-hair-prone hair along my bikini line, and after years of frustration and painful bumps, I finally figured out a really good system to prevent ingrown hairs. It goes as follows: (Before starting, I should note that I only shave along the edges, not the whole shebang, so I can't say whether this technique would work for gals who like to go bald.)
Step 1: Use a loofah and some soap to exfoliate the area you are going to shave. This gets rid of the dead skin that can "trap" the hairs as they grow back, and make them become ingrown.
Step 2: Clean the same area with antibacterial soap.
Step 3: Lather up with some good shaving cream (or hair conditioner, that works pretty well too) and shave down, in the direction of the hair growth (as opposed to, for example, shaving up the leg, which is against the hair growth.)
Step 4: After you finish shaving, wash the area again with the antibacterial soap, just to be sure!
Step 5: Every time you take a shower, wash your bikini line again with the antibacterial soap. I'm not sure why this works so well to prevent ingrown hairs, but it really does!
Bikini line: the only good way to go about it is with warm wax and patience!
I use this product www.Veet.fr (I live in France), but I'm sure you can find something similar in the US. I love it because you can wash any rests with water (really easy to clean up the mess afterwards).
- Sit on the floor, on a chair or on the toilet and open your legs wide.
- If the hair is long, cut it with scissors first. It should be about 1 cm or less.
- Wax small portions of the hair each time, especially when you get closer to the vulva.
- Be sure to follow the direction of the hair when applying the wax. As in armpits, pubic hair can grow in different directions. So, observe first, apply after.
- Let the wax dry a little before pulling. Otherwise, the hair will not be sufficiently attached and it will hurt.
- Pull the skin as tight as possible with one hand and pull the wax with the other.
- Always pull in the opposite direction of that of the hair.
- Pull hard without hesitation.
- Do not be afraid. Proceed slowly and practice often.
To soothe the skin:
- Wash the skin with cold water and soap to disinfect and close pores.
- I find that applying baby talcum work very well. But you can try aloe vera or some other cream.
For maintenance, I use an electric epilator (such as Phillips Satinelle or Braun's Silkepil). It's quick, and not too painful if you pull the skin tight (and think of something else), and leave the skin very smooth.