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    By Mary Jo DiLonardo

    Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD

    WebMD Feature

    For Women Only: Best Choices for Hair Removal

    When hair removal is part of your regular beauty routine, you might use several methods on different parts of your face and body. You might even be thinking about permanent removal methods so you have fewer things to do in the morning. You have many choices, so you can try different ways to make your skin smooth.


    How it works: You pull out individual hairs by the root with tweezers.

    Best for: Small areas of the face

    How long it lasts: 3-8 weeks

    Tips: Clean tweezers with rubbing alcohol before and after each use to lower your chance of infection.

    Possible side effects: If the hair breaks off, it could grow back under the skin, causing an ingrown hair.


    How it works: Using a razor or electric shaver, you cut the hair very close to the skin. "There's a popular myth that shaving causes hair to grow back coarser," says dermatologist David Pariser, MD. "But that's not true. An unshaved hair has a tip that is tapered and soft. When you shave it, you shave off the soft tip, so it feels coarser."

    Tips: If you use disposable razors or blades, wet your skin and use soap or shaving cream. Shave in the direction the hair grows. Replace your razor often -- you can cut yourself with a dull one.

    Best for: It works anywhere.

    How long it lasts: 1-3 days

    Possible side effects: Ingrown hairs, especially in the bikini area


    How it works: A cosmetologist spreads sticky wax on your skin, then covers it with cloth strips. When the wax dries, the strips are quickly pulled off, taking the hair with them. Some types of wax can be pulled off without cloth strips.

    Best for: Anywhere on the body, including the face, underarms, legs, and bikini area

    How long it lasts: 3-6 weeks

    Possible side effects: Redness and bumps. You could also get an infection around the hair follicles. The more often you wax, the less likely you are to have an infection.

    Tips: Hair has to be at least 1/4 inch long for the wax to grab it. So let your hair grow for a few weeks before waxing.

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