Everyone has body hair though many of us wish we didn’t in some areas. Removing body hair has become so popular that it’s now a normal part of life for many women and men. On average, women begin removing body hair at the age of 12, most commonly from their lower legs, armpits, and bikini area. Whereas men tend to begin removing hair at the age of 17, mainly targeting their face, pubic region and chest.*1 Whether it’s for practicality, hygiene, comfort, or simply the way it looks, getting rid of body hair these days is very popular.
But removing unwanted hair can be a costly and sometimes embarrassing experience, so why not do your own hair removal in the comfort and privacy of your own home? At-home hair removal can be much cheaper than getting it done at a salon, but more importantly, it really can be quick and easy.
The benefits of at-home hair removal
While it’s lovely to get pampered every now and then, it’s not always viable to get professional treatments at the spa or salon all the time. Hair removal at home is a great alternative with lots of advantages:
- Convenient – there are now many options available to make it quick and easy to remove hair by yourself at home. Home waxing products and depilatory creams can be bought at supermarkets and pharmacies here in New Zealand, so you could even pick them up as part of your regular grocery shop.
- Cost-effective – at-home hair removal is much more affordable than professional treatments, especially when you add them up over time. When many at-home methods can offer results just as good as the salon, the value of at-home hair removal really comes through!
- Private – it can sometimes be uncomfortable having someone else do our hair removal for us, especially for more intimate areas like our bikini lines or armpits. By doing it yourself at home, you can feel comfortable in your own skin.
Waxing is a great at-home technique which can give you a smooth, long-lasting finish. This method of hair removal is a form of epilation, which means it removes hair at the root rather than just the visible portion above the skin. Though it can be a little painful, waxing offers longer-lasting results than shaving and hair removal creams. Over time, you also might notice less and finer hair regrowth.
Waxing at home can be very easy, especially if you buy pre-waxed strips like the Veet Easy-Gel Wax Strips – you simply peel the strips apart, apply it to the area you wish to remove the hair, and then pull it off in one swift move. If cold wax isn’t for you, warm waxes like the Veet Spawax Stripless Wax Warming Kit are also available.
Pros: Waxing removes both thin, light hairs and dark, coarse hairs. Hairs stay away for longer than with shaving or hair removal creams since they’re removed from the bulb. Repeated waxing can lead to changes in the follicle, resulting in less and finer hair regrowth over time.2
Cons: Waxing can irritate the skin and has a risk of scarring. Sometimes the wax can burn the skin if it’s too hot. You might also find waxing more painful than other hair removal methods.2
This is a common quick fix for easy hair removal, but shaving doesn’t interrupt the growth cycle of hairs as it only cuts the hair off at the skin’s surface – so, don’t be surprised if hair grows back pretty quickly! Shaving can also leave you with cuts and nicks on your skin if you’re not careful. Before shaving, it’s a good idea to apply some shaving cream or gel to the skin to help the razor glide.
Pros: Shaving is quick and can conveniently be done just about anywhere. It is also painless making it an appealing hair removal option.
Cons: Shaved hair will often grow back quickly since it doesn’t affect hair regrowth. Shaved hair can also leave a blunt tip that appears thicker than uncut hair. Skin irritation can occur, and care must be taken to avoid accidentally cutting the skin with the razor.2
Plucking is a very precise technique by which you remove one hair at a time by pulling them out with a pair of tweezers. Like waxing, it’s a form of epilation that gets rid of the hair at the root. Since it can be very time consuming, this method is best for smaller areas like shaping eyebrows or pulling out the few stray hairs which might be left after waxing or using a depilatory cream.
Pros: Plucking is easy to do, inexpensive and causes little skin damage. It can take longer for the hair to grow back compared to shaving.
Cons: Plucking can be a painful and tedious process, so it’s impractical to do over large areas. Plucking also doesn’t affect hair regrowth unless the hairs are in a certain phase of growth (the anagen phase).2
Depilatory creams contain special chemicals which can dissolve hair, allowing them to be simply wiped away. This method is quick, easy and great for people who want an effective but pain-free experience. Veet has many different formulations available, including products that you can use in the shower, and they’re also suitable for sensitive skin. You can read more about depilatory creams here.
Pros: Depilatory creams are an easy-to-use, quick, and painless method of hair removal. Hair may also grow back slower and feeling softer compared to shaved hair.2
Cons: Some people may experience skin irritation with depilatory creams. They may also have an unpleasant odour, and are less effective at removing dark, coarse hair compared to thin, light hair.2
Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal is a method that can provide permanent hair removal for some people. It uses pulses of light which, when absorbed by the hair follicle, cause damage and prevent regrowth. There are many different types of lasers, and their effectiveness depends on several factors including your skin type, hair type, hormonal status and the number of treatments received. Laser treatment is designed to cause minimal damage to the skin, although is often used alongside cooling devices to help minimise any skin damage.2
Pros: Laser hair removal can provide permanent results if used consistently. It works best on thick dark hair with light/fair skin but can be adjusted for use on darker skin.2
Cons: Laser hair removal is generally more expensive than other methods like shaving or using depilatory creams. It can be impractical since shaving is required before treatment, but hair should not be waxed or plucked. You cannot tan or stay in the sunshine before and after laser hair removal. There may also be swelling of the skin immediately after treatment. Skin damage, including burns, blisters and pigmentation changes may occur, particularly in darker skin types.2
Which method is best for me?
Need help navigating all the different at-home hair removal options? Here are some recommendations based on different needs to help you find what’s right for you.
I have sensitive skin
Many hair removal products are suitable for sensitive skin. From the Veet range you can try Veet Easy-Gel Wax Strips for Sensitive Skin or Veet Pure Hair Removal Cream Sensitive. Remember it’s important to follow the directions for use on the product label, especially for sensitive skin – and that means testing your skin reaction before every use.
I want to remove hair from delicate areas, like my face, bikini line or underarms
Try Veet Easy-Gel Bikini Wax Strips and Underarm Wax Strips – both have strips that are ideally designed for their respective areas and can work on hair as short as 1.5mm. For removing hair on your upper lip, cheeks or chin, there’s Veet Easy-Gel Face Wax Strips. They’re designed for precise application, and like the Bikini and Underarm Strips, can also work on hair as short as 1.5mm
I hate waxing!
Don’t worry – depilatory creams have you covered. As well as being pain-free, they are also quick and easy to use. You can check out Veet’s range of depilatory creams here.
I’m strapped for time
Our lives are getting busier and it can be hard fitting in time to groom. Veet In-Shower Hair Removal Cream is designed to work while you shower, so you can fit in hair removal as part of your everyday routine.
I want as close to professional experience as possible
The Veet Spawax Stripless Wax Warming Kit includes professional quality warm wax and a warming system that maintains it at the perfect temperature to give you salon-perfect results at home. The stripless wax is suitable for your legs, underarms and bikini line and also comes with either a purple lily or sugar fig fragrance.
How to achieve salon waxing experience at home
Spas and beauty salons provide a friendly, intimate and luxurious space where you’re given the chance to be pampered by a professionally trained beautician. You get peace of mind knowing that the waxing is being handled by a beautician with lots of expertise and it can be very satisfying walking out of the salon with silky smooth skin.
On the other hand, waxing at home can be a lifesaver for anyone who is time-limited and budget conscious. That doesn’t mean you can’t recreate a spa-like experience at home – our home waxing tips will help you become your own self-waxing expert!
Most spas will play soft, tranquil music in the background and light scented candles to help customers de-stress and rejuvenate. Create your own home waxing salon by putting on a relaxing playlist and lighting your favourite candle (making sure to place it in a safe area).
Beauticians will prepare you for a wax by cleaning the area. You can do this in your bathroom with soap and warm water. Make sure to dry the skin thoroughly before starting to wax. Beauticians may also trim your hair to make waxing less messy and painful. If your hair is longer than 2cm, you might want to trim it to a shorter length using safety scissors (but not too short).
The Veet Spawax Stripless Wax Warming Kit is an electrical warm wax kit that’s perfect for an at-home spa day – it even radiates a soft pink glow and beautiful fragrance when it’s plugged in to enhance the ambiance. As a stripless wax, you simply spread it on and then pull off once it’s cool. Try to spread the end of the wax slightly thicker so that you can grip it well, and make sure to pull against the direction of hair growth using your other hand to hold the skin taut (as per instructions). Another trick that beauticians may do is apply your hand to the freshly waxed area, since the pressure can help ease discomfort. And remember, like any good beautician, there’s no need to rush!
Once your wax is complete, clean away any residue and pluck any stray hairs with tweezers. Finish up in true spa fashion with a hot cup of tea on the sofa in a big fluffy dressing gown!
To make sure you get the best results, make sure to avoid these things for 24 hours after waxing:
- Wearing tight clothing over the waxed skin (this might cause ingrown hairs)
- Applying deodorants, perfumes, self-tanning products or make up on the waxed skin – use only plain, unperfumed soap and water
- Touching or scratching the waxed skin
- Swimming and sunbathing
Caring for your home waxing kit
Wax pots for home use like the Veet Spawax Stripless Wax Warming Kit are specially designed to be easy to use. Follow these simple care tips to make sure your warm wax products are kept in top condition.
The Veet Spawax Stripless Wax Warming Kit melts the wax and maintains it at the ideal temperature throughout your session.
Pot Care and Cleaning
The pot itself doesn't require internal cleaning as any remaining wax can be reheated for your next session. You may need however to clean the rim of the pot and the spatula after each use. For details on how to do this, follow the instructions below.
High and dry – staying safe
To avoid electric shock, never use the device near water and always check for any signs of wear and tear (i.e. damaged or worn power cables). Before connecting the device, take steps such as emptying bathtubs, sinks, wiping up any water on the floor and removing any other vessels containing water/liquids from the area (i.e. where there is a risk of spills). Always unplug the appliance after use. Wait until the appliance has cooled down before you store it and always keep out of reach of children.
1. Terry G, Braun V. Body Image 2013;10(4):599–606.
2. Kang CN, et al. Skin Therapy Lett 2021;26(5):6–11.