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Whether you’re rocking bush or keep things trim, some maintenance is definitely required to make sure everything is kept under some kind of control.

But what’s best for you? Is threading all it is cracked up to be? Will waxing ever feel good? There are so many different options that knowing which is best is actually a difficult question.

In an effort to help you get rid of the hair you want to lose, we’ve got the skinny on all of the methods. We also have the scoop on the “ouch” factor, because you should never listen to someone who says, “this won’t hurt a bit.” It hurts, and we’ll tell you how much.

Shaving

You’ve probably been doing it for years, and although there’s always the chance of a nick or cut with a new razor, they usually bleed more than they hurt. If you have super sensitive skin, you may end up with razor burn, which can be uncomfortable. Look for a shaving lotion that hydrates and will give you the smooth feel you’re after. We suggest Aveeno’s shave gel.

Ouch factor

No big deal.

Effectiveness

Shaving is immediately effective, but needs to be repeated fairly often.

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Waxing

There are many at-home waxing kits available, but if you’re a newbie, skip the ones that require you to warm anything in the microwave. You’re likely to spill steaming hot wax on something valuable like your rug — or your skin. Try pre-cut wax strips that you warm up with your hands, then apply to skin and pull off. Simple and relatively fuss-free.

Ouch Factor

You are literally ripping out the hair from the root, all at the same time. It hurts. Some people will say it is no big deal, but they’re probably just used to it from repeat exposure. If this is your first time, it will hurt worse that ripping off a Band-Aid.

Effectiveness

The nice thing about waxing is that it lasts a long time. Kelly Lewis, a professional aesthetician and nail technician, says you can expect to wax every three to four weeks. And she recommends Skin Envy products. The wax sugar strips are easy to use and the company offers a skin soothing cream, which contains two per cent lidocaine. “This is good news, especially for those who become irritated, as it helps relieve pain and redness,” she says.

The downside of waxing is having to wait for hair to grow to about a quarter of an inch before waxing again.

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Depilatory

Depilatory creams are applied on the skin, left for three to five minutes and then washed off along with your hair. You may feel a bit of tingling, but if it stings, remove it immediately as you may be too sensitive or even allergic to the ingredients.

The Ouch Factor

These creams typically don’t hurt. But don’t apply to broken skin, because then it will. Like salt on a fresh wound kind of pain. Test it on a small patch of skin before going for the whole leg, arm or whatever.

Effectiveness

Depilatory creams can be more effective if you trim the hair (particularly around the bikini line) before applying the cream. Some creams come with a plastic razor-like spatula – the spatula doesn’t have any actual blades, but it helps remove the hair better than just a rinse under the shower will.

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At-home laser treatments

A few companies have brought the convenience of laser hair removal to your home with fairly pricey appliances that zap hair away for good. It will definitely hurt, though. With some systems, like Tria Beauty, you can control the strength of the laser (and the pain) and work your way up to a stronger treatment. Pain can also be helped with the use of a pre-treatment gel that cools the area prior to the hot heat of the laser.

The Ouch Factor
It is a laser. It’s not a gentle tickle.

Effectiveness
These systems, while pricey, should eliminate hair for good. Or at the very least, they’ll leave hair growing back much slower and leave you with lighter, finer hair. The downside is that it takes a while. You will definitely have to shave while going through the process, which can take at least three months, with treatments every two weeks.

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Threading

Threading is exactly what it sounds like. You bend thread into a bow-like shape and use your new tool to rip hair from your body. People swear by it, but it’s not so easy to do on your own (watch the video above to see what we’re talking about).

Ouch Factor

If you hate plucking and waxing because it’s too painful, then this is also not for you. Threading hurts, but you do build up a tolerance. At first, it will feel like a baby yanking at your hair even though you’ve told him or her to stop.

Effectiveness

It’s definitely cool, but the impact isn’t too long-lasting. You’re going to want to repeat the process every three to four weeks.

Enjoy your eyebrows, everyone! (And those other places you’re taking care of!)

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