Natural Hair Removal Options vs IPL Hair Removal Devices
Natural Hair Removal Options vs IPL Hair Removal Devices
Have you thought about natural DIY hair removal? Maybe you’re interested in getting rid of body or facial hair without any chemicals. Maybe you’re looking for a cheaper alternative for hair removal. Or maybe you’re just bored and want to try something new! Whatever the reason, natural hair removal methods may be a popular, but not very reliable, way to get rid of unwanted hair.
Let’s take a look at some popular natural hair removal methods, how effective they are, and then talk about another, much more effective and reliable method: intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal.
What are the pros and cons of natural DIY hair removal methods?
Here’s the thing about natural DIY hair removal methods: They’re not super effective and they don’t usually last very long. For example, shaving — probably the most common DIY hair removal method — cuts hair off at the skin level. That means it grows back really quickly, creating sandpapery legs or private parts within a day. There’s also the risk of cutting yourself, especially if you’re shaving any rounded part of your body. (Who hasn’t cut their knee at least once when shaving?)
Of course, the pros of shaving are that it’s relatively inexpensive, you can do it really quickly in the shower, and it’s accessible to basically everyone. That’s probably why it’s so popular!
Sugar waxing is another popular DIY hair removal method because it’s easy to mix up on your own, doesn’t adhere to the skin the way wax does, and pulls out hairs by the root, which means the results last longer. It’s also the OG hair removal method — sugaring can be traced back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and Persia. Basically, human beings have been cooking up a sugar mix to get rid of body hair since Cleopatra was getting ready to spend some quality time with Antony.
The biggest con of sugaring, of course, is that it hurts. Anything that pulls your hair out from its roots is going to do more than sting a little bit. And while the results last longer than shaving because of that aforementioned root pulling, it still only lasts for about three to five weeks. It does, however, often reduce the amount of hair growth that grows back over time.
Yup, you read that right — egg can be used as a natural DIY hair removal method. Because dried egg creates a sticky, almost wax-like substance, it can be used to rip hair right out. Some people use just the whites to create a face mask; some use the whole egg plus cornstarch and sugar; some mix it up with corn flour. (The additives are to make the whole substance a little thicker, as raw egg alone tends to be pretty slippery.)
The pros of using eggs for hair removal are that it’s all natural, you probably have the ingredients at home, some people say the egg also helps with dry skin, and because it’s another pull-from-the-roots method, it tends to last a bit longer than shaving.
The cons, however, aren’t minor. First of all, it takes a long time to dry all the way, during which time you’re hanging out with literal egg on your face. (Or your armpits. Or wherever you’ve decided to try out this method.) It’s a pretty messy process with unreliable results, but if it sounds interesting to you, we’re not here to judge.
Pumice stone and other friction methods
Back in the 1930s, women used to rub pumice stones — you know, the things you use to get callouses off your feet — on their legs to remove unwanted leg hair. That’s one of many methods that use friction to basically rub hair off of your body.
The pros? Easy, cheap, and totally DIY. Also, some methods help with exfoliation, for extra smooth skin.
The cons? OUCH. Rubbing your skin enough to remove hair just… Doesn’t feel good. It’s also tedious, takes a long time, and is very temporary because it, like shaving, cuts the root at the skin level. As an added bummer, you can’t use it on your face, armpits, or any other sensitive area. This is generally just not a great DIY hair removal method, unless you really love that sandpaper feeling rubbing up on your legs.
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color. It’s been used by Indian women for all kinds of beauty routines — including hair removal — for generations. It’s an antioxidant-packed compound, said to help with everything from teeth whitening to general skin health.
For skin removal, people like to combine turmeric with milk to create a paste, leave it on the skin for a while, and then wash it off. At that point, the hair should come off with the paste.
Pros: this is another pantry-based solution, so it’s cheap and accessible. It also has hundreds of years of Indian women swearing by it, which seems like a pretty good endorsement. Cons: It’s not a very reliable method and if you have a lighter skin color, the yellow tint from the spice might be difficult to get off. On the other hand, if you have brown skin, it can add a pretty tint!
If there ever was a super fruit, it’s papaya. Not only is it packed with antioxidants and vitamins, but its seeds can be used to treat upset stomach caused by bacteria. It also contains an enzyme called papain that helps with hair removal over time.
Papaya paste isn’t going to get rid of your leg hair if you’re trying to depilate just before a big night on the town, but applying the paste regularly can lead to weakened hair follicles, which then leads to a reduction in body hair. It’s an interesting method, if a little sticky and time consuming.
Pros and cons of IPL hair removal
So those are the natural DIY hair removal methods, some of which are more effective — and less sticky — than others. Another option for long-term hair removal, however, is intense pulsed light hair removal, like the Silk’n Flash&Go Pro.
First, let’s talk about what IPL hair removal actually is, because it’s a little more complicated than sugaring, for example. IPL uses an intense beam of light to target the hair follicle. (That’s the part of the hair under your skin, where the root grows.) After a few sessions, that hair follicle dies and can’t grow any more hair, resulting in permanent hair removal.
Most people need a few sessions to get that permanent hairlessness that they’re after, but every session is followed by a longer period of time before the next one is needed. A lot of people find that they can go as long as eight weeks between sessions when they’re in the process of repeated IPL hair removal treatments.
One common question about IPL treatments is whether it hurts. And that makes sense! The thought of aiming a really intense beam of light at your skin might sound a touch scary (and possibly painful). But while DIY hair removal methods like sugar waxing and egg treatments rip hair out by the roots and friction methods like pumice stones require you to repeatedly rub your skin until the hair breaks, at-home IPL treatments are usually no more painful than a quick rubber band flick. Does that feel great? No, but it’s also not terrible — and it’s certainly less painful than the majority of the natural DIY hair removal methods we’ve covered here. (And, for some people, there’s no pain at all! It really just depends on your skin type.)
Another pro for IPL: There’s no sticky, waxy, or gooey substance involved. You might have noticed that a lot of the natural hair removal methods we covered are pretty messy, right? And while that might be fun for a slumber party of teenagers, most of us don’t have time to not only mix up a concoction but also do a massive cleanup afterwards. IPL is quick, easy, and there’s no mess at all. You just do your treatment, apply moisturizer, and put the device away. No dishes required.
And, of course, there are cons of IPL hair removal, just as there are cons to any type of hair removal method. If you’re going for permanent hair removal, it’s important to know that this will require multiple sessions. And because IPL targets melanin, it’s not as effective for darker skin tones as it is for lighter skin and medium toned skin types. But, in general, it’s a cost-effective, easy, neat, and relatively painless hair removal method.
Learn more about the products
If you’re still not sure about whether or not IPL treatment is right for you, check out these four interviews with IPL hair removal device customers. They’re a great way to see just how effective, easy, and worth it IPL hair removal really is.