Freak of nature seeks effective hair-removal solution....
July 9, 2012 1:55 PM   Subscribe

When I get a bikini wax, it stays smooth for less than ONE WEEK. Is there a better hair removal solution for freaks of nature like me?

I was really excited about waxing since it can allegedly keep you smooth for 2-3 weeks at a time. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case for me - I get scratchy stubble poking out after a week and by 10 days I am hairy again. Not really worth shelling out 30 bucks, right? I think this might just be my genetics, I am not a particularly hairy woman but I have really thick head on my hair that also grows fast.

The default remedy for this is shaving, but that never worked so well for me either. I ALWAYS get red bumps the day after despite trying a variety of razors, deodorant, Tend Skin, etc. and the hair grows back within a day. Not convenient when you want to go the swimming pool two days in a row or have a surprise sexual encounter.

I also know a lot of people will encourage me to go natural, but that's not an option for me. I am not getting the full Brazilian but rather what they call the French wax, only removing hair at the sides. If I go natural, I've got stuff poking out of my swimsuit.

I also tried Nair and it didn't do ANYTHING.

I've consider home waxing to save money, but I'm not sure if it's safe to wax that frequently (I would have to do it every 10-14 days to be halfway happy with my hairlessness). If I went to a professional that often, I'd be broke.

Does anyone else have this problem and any potential solutions? It sounds like a pretty dumb problem but I would just like to wear a damn swimsuit without shorts on a whim or have sex without planning it for a week ahead of time! Is that really too much to ask?
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
posted by bensherman at 2:01 PM on July 9, 2012 [4 favorites]

Laser hair removal
posted by Perplexity at 2:05 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you tried Magic Shave? Nair never worked for me, so I didn't expect this to work, but it has! Just stay away from the one with the white tin and blue coloring--the smell isn't very pleasant.
posted by icaicaer at 2:05 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Part of the issue may be that different follicles grow hairs at different time intervals. You can wax and remove visible hair, but the follicles that are dormant may get activated in the meantime and you have new hair sprouts. You may have to get a few waxes at the start to get all of the hair pulled out. Then, you should be able to enjoy 4+ weeks of no hair.

Also, make sure that your waxer is actually pulling the hair out by the root and not just breaking the hairs. You should be able to see the root bulb at the end of the hairs that have been pulled out.
posted by quince at 2:11 PM on July 9, 2012

I take medication with a side effect of faster-growing and thicker hair. Great for my head, everywhere else - not so much.

I just started trying Veet, which didn't get everything off. I shaved the remainder, it was good for a few days (mine usually is stubbly in about 8 hours) and then it grew back. But it grew back softer and was much easier to remove the second time. It's 8 bucks or maybe 10 at the most, and so much better than Nair.
posted by doyouknowwhoIam? at 2:14 PM on July 9, 2012

Also, you're totally not a freak of nature. :)
posted by doyouknowwhoIam? at 2:18 PM on July 9, 2012 [5 favorites]

FWIW, lasers did bupkis for me. I only did 3 treatments and they were recommending 5+, but I wasn't going to pay for more treatments when I wasn't seeing *any* result at all.
posted by cairdeas at 2:22 PM on July 9, 2012

I have tried a lot of things over the years. I originally had pale white "porcelain" skin with small pores and dark, thick steel wool growing out of my legs (in place of the hair that normal people have), so I used to get 5 o'clock shadow and also ingrown hairs by the dozen. It was evil. Over time, waxing did make the hair come back finer and lighter. I never had the money to pay for professional waxing. So I tried different home systems. Some of them were torture. Others were awesome.

Googling does not turn up anything I am firstand familiar with but this looks pretty good. They have been waxing a long time in that part of the world. I have read good things about some of the products and techniques from that region.
posted by Michele in California at 2:47 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

My experience:

Depilatories work but ONLY if left on for the maximum time - there was text like "Check back in 5 minutes to see if it's working; leave on skin for up to 20 minutes otherwise" and I had to go to the max time to get results. Possibly for this reason, the fast-acting depilatories didn't work as well. Caveat: depilatories too close together (within a few days of each other) give the same sort of bumps as shaving.

Laser hair removal: I did the full course of 6 treatments, and have a recommended hair color / skin color combination, and still saw effectively no results. :(

Home waxing: I had no problems with frequent home waxes, but it got to be too much of a production, especially since I don't live alone.

What works for me: I found a beauty shop (Salon Bellissima in Cambridge, MA; highly recommended in case you're in the Boston area) with a "Waxing Club" where you can go as frequently as you want for a flat monthly rate. This has gotten me to go much more often and much more regularly, and two years out I am seeing real results in terms of sparser and slower re-growth. The basic package is about $30/month and set up to autopay - so worth it!
posted by Signed Sealed Delivered at 2:51 PM on July 9, 2012 [6 favorites]

My waxer said you gotta be consistent about waxing and do it for a year as your only means of hair removal before you hit that 4 wks smooth mark on the regular, because your hair strands grow at different rates.
posted by spunweb at 2:52 PM on July 9, 2012 [4 favorites]

If it is scratchy, they are probably breaking the hair instead of yanking it out. There is a huge difference between ok and good waxers; you might want to try a few others before switching technologies. (That said, laser can be a lot cheaper over time, if you can afford the upfront costs.)
posted by Forktine at 2:53 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Should have said: Waxing Club was great right from the start and has gotten even better as I've stuck with it. Didn't mean to imply that it took 2 years to see results. :)

On preview: totally agree with spunweb's waxer about the value of consistency with this.
posted by Signed Sealed Delivered at 2:55 PM on July 9, 2012

Yes, the "it'll keep you smooth for 2-3 weeks" refers to people who have been doing it regularly for a long time. Also agree with Forktine that it may be that these aren't good waxers.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:06 PM on July 9, 2012

I use a depilator like this (not that particular model, just giving you an idea). Yes, it is more painful than waxing - well, it's less painful but drags on for longer - but the advantages are
- less (or no) mess
- one off expense (or one every 3-4 years in my experience)
- you can do little bits at a time without a huge set up before / clean up after
- you can mostly do it while watching a TV show or whatever to take your mind off it

The first time after winter is generally quite, um, torturous, but after that I just do a few minutes every 2-3 days or so, as soon as new hairs grow out, and I find it the most convenient out of all the things I've tried. (NB I'm talking about the whole leg here, not just bikini area.)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 3:47 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

An alternative option for the swimsuit issue. So cute!
posted by likeso at 4:35 PM on July 9, 2012

I recently figured out how to give myself a bikini wax (and obviously to wax other parts of my body, like my underarms) at home. It makes it a LOT more affordable. You can buy kits at a pharmacy for less then $15. I never thought I would be saying that an at-home bikini wax is easy and painless, but -- dude -- is totally is! (I have somewhat thick, dark hair). My results so far have been awesome and now I have the option of "touching up" whenever new hair grows in. Maybe try it out and see if it works for you? You will only be out $15 and at least then you'll know if you can pull it off.
posted by pinetree at 4:44 PM on July 9, 2012

Shave in the direction of the hair, not against it like everywhere else.
posted by heyjude at 4:46 PM on July 9, 2012

seconding an epilator. I use this one. I've not heard great things about the wet/dry ones; they break the hair too much instead of pulling it out.
posted by par court at 5:15 PM on July 9, 2012

I would also recommend laser hair removal. Try it for 3 sessions. Even with just 3 sessions, the hair should thin out so much that it will be much easier to shave, without all the bumps. There are a lot of living social/groupon deals for laser, so I would go with that. It's expensive, but with a groupon, it is much more reasonable, and it is definitely cheaper in the long run than waxing. It is the best thing I've ever done for myself, I wish I didn't spend 10+ years of my life shaving everything so frequently! Also, while laser hurts, it can't possibly hurt more than waxing (never waxed my private parts, but I've waxed the top of my feet and OH MY GOD that hurts so bad,). The bikini parts don't hurt much at all with laser, it's only the inside/more sensitive parts that burn, but even then the pain is tolerable.
posted by at 6:09 PM on July 9, 2012

Response by poster: I have the same issue. Waxing is awesome but the results are fleeting, and eight months of it did not produce slower hair growth. I got one of these. The results are on par with how things feel the first day of a shave. The one downside is the first time using you need to start with a wax or full shave with a razor and then do regular upkeep on the stubble as it doesn't handle long hair.

I got lazy about upkeep myself, but found after shaving regularly for about a year my skin finally got used to it. Admittedly though that's a pretty long time to hold out waiting for your skin to stop being angry about razors.
posted by Anonymous at 7:50 PM on July 9, 2012

In my experience, waxing has been the best method, but consistency is definitely key. It takes a while of regular treatments before seeing a slow in hair growth and a change in texture. Every person I've known who has done laser has said that ultimately, it didn't work. I've been wondering about the No!No! hair removal thingy. Silly name aside, it sounds intriguing and has been around for a while. That might do the trick & there is a guarantee, but I've never used it, so I can't say for sure.
posted by katemcd at 9:34 PM on July 9, 2012

That 2 to 3 weeks thing is marketing spin AKA LIES. its like that for some people, not all or most. That's the best possible result.

If you can't do laser, use an electric rasor rather than a regular rasor with blades. It will not make the area feel perfectly smooth but it will look fine and you'll get fewer ingrowns. And excessively close shave actually causes ingrowns because the sharp freshly cut hairs curl a tiny bit and grow down into the skin and get caught instead of growing right out.
posted by windykites at 11:18 PM on July 9, 2012

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