Are We… DONE With the Brazilian? Laser, Wax, Shave – What Hair Removal Method is Best For You (And the Least Painful?!)

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If you’ve been fed up with constant maintenance during the summer months – or you’re just looking for a change in your grooming vibes, it’s the perfect time to look at more permanent options of hair removal. But as trends change and society moves forward, have our attitudes about getting rid of – or even embracing – body hair changed? We speak to Off & On’s National Trainer Stacey Faloon about how you can make the best decision for yourself – and what’s the least painful!

Hey Stacey! So, if someone is wishing to tackle their hair down there, how do they know what the best option is for them?

This totally depends on the person. With all our clients we’re very open to every type of hair removal, and ultimately we can work through the best option for you by having a chat over the phone, or you’re welcome to come into any of our salons for a free consultation.
The general rule is that if you have thick, dark hair you’re the perfect candidate for laser. Waxing will be your best option if you have lighter hair, but we’re always happy to chat through your options on a case-by-case basis.

What are the biggest trends in hair removal at the moment? We went through a real Brazilian stage a few years ago – is that still a thing, or have we moved into more natural territory?

While the Brazilian is still one of our most popular treatments, we are beginning to see more hair being left behind, even when it comes to laser. People are increasingly opting for a landing strip or a triangle, or even just leaving a bit on top, and especially so if they have a daughter who is coming into their teens. Mums want to be able to explain that pubic hair is totally normal, and they don’t want their girls to feel embarrassed about theirs or pressured to remove it.

Those who have gone with a Brazilian for years and are making the switch to laser tend to go for an “in-betweenie”, which simply is leaving a bit of hair behind. This is because some people can be daunted by the semi-permanence of laser, and want to have choice.
I’m a take it all off girl myself, but personal choice is the most important thing. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with and what you want, so you do you! 

Is there anything we can do before heading in for hair removal that’ll make the job a little easier?

With laser, you have to shave before you come in for your appointment. But shave and shave only, no more waxing, threading, plucking or electrolysis. Remember that laser will not work if you remove the hair from the root, so you’ll need to wait four weeks post-wax at least for your first laser session. When it comes to waxing, we prefer to ask our customers to just leave it as it’s very easy to over-trim when you’re worried about the ‘ideal length for waxing’. Having your hair too short can affect getting a nice, clean wax. I promise you we’ve seen it all, and we’ll sort it for you!

Let’s talk pain – which option offers the least?

While laser can be a little nippy in certain areas, it’s definitely the less painful option. In addition it’s a quicker treatment, and every time you come in it’ll just get easier as you have less and less hair. You’re in and out in no time!

With waxing, the hair is really only coming out one way. Of course everyone’s pain threshold is different, and what part of your cycle you’re in can easily change this. We use cooling compresses with our waxes, too. Once the wax is removed we immediately apply the cooling pads to help alleviate discomfort, which trust us makes it significantly easier.

With both treatments, we recommend taking two paracetamol tablets and hour prior to your appointment if you’re nervous about the pain—but we’re incredibly experienced and do this day-in-day-out, so you’re in safe hands.

How do you know if you’re a candidate for laser?

To most accurately provide you with a recommendation we’d need you to come in for a complimentary consultation, which is free of charge. We’d ask that you keep your hair growth as it is so that we can take a good look and ensure we’re providing the most accurate recommendation. Our consultations run for 30 minutes, and we go over absolutely everything you need to know about laser. You’ll also receive a patch test to make sure your skin type, hair type and hair colour are suitable.

What can surprise some people is that unfortunately laser isn’t suitable for those with grey, white-blonde or ginger hair. This is industry-wide, as unfortunately you just won’t see the results you want, but this could absolutely change with technology!

Hair removal

What is the most common question that you’re asked?

For both laser and waxing the first question is always “does it hurt”?  But for us, our clients have been coming to us for such a long time that they don’t seem to be bothered at all by the pain. Yes you’re ripping hair from the skin, and pain can differ depending on where you are in your cycle, but it should never be unbearable. It tends to be those who are having their very first wax that are nervous around the pain, but once it’s done and dusted they say it’s never as bad as they thought it was going to be!

Sometimes going to a professional just isn’t feasible – if you’re going down the shaving route, what do you need to know – and what should you NOT do?

My number one piece of advice when it comes to DIY is please don’t use at-home hair removal creams, especially on sensitive skin like the bikini area. You could easily end up with a third-degree burn if you’re not careful, it’s definite a no from me. I also totally appreciate it’s not always possible or accessible to see a professional, so for low-maintenance-maintenance I’d recommend you trim as close to the skin as possible. No scissors though please, I recommend clippers.

For shaving, avoid dry-shaves at all costs and ideally use a brand new razor. I recommend the multi-packs of disposable men’s razors, as they always seem to be sharper and cheaper. If you can, use a new razor each time you need to shave for the best result. Coconut oil can also be a great way to be kind to your skin while shaving.

Always shave with the hair growth, if you go against the hair growth you’re going to end up very itchy. The hair in that area is so course and grows in a few different directions, so you can only get as close to the skin as your razor will let you—so result depends on your hair type and how good and new your razor is.

Unfortunately you can get ingrown hairs from any type of hair removal, but shaving does increase your chances. To avoid ingrown hairs try to exfoliate 2-3 times a week or even try a tea tree lotion to keep your skin happy and healthy, the added benefit of this is that the new hair coming through will be nice and soft.

Anything else you think people need to know?

You can walk into any of our salons and walk out having all your questions and concerns answered as we’re all very knowledgeable and passionate about what we do. If you have ingrowns, you best believe we’ll get rid of them for you!
Ultimately, the one takeaway I have is to please don’t ever be embarrassed coming to see us, I promise you we’ve seen it all day-in-day-out!

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