Easy at-home hair-removal solutions
Try an oil instead of foam with shaving and make sure to exfoliate before waxing
Exfoliating is important before waxing. Photograph: iStock
Let us begin with the caveats; if you don’t want to remove body hair, there is simply no reason to do it. We are all less groomed than we were a few weeks ago. The nation’s nails are unmanicured. Beards are stragglier and sideburns are segueing into frontburns. Legs and armpits are furring over. As long as we are all staying on top of basic hygiene, a bit more hair on heads, face and bodies is nothing at all to fret about.
For some, body hair is a source of discomfort and removing it is part of a routine that keeps them in touch with their bodies. If this is you, and you would normally turn to professionals for hair removal, there are options at home. I won’t insult your intelligence by recommending a razor, but I will advise buying one marketed to men if you want to shave regardless of gender, as they are almost always cheaper.
Rather than shaving foam, try an oil. They’re especially good now as you only need a very little to get the job done. So shaving oils tend to be compact and last for a long time. De Facto Shaving Oil (€23 for 50mls at defactoshave.com) is Irish, and the brand says men will get more than 400 shaves from their 50ml bottle as you only need a few drops. Body hair removal will require more, but it will still see you hair-free for a lot longer than a foam, which in any case can be drying on the skin.
The key to a clean shave is preparation, so exfoliate the skin in advance. Rather than a scrub that will be used up in a few weeks, try a brush or cloth. I love the Vanderohe Sasawashi Exfoliating Body Cloth (€20.35 at vanderohe.com), which is made from a combination of a hardy Japanese Washi paper (it will not dissolve, shrink or soften) and bamboo leaves. You can wash it in the machine at 30 degrees after every second or third use, and leave to air dry.
Exfoliating is equally important before waxing. Rather than putting together an elaborate semi-professional waxing setup, just get hold of some Nair Rose Sugar Wax (€18.99). It comes with the strips. Make sure the skin is totally clean and free of oil or moisturiser before waxing, and you’re good to go.
I would choose waxing over epilation, which mechanically pulls out hair, but an epilator is a good investment if you don’t want to repurchase waxes and shaving equipment. Remington Smooth & Silky 4 in 1 Epilator (€59.99) will get the job done. Epilation is not elegant, but it works.
Finally, Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Device (€489.99) is the best hair removal device on the market, reducing body hair by about 90 per cent. You’ll need a contrast between the tone of your body hair and skin, so this won’t work for those with very fair hair, unfortunately. It also requires commitment, but after eight weeks, you will be wondering how you spent years paying people to tear your hair out.